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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Papin Sent Off in Milan Victory

ROME -- The first-half dismissal of French striker Jean-Pierre Papin failed to stop champions AC Milan defeating Reggiana 1-0 and increasing its lead in the Italian first division to two points.


Marcel Desailly's 28th-minute goal, his first since joining Milan from Olympic Marseille last November, proved sufficient for the champion to end Reggiana's unbeaten home record, while Papin was sent off after appearing to elbow an opponent in the 37th minute. Milan is assured of finishing the first half of the 34-match campaign on top of the table -- as they have done in the previous two championship-winning seasons.


Newly crowned European footballer of the year Roberto Baggio lead Juventus to its first away win of the season with two goals in a 3-0 win at Udinese.


Sampdoria's Ruud Gullit claimed the first goal of the New Year with a sixth-minute header against Lazio but Giuseppe Signori equalized from the penalty spot in the 38th minute.


In Spain, Deportivo Coruna extended its first division lead to two points after Barcelona crashed 2-0 on Sunday at Sporting Gijon, who move up to third place.


Barcelona was pushed back by a sparkling Sporting side that created more chances than the champion, who once again was also let down by poor finishing.


Dutch coach Johan Cruyff gambled on attack after going 1-0 down to a 33rd-minute header by Abelardo Fernandez, taking off defender Ronald Koeman in the 64th minute for Bulgarian striker Hristo Stoichkov. He also switched two strikers, Quique Esteberanz for Aitor Beguiristain.


But the changes failed to pay off and Barcelona was frequently caught out by Sporting counterattacks that exposed jittery goalkeeper Andoni Zubizarreta, playing his 450th first division game in 14 seasons.


Barcelona pressed hard up front but Sporting made it safe with a well-deserved 75th minute goal by Ivan Miner.


Deportivo drew 0-0 away to Rayo Vallecano in a scrappy game on Saturday, with only a brilliant performance from home team keeper Wilfred denying Coruna a deserved victory.


In Scotland on Saturday, Glasgow Rangers scored twice in the first four minutes of the New Year's Day derby as they crushed arch rivals Glasgow Celtic 4-2 to go top of the premier league.


Alexei Mikhailichenko scored twice and his fellow Ukrainian Oleg Kuznetsov grabbed his first for Rangers as Celtic went 3-0 behind in 38 minutes and lost at home for the first time under manager Lou Macari.