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WEEKEND WRAPUP: International Soccer Headliners
by Paul Kennedy, October 22nd, 2007 7AM

TAGS:  england, italy


Liverpool edged Everton in their Merseyside derby marred by questionable refereeing. Alessandro Del Piero kept Juventus near the top of Italy's Serie A, while AC Milan's troubles at home continued. Defending Bundesliga champion Stuttgart hit a new low when it fell at Hamburg, 4-1.

Everton manager David Moyes was furious after the Toffees lost their 177th Merseyside derby to Liverpool, 2-1, on Saturday.

Everton, which went into the game with the best disciplinary record in the English Premier League, had two players sent off on Saturday, but it was referee Mark Clattenburg's decision not to send off Liverpool's Dirk Kuyt for a wild two-footed challenge on Everton captain Phil Neville that had Moyer fuming.

"I've had a lot of referees telling us about such tackles," said Moyes. "The directive is if your feet are off the ground it's a sending off." Kuyt went on to win the game from the penalty spot in stoppage time -- with his second penalty kick of the game. "Perhaps they picked the wrong one [referee] for this game," added Moyes.

AC Milan's misery at home continued as its lost to tiny Empoli on a second-half goal by Luca Saudati.

Milan has yet to win at the San Siro in Serie A this season and is in 11th place with just 10 points after eight games -- leaving it 10 points behind leader Inter Milan. Milan was without star Kaka, who had just returned from playing for Brazil in World Cup qualifying.

"It's not even up for discussion that Kaka is decisive," said Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti, "but we've got to do better without him."

Unwanted by the Italian national team, veteran Alessandro Del Piero justified the confidence Juventus placed in him by scoring the winning goal in a 1-0 win over Genoa on Sunday, just days after he signed a contract extension through 2010.

Del Piero kept Juve within three points of leader Inter Milan with a right-footed volley from six yards following a cross from fellow veteran Pavel Nedved.

Italy coach Roberto Donadoni had not picked Del Piero, who turns 33 in November, for the Azzurri's Euro 2008 qualifier against Georgia on Oct. 13 after a poor game in their 0-0 tie with France in September.

VfB Stuttgart's 4-1 loss to Hamburg on Sunday left the defending Bundesliga champion in 13th place, 16 points behind leader Bayern Munich after only 10 games.

Playing without Dutch star Rafael van der Vaart, injured playing for the Oranje in Euro 2008 qualifying on Wednesday, Hamburg has an easy time against Stuttgart, going ahead, 3-0, on an Ivica Olic hat trick after only 34 minutes.

Stuttgart's first-half misery was complete when Mexican Pavel Pardo was sent off at the end of the first half for a kick at David Jarolim.


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