Delio Rossi and Fiorentina don’t usually make the headlines, especially with Juventus and AC Milan in action at the same time, but the ex-Fiorentina head coach choking his own player, Adem Ljalic, made its way to the top of the news column despite Milan moving to only one point behind Juventus in the title race.

Juventus have won their last 8 matches leading into their home clash against Lecce, ranked 18th in the league. They’ve also conceded only one goal in those 8 consecutive wins, regaining the top spot in Italy, opening a 3 point lead of AC Milan. No one expected something to go wrong against Lecce. The days of the silly draws against inferior teams were over, right?

If there’s one player you’re supposed to rely on to not make mistakes is Gianluigi Buffon, but even he faltered, making a careless stop of the ball instead of clearing it with one touch, not seeing the awaiting Andre Bertolacci who stole the ball and scored the stunning equalizer in the 44th minute. Lecce were with 10 men. It was their only shot at goal. That’s how big Juve’s mess up last night in their home stadium. Still undefeated, but it was their 15th draw of the season, 6th at home. All of these draws came against teams not even remotely close to the top of the table.

Juve lost their urgency in the second half. They were playing great during the first half, with Andrea Pirlo simply fantastic in his distributing, creating chance after chance. But they took it down a notch in the second half, got too relaxed. They’re still in control, but a visit to Cagliari is never easy. Things got complicated for no good reason.

AC Milan made the most of the gift they received, beating Atlanata 2-0. Sulley Muntari, turning out to be a brilliant signing, scored the opening goal. Robinho, not disappointing for once, scored the goal in the 90th minute. Now there’s the derby, which Milan lost the last time they met with Inter. Novara wait on the last day.

But above all was the zaniness of Delio Rossi, who couldn’t last the whole season in Florence. Down 2-0 before half time, Rossi took out Adem Ljalic in the 32nd minute. Ljalic sarcastically applauded Rossi’s decision, giving him a thumbs up from the dugout. Rossi simply launched himself at the Serbian, beginning to choke him. Today Fiorentina announced that Rossi was fired for what had to be the most insane piece of footage this season in Italy.

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