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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

'Miracle' Win Puts Sampdoria in Title Hunt

MILAN, Italy -- Sampdoria firmly established itself as an Italian title contender, coming from behind to defeat Milan with 10 men at the San Siro -- a feat Milan president Silvio Berlusconi suggested was a miracle.


"We need to go to Lourdes to win a match like that," the gray-faced former prime minister told reporters.


Berlusconi had just watched his team recover from Roberto Mancini's first-minute opener with two goals from Liberian George Weah, only to lose 3-2 to a side that had goalkeeper Fabrizio Ferron sent off in the first half.


Late goals from Yugoslav Sinisa Mihajlovic and second-half substitute Marco Carparelli, who idolized Milan's great Marco Van Basten as a boy, left Sampdoria just two points behind leader Juventus.


The manner of Milan's eighth defeat of the season further undermined its dwindling reputation as invincible after recent home defeats by Parma and Norwegian side Rosenborg.


The crisis-hit side missed a host of gilt-edged opportunities as it dropped to seventh from bottom in the table.


"We must remain calm and try to bring the best out of our class players," said former Italy coach Arrigo Sacchi, who has now lost four league matches since leaving the national side to coach Milan in December.


Juventus' march toward the serie A title hit a pothole Sunday when lowly Cagliari held it 0-0.


Juventus, whose Uruguayan defender Paolo Montero was sent off in the 34th minute, now has 37 points from 19 matches. It is followed by Sampdoria and Bologna, who thrashed Verona 6-1, to move to 31 points.


The world club champions created few chances and were lucky to come away with a point after Montero was sent packing for a violent tackle on striker Roberto Muzzi and Cagliari came close on several occasions.


Two brilliant free-kicks by midfielder Cristiano Scapolo led Bologna's 6-1 rout of Verona, which appears likely to make an immediate return to serie B despite defeating Milan 3-1 last week.


Sweden's Kennet Andersson and Russia's Igor Shalimov also added goals as Bologna coach Renzo Ulivieri celebrated his 57th birthday.


Parma, 2-1 losers at Napoli last Sunday, bounced back as Enrico Chiesa scored in a 1-0 win over Piacenza that put it level on points with Inter Milan, held 0-0 at Perugia, and Vicenza.


Chiesa's goal was perhaps the most impressive of the day -- an acrobatic 57th minute volley from a Dino Baggio cross that left goalkeeper Massimo Taibi helpless. Dino Zoff, who replaced Czech Zdenek Zeman as Lazio's coach Monday, celebrated a victorious debut in his native Friuli as striker Giuseppe Signori scored twice to lead the Rome club to a 3-2 win at Udinese.


(For other results, see Scorecard.)