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Manchester CityManchester City
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By ESPN Staff

Controversial goal ends Monaco's run

ROME -- A late goal by striker Antonio Cassano salvaged an unlikely draw for AS Roma in the Rome derby on Saturday after an early strike by Lazio midfielder Dejan Stankovic had appeared to settle the contest.

Earlier a goal in each half by striker Alvaro Recoba gave Inter Milan a 2-1 win at determined 10-man Bologna to keep up the pressure on title rival Juventus.

Inter is level again on 51 points with Juve at the top of Serie A, though the Turin-based side has a game in hand and plays Sunday away to Udinese.

Lazio outclassed its city rival for long periods, dominating midfield and taking the lead in the eighth minute when striker Enrico Chiesa clipped a perfectly-weighted lob over a static defense, leaving Stankovic with only keeper Ivan Pelizzoli to beat.

Roma's chances were limited by suffocating defending by Fernando Couto and Jaap Stam which left Vincenzo Montella isolated for long periods.

In the second half, Roma coach Fabio Capello brought on Marco Delvecchio on the wing and Cassano in place of Montella in an attempt to find a way back into the match.

Captain Francesco Totti and midfielder Emerson missed from close range as time appeared to be running out for Roma.

But in the 89th minute, Cassano rose above Couto to head Cafu's cross past keeper Angelo Peruzzi.

"Obviously, I'm disappointed. We deserved a victory, especially having beaten Wisla (Krakow in the fourth round of the UEFA Cup) during the week. It would have been good for the fans," Lazio coach Roberto Mancini told reporters.

"Roma did very little in front of goal," he added.

"Cassano, though, was fantastic. He took the header well, despite being one of the shortest players on the pitch."

Delvecchio and Stankovic were both red-carded for brawling as tempers flared in added time.

The result has little effect on either side's league position, though it clearly suited Roma's fans more, as they snatched precious points away from a Lazio side pushing for a Champions League berth next season.

Inter coach Hector Cuper left leading Serie A striker Christian Vieri out of his squad in preparation for next week's Champions League clash with Newcastle United, pairing Recoba and Gabriel Batistuta up front.

His decision paid off in the ninth minute when Batistuta was brought down on the edge of the Bologna area and Recoba's looping free kick cannoned in off the post.

Ten minutes later the home side were in even deeper trouble after defender Carlo Nervo was red-carded for a late tackle on Inter's Turkish midfielder Emre Belozoglu.

But despite its numerical advantage, Inter failed to put Bologna under pressure, and in the 24th minute Argentine striker Julio Cruz beat defender Fabio Cannavaro to a high ball in Inter's area, spun and beat keeper Francesco Toldo at his right-hand post to equalize with his ninth goal of the season.

The game then descended into an untidy series of missed chances and mistimed tackles, broken only in the 48th minute when Cruz squeezed ahead of defender Francesco Coco on the right of Inter's area to shoot narrowly wide of Toldo's far post.

With five minutes of normal time remaining, however, Recoba sealed the points.

A punched clearance fell to the Uruguayan international 30 meters out, and he coolly lobbed the keeper to bring Inter level again on points with Juve at the top of Serie A.

France: Girondins Bordeaux stuns Monaco
PARIS -- Striker Jean-Claude Darcheville handed league leader Monaco its first defeat since November when his controversial goal gave Girondins Bordeaux a 1-0 victory over the principality team on Saturday.

Monaco had its 13-match unbeaten run ended as Darcheville lobbed Flavio Roma on 73 minutes, sparking angry reactions from the home side which had stopped playing to let Bordeaux's team doctor come onto the pitch to treat an injured player.

Darcheville took the ball on a solo run down the wing and outpaced three defenders, who thought the referee had stopped play, before netting.

Monaco, which had scored eight goals in its last two games, tried everything to find an equalizer through playmaker Ludovic Giuly and Ligue 1 joint top goalscorer Shabani Nonda.

But Bordeaux, which had not lost away since December, was too solid at the back and also had its share of luck as Monaco youngster Julien Rodriguez hit the post with five minutes to go.

Monaco stays top of the table with 52 points from 30 matches, but Olympique Marseille could overtake it if it beats PSG at the Stade Velodrome on Sunday.

Bordeaux, which looked impressive on Saturday and has won five of its last six games, stay fourth but trail Monaco by just three points with a game in hand at Strasbourg.

Third-place Olympique Lyon narrowed the gap with the leader to just a point after a convincing 3-1 win at home to struggling AC Ajaccio.

Lyon's third win in a row had a distinct Brazilian flavor as midfielder Juninho hit a first-half double against Ajaccio before striker Sonny Anderson, returning after a two-month layoff with a groin injury, struck five minutes from time.

"It was not our best match and we were a little bit lucky as Ajaccio played pretty well tonight," said coach Paul Le Guen.

"But it helps us to keep the leaders in sight and to bounce back in the title race even if Monaco and Marseille are still in front. We still can clinch the title even if it's going to be a tough challenge. We will have to work hard."

Holland: PSV survives tough match against NEC Nijmegen
AMSTERDAM, Holland -- PSV stayed on course for the Dutch first division title after a tough 2-1 win at home to NEC Nijmegen, while Ajax Amsterdam and Feyenoord piled on the goals in easy away victories.

PSV remain seven points clear of second-place Ajax, which strolled to a 5-0 win over lowly Zwolle, while Feyenoord stays four points further adrift following its 6-2 derby win at Excelsior Rotterdam.

Mateja Kezman converted from the penalty spot to put PSV 1-0 up in the 32nd minute before Resit Schuurman pounced on a mistake by goalkeeper Ronald Waterreus to level the scores eight minutes into the second half.

Mark van Bommel then secured PSV's eleventh consecutive win midway through the second half to retain his side's leading margin.

Ajax prepared themselves for its Champions League clash with Valencia on Tuesday with a confidence-boosting 5-0 mauling of Zwolle.

Rafael van der Vaart and Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored two goals each and Zwolle's Albert van der Haar made it five with an own goal.

Feyenoord had an easy night in the Rotterdam derby, hitting six past rival Excelsior.

Thomas Buffel and Pierre van Hooijdonk both scored in each half, while Robin van Persie and Bonaventure Kalou completed the rout. Gil Swerts and Australian Brett Holman got the home side's two consolation goals in the 31st and 86th minutes.

Roda JC Kerkrade dropped three important points in its bid for a European berth next season after losing 1-0 to AZ Alkmaar on Friday. It remains fourth but is equal on points with fifth-place NEC Nijmegen.

NAC Breda moves up two places to seventh, on 33 points, after a 1-0 win over basement club Graafschap Doetinchem, while Twente Enschede claimed its sixth win of the season with a 2-1 victory at Willem II Tilburg.