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5. WORLD: Milan loses on two fronts
October 30th, 2006 12:02AM



In the space of 24 hours, AC Milan's Serie A title hopes went up in smoke.

On Friday, Milan's appeal of its eight-point penalty for its involvement in Italian soccer's match-fixing scandal was rejected. The next day, it lost to archrival Inter Milan, 4-3, to fall 14 points behind Inter and Palermo, tied for first place.

Goals from Hernan Crespo, Dejan Stankovic, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marco Materazzi gave Inter a three-goal lead before Alberto Gilardino and Kaka scored for Milan to reduce the deficit to one goal. But Inter, which had Materazzi sent off, held on for only its second win in the last 12 Milan derbies

Three other teams involved in the match-fixing scandal had their penalties reduced: Lazio (from 11 to 3 points), Fiorentina (from 19 to 15) and Serie B Juventus (17 to 9).

ENGLAND. Wayne Rooney ended a 10-game scoring drought with a hat trick in Manchester United's 4-0 victory at Bolton Wanderers in the English Premier League on Saturday. Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo added the other goal as leader United stayed ahead of Chelsea, which won 2-0 at Sheffield United, on goal difference.

FRANCE. Five-time champion Lyon stretched its lead at the top to 11 points after 10 games when giant Norwegian John Carew scored to give it a 1-0 win over Nancy. Second-place Marseille fell, 2-1, at Nice in a match marred by a horrific injury to a fireman, who had two fingers blown off when he was trying to retrieve a firebomb thrown on to the field.

GERMANY. For the second time in two weeks, Werder Bremen scored six goals on the road. Two weeks ago, Werder crushed Bochum, 6-0. This time, it beat Mainz, 6-1, with two goals apiece from Miroslav Klose and Aaron Hunt and late strikes by Naldo and Diego to remain in first place three points clear of defending champion Bayern Munich and Schalke 04.

SPAIN. Brazilian Ronaldinho scored twice to lead Barcelona to a 3-0 win over Recreativo Huelva and take over first place in La Liga. Valencia slipped to fourth after losing, 1-0, in the fog at Racing Santander. Sevilla, a 2-1 winner over Celta, and Real Madrid, which beat Gimnastic, 3-1, took over second and third, respectively.

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