Inter Milan maintain lead over Juventus in Serie A

March 16th, 2009 - 2:20 pm ICT by IANS  

AC Milan Rome, March 16 (DPA) Inter Milan’s seven-point lead on Juventus remained unchanged as a Zlatan Ibrahimovic brace helped them beat guests Fiorentina 2-0 in a late home game that closed football’s Serie A weekend.
Fiorentina had a bold start at the Giuseppe Meazza Sunday and missed a great chance in the 10th minute when Adriano Mutu failed to put the final touch on a piercing counter attack led by his striking mate Alberto Gilardino.

It was a mistake the Florence guests paid dearly for one minute later as an unlucky clearance from their goalkeeper Sebastien Frey set up Ibrahimovic for an easy close-range header.

Fiorentina’s reaction took the shape of a break from Gilardino that Julio Cesar blocked with some difficulty in the 14 minute. The Brazilian goalkeeper had no problems on further efforts from compatriot Felipe Melo and Gilardino.

Inter’s only other attempt in the first half was a wide drive from Dejan Stankovic, while Dane Martin Jorgensen also missed for the guests before the break.

There was more precision in Riccardo Montolivo’s shot that Cesar deflected in the 52nd minute, 10 before Mutu missed another good chance firing wide before the goalkeeper.

A smashing free kick from Ibra set the score on 2-0 in injury time and pushed the Swede on to 17 goals, two less that Bologna’s Marco Di Vaio.

In earlier Sunday action, Roma stumbled in their pursuit of a Champions League berth as they drew 2-2 at Sampdoria in a tense game they closed with 10 men on the pitch.

The Rome side are two points shy of fourth place occupied by Genoa after a 1-0 win clinched Saturday away to 10-man Cagliari, while AC Milan remain third in the Serie A after crushing Siena 5-1 through braces from Filippo Inzaghi and Brazil’s Pato.

Palermo delighted their home crowd with a 5-2 win over Lecce, who had Simone Tiribocchi twice on target, but found no improvement from the arrival of new coach Luigi De Canio.

Uruguay’s Edison Cavani scored a brace for the Sicily hosts, while Atalanta’s Sergio Floccari also hit twice in a 2-0 win over troubled Torino.

Napoli drew 1-1 at bottom side Reggina in the debut game of their new coach Roberto Donadoni; Udinese and Catania also drew 1-1; and lowly Chievo won 3-0 at Lazio, with Sergio Pellissier scoring a further brace in a goal-rich weekend.

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