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FOOTBALL

Vieira scores winner for Juventus

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Vieira's 37th minute goal maintained Juventus' 100 percent start

ROME, Italy -- French midfielder Patrick Vieira scored a 37th minute goal to give Juventus a 1-0 Serie A win at at Udinese, to make it four victories out of four for the champions.

Fabio Capello's team lead by two points from Fiorentina, who won 3-1 at Lecce, and Palermo who beat visiting Reggina 1-0.

AC Milan bounced back from defeat at Sampdoria on Sunday to secure a 2-0 win at home to Lazio.

Milan struck with early goals from European Footballer of the Year Andriy Shevchenko and Brazilian Kaka.

Argentine defender Walter Samuel scored on his league debut for Inter Milan who won 1-0 at Chievo, while Shabani Nonda was on target twice for AS Roma in their 4-1 win at home to Parma.

Vieira stabbed home Alessandro Del Piero's knock-down in the 37th minute but the visitors had to battle hard to hold onto their slender advantage.

Only a superb goalline clearance from Robert Kovac and a splendid reflex save from Christian Abbiati to deny David Di Michele kept the reigning champions' lead intact.

Juventus have 12 points, two more than Palermo and Fiorentina who extended their unbeaten runs with precious victories.

Palermo defeated struggling Reggina 1-0 in Sicily thanks to Christian Terlizzi's fourth goal of the season - an impressive return for a defender - while Fiorentina recovered from a goal down at the break to score three goals in 15 second-half minutes in a 3-1 win at Lecce.

AC Milan, whose ageing defense came under heavy fire from the critics after their defeat at Sampdoria last Sunday, held firm as they returned to winning ways and ended Lazio's unbeaten run with a 2-0 victory.

Troubled coach

Both goals came inside the first 14 minutes with Shevchnko and Kaka on target to take some pressure off the shoulders of troubled coach Carlo Ancelotti.

Milan join Lazio on seven points together with Roma, 4-1 winners over Parma at the Olympic stadium where Congolese striker Nonda netted twice for the 2001 champions.

Empoli got their first points since promotion with a 3-1 win over Cagliari, while Ascoli drew 1-1 with Siena.

Juventus made the breakthrough eight minutes before half-time at the Friuli stadium.

Manuele Blasi's cross from right was headed down by Del Piero into Vieira's path and the France international's outstretched toe flicked the ball past Morgan De Sanctis.

At the San Siro, European Footballer of the Year Shevchenko put Milan in front in the 12th minute, cutting in from the left before burying a powerful right-footed shot inside Matteo Sereni's near post.

The home side increased their lead two minutes later when Christian Vieri's touch did enough to prevent Sereni from easily gathering Andrea Pirlo's cross and the ball ran loose to Brazilian midfielder Kaka for an easy tap-in.

Milan captain Paolo Maldini, who equalled Dino Zoff's record of 570 Serie A appearances at the weekend, was rested and will have to wait until next Sunday's match against Treviso to set a new milestone.

Samuel, who was suspended for Inter's first three league matches, celebrated his return to action by heading in his fellow former Real Madrid team-mate Luis Figo's corner in Verona.

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