Inter Milan beat Catania to retain Serie A lead

October 25th, 2009 - 4:32 pm ICT by IANS  

Rome, Oct 25 (DPA) Title holders Inter Milan beat visiting Catania 2-1 to remain atop the Serie A with a two-point lead on Sampdoria.
Ghana’s Sulley Muntari and Dutchman Wesley Sneijder sealed Inter’s win late Saturday after Samp hammered 10-man guests Bologna 4-1 through goals from Giampaolo Pazzini, Reto Ziegler and a Daniele Mannini brace.

The Genoa side had notched only two points from the last two games after a 1-0 win over Inter and trail now on 20 points from nine games.

At the Giuseppe Meazza, Catania tried to start off with aggressive midfield tactics, but fell behind after 13 minutes largely due to a blunder from Andrea Campagnolo.

The goalkeeper remained static on the goal line when a cross from Muntari bounced in the area and inflated the net as Cameroon star Samuel Eto’o missed the deflection by a hairsbreadth.

A first telling action for Catania on 20 minutes was a long-range drive from Argentine Ezequiel Carboni that Julio Cesar deflected by his right post.

Inter remained firmly in control and were far more threatening on 28 minutes with a smashing shot that Patrick Vieira slammed against the bar.

The second goal that secured Inter’s win came three minutes later from a free kick that Sneijder curled into the upper left corner with Campagnolo barely able to scrape the ball with his fingertips.

Catania pulled one back with seven minutes left as Giuseppe Mascara, who came on in the second half, converted a spot kick after Julio Cesar floored Gianvito Plasmati, also a substitute.

Other second-half thrills were a Campagnolo save on a high header from Eto’o as the striker tried to tap in a deflection and a dithering clearance from Brazilian Lucio before Julio Cesar, who then blocked an angled effort from Plasmati.

Eto’o tried his luck with a late free kick flew high above the upper right corner.

The joint-third Juventus and Fiorentina Sunday look to reduce a seven-point gap when they play away to Siena and at home to Napoli, respectively.

A mid-week round pits Juve against Samp, while Inter welcome Palermo and Fiorentina visit Genoa.

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