Inter Milan regain four-point lead over Roma

April 14th, 2008 - 2:56 pm ICT by admin  

Milan, April 14 (DPA) Italian football’s Serie A leaders Inter Milan restored a four-point lead over Roma through a convincing 2-0 win late Sunday over visiting Fiorentina. Second-half goals from Esteban Cambiasso and young Mario Balotelli sealed the win, pushing Inter to 75 points and marked a sharp improvement after some poor recent showings by the title-holders.

With five games left, Roma saw their title hopes weakened despite a 3-1 away win over Udinese earlier Sunday, while Fiorentina held on to the fourth place, thereby sealing the last available Champions League berth.

At the Giuseppe Meazza, Inter reacted to the Florence guests’ brisk start with a dangerous drive by Patrick Vieira that Czech defender Tomas Ujfalusi managed to deflect.

The tall French midfielder came close again on the 19th minute with a header deflected by custodian Sebastien Frey as Inter’s thrust yielded them four consecutive corner kicks.

Giampaolo Pazzini and Adrian Mutu allayed Inter’s pressure with two high drives, while Zdravko Kuzmanovic had a break blocked, before goalkeeper Julio Cesar blocked Mutu’s dangerous spurt on the 22ed minute.

As Inter resumed their attacks, the French custodian dove to slap wide a fast Javier Zanetti drive on 33rd minute, closely followed by a header and a drive from striker Julio Cruz.

The Argentine forward forced last saves before the break on the 42nd minute, when Frey was once again ready to slap above the bar despite a bad blow suffered in his thigh earlier in the game.

Inter resumed their pressing after the break and were rewarded on the 55th minute as Argentina’s Cambiasso fired home a low ball squared by Vieira after a hammering action on the right flank.

A Cruz assist on the 62nd minute sent away the 18-year-old Balotelli, who was flawless in laying the ball past the onrushing Frey.

In earlier action, Mirko Vucinic, Rodrigo Taddei and Ludovic Giuly reversed Udinese’s lead from Antonio Di Natale in a tense game that helped Roma overcome a mid-week elimination from the Champions League.

Juventus trail Roma by 10 points despite edging AC Milan 3-2 late Saturday, after Palermo beat Catania 1-0 in a Sicily derby.

In other Sunday matches, Genoa crushed Torino 3-0, with Marco Borriello taking his goals tally to 19, Napoli won 2-0 over Atalanta, and Lazio drew 1-1 with Siena.

Struggling Reggina stunned Sampdoria 1-0, Empoli and Parma drew 1-1 in a relegation showdown, and a brace from Robert Acquafresca helped Cagliari won 2-1 at Livorno, who are now the league’s bottom side.

Related Stories

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in World |