Inter Milan leave Juventus three points behind

January 26th, 2009 - 2:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Rome, Jan 26 (DPA) A goal from Brazilian Adriano helped Inter Milan move three points clear of Juventus atop the Italian Serie A football tournament through a 1-0 late win over Sampdoria.Adriano scored the winner Sunday in the 45th minute after playing a fairly indifferent first half upfront, with compatriot Mancini filling in as supporting striker for suspended Swedish star Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Inter, now on 46 points from 20 games, tried their usual aggressive start but gradually lost steam against the defence-geared visitors from Genoa, who missed their flag-bearing playmaker Antonio Cassano.

A harmless central header from Walter Samuel forced the only save from Samp goalkeeper Luca Castellazzi before Adriano’s goal in a dull first half that enraged Inter coach Jose Mourinho to the point of insulting the referee and being dismissed on 40 minutes.

The reigning champions stepped up their tempo before the break and were rewarded when Brazilian Douglas Maicon crossed from the right flank, finding his compatriot for a close-range deflection by the far post.

There was no telling reaction from the guests after the break, as Inter controlled the game and came close when Serb Dejan Stankovic had a fast, low drive saved and shook the bar from the distance before Ghana’s Sulley Muntari also had a drive saved.

In earlier action, AC Milan came from behind to enjoy a 4-1 win against 10-man Bologna as Roma also clinched an away win, crushing Napoli 3-0. Juventus beat Fiorentina 1-0 Saturday for a tally of 43 points.

Cagliari fell behind but bounced back and stunned hosting Lazio 4-1 as a brace from Brazilian Jeda was followed by goals from Robert Acquafresca and Alessandro Matri.

Genoa were one man down as they drew 1-1 at home with Catania, Siena edged Atalanta 1-0, Palermo beat Udinese 3-2, and Lecce and Torino drew 3-3 in the lower reaches, where Chievo are also mired after beating tail-enders Reggina 1-0 on Saturday.

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