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Roma, Milan leapfrog Juve at top

Making his point. Shevchenko's goals for Milan are proving crucial this season.
Making his point. Shevchenko's goals for Milan are proving crucial this season.

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ROME, Italy (Reuters) -- AS Roma and AC Milan leapfrogged Juventus to the top of Serie A on Sunday with comfortable wins over Lecce and Modena respectively.

The victories lifted the two clubs to joint top on 27 points, one ahead of reigning Italian champions Juve, who suffered their first defeat of the season on Saturday, when they lost 3-1 at home to Inter Milan.

Milan striker Andriy Shevchenko continued his stunning recent form, scoring both of his side's goals in the 2-0 victory.

It brings his tally in Serie A this season to 12 in 11 matches.

Having guided Milan into the knockout rounds of the Champions League with a midweek winner against Ajax, the Ukraine international needed only 23 minutes before chesting down a loose ball in Modena's area and firing low into the net.

The visitors pushed forward after the interval, but in the 67th minute Shevchenko doubled Milan's advantage, latching on to a Rui Costa pass and slipping the ball past keeper Marco Ballotta.

Meanwhile, at Rome's Olympic Stadium the home team clinically dismantled Lecce's defences 3-1 to record their fourth win in a row.

Brazilian midfielder Mancini gave Roma the lead in the 18th minute, blasting Antonio Cassano's lay-off into the bottom of the net, and big Norwegian striker John Carew muscled through to add a second just before halftime.

Francesco Totti wrapped up the result in the 78th minute with a sliding finish, before Ernesto Chevanton scored a consolation goal just before the whistle.

Elsewhere, Parma overpowered Chievo Verona 3-1 with goals by midfielders Domenico Morfeo and Marco Marchionni and an 80th-minute penalty converted by Italian Under-21 international Alberto Gilardino.

The result lifted Parma above Lazio to fifth overall.

Promoted Sampdoria continued to progress up the standings with their third win in four games -- a 2-0 defeat of bottom-placed Ancona -- to rise to seventh.

Perugia, however, remain winless this season. The Umbrian side came from behind in their game against Empoli to draw 1-1, but failed to convert a first-half penalty.

Copyright 2003 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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