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Serie A referees under fire

30 October 2012-DPA

Italian football lovers hope for better performances from game officials after several questionable calls took centre stage in Serie A on the weekend.

Comments on Monday showed little interest for a midweek round of games, focussing instead on complaints from clubs and fans who felt betrayed by referees.

Bitter protests came from Catania about a goal disallowed by a dubious offside call before leader Juventus secured a 1-0 win.

Roma also grumbled after Udinese rallied to win 3-2 thanks to a debatable penalty, and Lazio complained about having two players dismissed and conceding a controversial goal as Fiorentina beat it 2-0.

"(Sunday) was an unlucky day for referees," Roma coach Zdenek Zeman said. "It is often said that they cannot decide a result, but I think they can."

Officiating does not seem to have improved since the Serie A this season added two officials behind the goal lines. Referees keep being accused of 'psychological subjection' if not of open favouritism toward big teams.

Massimo Mauro, a former Juventus player writing for La Repubblica, backed the suspicion with a headline reading 'Too many referee errors, it is always the small clubs who suffer'.

The champion from Turin, meanwhile, stayed unbeaten as it notched an eighth win from nine games and leads on 25 points before Wednesday evening's (Thursday morning AEDT) home game to Bologna.

Napoli also won 1-0, at home against Chievo, and stayed three points from Juve ahead of a visit to Atalanta.

A fifth straight win, 3-1 over Bologna, kept Inter Milan four points from the top. The Nerazzurri is at home to Sampdoria, but must already be looking ahead to this weekend, when it visits the front-runner at the Juventus Stadium.

Lazio slipped three points behind Inter and looks to rebound as it welcomes promoted Torino.

Roma plays at Parma, Udinese hosts Catania, Cagliari takes on Siena and Chievo plays against Pescara.

Beleaguered giant AC Milan beat Genoa 1-0 after two defeats and travels to Palermo, while Genoa takes on Fiorentina.

Keeping the faith ... Roma coach Rudi Garcia (Getty)

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