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Late own goal puts Milan top of Serie A

  • Story Highlights
  • AC Milan go top of Serie A for the first time this season after a late own-goal
  • Milan defeat Napoli 1-0 after Ronaldinho's free-kick deflects off German Denis
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(CNN) -- AC Milan went top of Serie A for the first time this season after a late own-goal by Argentine forward German Denis gave them a 1-0 victory over 10-man Napoli at the San Siro on Sunday.

Ronaldinho's free-kick was deflected past Napoli goalkeeper Gennaro Iezzo by forward German Denis.

The defeat was harsh on visitors Napoli who had Cristian Maggio dismissed and deserved more for a performance full of heart and belief.

Napoli forward Ezequiel Lavezzi had the best chances in the first period but his fierce left-foot drive on 25 minutes was saved by Milan goalkeeper Christian Abbiati.

Napoli's hopes suffered a massive blow just before the break, though, when Maggio was sent off for a second booking.

As expected Milan dominated the play after the break and Marco Borriello twice came close in quick succession before world player of the year Kaka shuddered the post with a rasping shot on 72 minutes.

And moments later substitute Alexandre Pato missed a header from four meters out after he was left completely unmarked at a free-kick.

The hosts were piling on the pressure and a deflected shot from Kaka just missed the far post.

Then, six minutes from time, Milan were awarded a controversial penalty for handball against Napoli's Michele Pazienza that appeared outside the area and totally involuntary from a ball fired at him from close-range. However, justice was done as Gennaro Iezzo brillaintly saved Kaka's penalty.

But only a minute later Denis flicked a Ronaldinho free-kick past Iezzo to break Neapolitan hearts.

Udinese are a point behind in second after fighting back for a 2-2 draw at home to Genoa while Inter Milan, who beat Reggina 3-2 on Saturday, are third with Napoli dropping to fourth.

In Udine, the hosts got off to a great start after just four minutes as Gaetano D'Agostino scored from the spot following a foul by Domencio Criscito on Antonio Floro Flores.

Genoa were level on 64 minutes when Diego Milito scored from the spot after a soft penalty given against Aleksander Lukovic when he tangled with Anthony Vanden Borre. Three minutes later a classy finish by substitute Giuseppe Sculli put the visitors in front.

But Italy striker Fabio Quagliarella restored parity by flicking home a cross from international team-mate Simone Pepe.

In other games Fiorentina failed to move into the top three as they lost 1-0 at Siena.

Siena's Liechtenstein forward Mario Frick had already hit the post with the goal gaping before Moroccan Houssine Kharja sealed the three points 14 minutes from time.

Lazio are just two points off top in fourth now after they beat Catania 1-0 at home courtesy of a Pasquale Foggia strike five minutes from time.

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