MILAN: Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi is in the clear twice this weekend. First a court cleared him in a bribery case then his club, despite being held amid controversy at home by Juventus, remained clear at the top of Italy’s Serie A.
Antonio Nocerino gave Milan a 14th-minute lead then Sulley Muntari thought he had headed a second goal soon after. TV replays clearly showing the ball had gone over the line before keeper Gianluigi Buffon clawed it away, but play was waved on.
Buffon said later: “I couldn’t have helped the referee either way. I’ve no idea whether the ball was over the line or not.”
Juve capitalised to level in the 83rd minute when substitute Alessandro Matri volleyed home from close range just after he had a goal disallowed in another refereeing controversy.
Milan thus stayed one point clear of Juve who have a game in hand. Ex-England manager Fabio Capello was in the crowd at the Stadio Meazza who saw Juve finish with 10 men after having Arturo Vidal sent off after 89 minutes.
Earlier in the day Berlusconi’s latest corruption trial had with a court ruling that the statute of limitations had run out, handing the former Prime Minister another judicial victory.
Berlusconi, who stepped down in November amid the euro debt crisis, had been accused of paying British lawyer David Mills $600,000 to lie during two 1990s trials to protect the politician and his Fininvest holding company from charges related to offshore companies Mills helped set up.
Later, at the Milan game, Berlusconi told journalists that it was “half justice.” He had wanted a full acquittal.
In France Paris Saint-Germain needed a last-minute goal from Guillerme Hoarou to snatch a dramatic 4-4 draw away to Lyon, allowing Montpellier to take over at the top courtesy of their 1-0 win over Bordeaux.
Bundesliga action in Germany saw Lars Bender score twice as Bayer Leverkusen beat Koln 2-0 to move up to fifth place and gain some consolation in the wake of their 3-1 home defeat by Barcelona in the Champions League. Leverkusen had won only two of their previous seven games.