Milan giants march on
By Patrick Goss
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
The Rossoneri struggled to make the breakthrough against Modena, but were finally given the lead through a penalty - with Andrea Pirlo converting.
The build-up to the penalty was staggering, as Milan brought Fernando Redondo off in order for penalty expert Pirlo to come on and he promptly scored with his first touch.
Filippo Inzaghi then grabbed a second, and Modena got a late consolation through Massimo Scoponi.
Inter kept pace with Milan, by virtue of a 2-0 win over Torino.
The first half was somewhat scrappy, with Torino having the best chance when Gianluca Comotto lashed a volley against the bar.
Inter came out quickly after the interval and were presented with the opening goal by Toro keeper Luca Bucci.
Bucci horribly sliced a clearance which Alvaro Recoba picked up and crossed for Christian Vieri to instinctively prod home.
The second on 57 minutes was all about the wonderful footwork of Recoba who danced through defenders before rolling the ball into the path of Okan Buruk who stroked his shot past Bucci.
Gabriel Batistuta came within inches of opening his Inter account, but his last-minute drive fizzed just wide of goal.
The victories of the Milan giants were all the more important bearing in mind that two of the four teams battling with them for the title failed to win.
Lazio came from behind to earn a 1-1 draw with Chievo - Eugenio Corini converting a penalty at the second time of asking, but the Roman side levelling through a Diego Simeone header, after Simone Inzaghi had been guilty of a terrible miss.
Juventus also had to come from behind to earn a draw against Atalanta, Marco Di Vaio levelling after Alex Pinardi had given the home side the lead.
The match was marred by the late dismissal of Christiano Doni for his second bookable offence.
Thriller of the day came as Parma hosted Udinese, with the Gialloblu winning 3-2 in a match that saw two dismissals.
Adriano had already given Parma the lead, when his side were reduced to ten men - Matteo Ferrari seeing red.
Udinese then also had a man sent off on the stroke of half-time - when Per Kroldrup was dismissed, and Simone Barone doubled Parma's advantage.
David Pizzaro got one back, but forgotten-man Hidetoshi Nakata scored a third for Parma, rendering Marek Jankulovski's late strike a mere consolation.
Reggina got the perfect start in a 3-1 win against Perugia - with David Di Michele scoring inside the opening minute.
Rahman Razaei levelled for the visitors, but goals from Francesco Cozza and Emiliano Bonazzoli secured the points for Reggina.
Finally Empoli and Como played out a 0-0 draw.
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