Napoli, Lazio Close Gap to Serie A Leader AC Milan; Real Madrid Wins Late

Napoli and Lazio narrowed the gap to leader AC Milan with last-gasp victories in Italian soccer’s Serie A, while 10-man Real Madrid won to stay two points behind leader Barcelona in Spain.

Edinson Cavani’s 90th-minute goal gave Napoli a 1-0 home win against Lecce yesterday that lifted it to 33 points, three behind AC Milan, which lost 1-0 to Roma two days ago.

Lazio also has 33 points after an 88th-minute own goal by Udinese’s Christian Zapata completed a 3-2 win. Juventus is two points further back after allowing a 90th-minute tying goal by Sergio Pellissier in a 1-1 draw at Chievo.

Barcelona leads the Spanish standings with 43 points after defeating city rival Espanyol 5-1 two days ago. Angel di Maria got the only goal in the 77th minute last night as Real Madrid beat Sevilla in a match where both teams finished with 10 men.

Real’s Ricardo Carvalho was red-carded after 63 minutes, and Mouhamadou Dabo of Sevilla was sent off in the last minute.

Borussia Dortmund suffered its second league defeat of the German Bundesliga season two days ago, 1-0 at Eintracht Frankfurt. Dortmund leads with 43 points, 10 ahead of Mainz and Bayer Leverkusen.

Lyon missed the chance to go top in France by drawing 1-1 at Marseille. Lille, Paris Saint-Germain and Rennes top the standings with 31 points, one ahead of Lyon.

In the Netherlands, PSV Eindhoven beat Roda JC 3-1 yesterday and leads by four points from FC Twente, whose Dec. 17 game with Heracles Almelo was among European matches that were postponed because of snow and ice. Third-place Ajax, two points further back, had its match against Feyenoord postponed.

WEEKEND RESULTS ==============

Italy: Cesena 1-0 Cagliari; AC Milan 0-1 Roma; Lazio 3-2 Udinese; Bari 1-1 Palermo; Catania 1-0 Brescia; Chievo 1-1 Juventus; Napoli 1-0 Lecce; Parma 0-0 Bologna. Postponed: Sampdoria v Genoa.

Spain: Villarreal 3-1 Real Mallorca; Deportivo La Coruna 1-1 Sporting Gijon; Levante 1-2 Athletic Bilbao; Espanyol 1-5 Barcelona; Real Sociedad 1-2 Valencia; Almeria 2-3 Getafe; Osasuna 0-0 Real Zaragoza; Malaga 0-3 Atletico Madrid; Real Madrid 1-0 Sevilla. Dec. 20: Racing Santander v Hercules.

Germany: Borussia Moenchengladbach 1-2 Hamburg; Werder Bremen 1- 2 Kaiserslautern; Wolfsburg 2-2 Hoffenheim; Eintracht Frankfurt 1-0 Borussia Dortmund; Nuremberg 3-1 Hanover; Schalke 3-0 Cologne; St Pauli 2-4 Mainz; Bayer Leverkusen 2-2 Freiburg; Stuttgart 3-5 Bayern Munich.

France: Montpellier 1-1 Auxerre; Nice 1-1 Brest; PSG 2-2 Monaco; Rennes 1-0 Valenciennes; Sochaux 1-1 Bordeaux; St Etienne 2-0 Arles; Toulouse 3-0 Lorient; Marseille 1-1 Lyon. Postponed: Lens vs Caen, Lille vs Nancy.

Netherlands: Heerenveen 4-0 De Graafschap; NAC Breda 1-1 Vitesse Arnhem; Excelsior Rotterdam 2-2 FC Groningen; Den Haag 2-1 Willem II; PSV Eindhoven 3-1 Roda JC. Postponed: FC Twente v Heracles Almelo; Ajax v Feyenoord; AZ Alkmaar v NEC Nijmegen; VVV-Venlo v FC Utrecht.

To contact the reporter on this story: Peter-Joseph Hegarty in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Elser at

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