Inter Milan hammer Roma to clinch Serie A lead

October 20th, 2008 - 1:51 pm ICT by IANS  

Milan, Oct 20 (DPA) Title holders Inter Milan flexed their muscles to seize the lead in the Serie A as a brace from Zlatan Ibrahimovic triggered a 4-0 crushing of Roma.Inter closed the league’s seventh round late Sunday at the top with 16 points, two ahead of Udinese, Catania and Napoli, and three more than Lazio, AC Milan, Fiorentina and Atalanta.

Roma remained in trouble on seven points after their fourth defeat despite the return of captain Francesco Totti, and suffered in defence as they missed the suspended defenders Philippe Mexes and Christian Panucci.

The Rome crowd cheered Roma as they brought the first threat with a John Riise drive after five minutes, but were stunned a few seconds later as Ibrahimovic finished off a counter attack aiming a precise lob past Alexader Doni.

Brazil defender Douglas Maicon squandered an incredible close-range chance in the 14th minute as he added the final touch to another fast counter attack.

A drive from Roma international Daniele De Rossi flew wide before Doni saved a shot from Ricardo Quaresma in the 22nd minute. Roma came very close before the break as Mirko Vucinic failed to head home a sweet cross volleyed by Totti.

Roma’s expected pressing in the second half was thwarted after just two minutes as Simone Loria missed a clearance and set up Ibra to score his second goal with a deadly break into the area.

Two chances to pull one back went begging for Roma when Cicinho had a shot saved and failed to nod in the rebound, and Alberto Aquilani also saw Julio Cesar save his effort in the 51st minute.

The hosts, however, had to throw in the towel in the next five minutes, when smashing drives from Dejan Stankovic and Nigerian Victor Obinna sealed Inter’s win and set a 13-5 goal difference.

Maicon came close again nodding against the post on 72 minutes and his Brazilian compatriot Julio Cesar deflected a fierce free kick from Riise four minutes later.

“I’m just trying to score as always,” Ibrahimovic said. “It was a very important brace for me and for the team. We had room to play. Roma played well but we scored some great goals.”

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