Inter Milan stretch lead atop Serie A

April 21st, 2008 - 1:49 pm ICT by admin  

Milan, April 21 (DPA) Serie A leaders Inter Milan took home a precious 1-0 win at Torino to move six points clear of second-place Roma with four games left. Inter missed injured top striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic but took the lead through Argentina’s Julio Cruz, who stunned the hosts after their brisk but fruitless start at rain-drenched Stadio Olimpico late Sunday.

Two drives from Torino’s inspired captain Alessandro Rosina and one from striker Roberto Stellone flew wide by few centimetres early in the game, as Inter struggled to defend their left flank.

Defender Marco Di Loreto also worried Inter goalkeeper Julio Cesar with a wide header before Cruz did much better on 30 minutes, nodding home a corner kick between two unreactive defenders.

Three minutes later, Inter came close to doubling their lead when Mario Balotelli fired a long-range volley against the post.

Inter relied on their counterattacks after the break as Torino kept up a pressure that yielded them a single telling chance when substitute Nicola Ventola had a close-range effort blocked by Julio Cesar.

A good chance went begging for Inter in the dying minutes as Brazilian Cesar missed an easy header off a cross from his compatriot Douglas Maicon.

Torino this week welcomed new coach Gianni De Biasi as they try to steer clear of a drop zone that begins just four points below them.

In earlier action, third-place Juventus hammered Atalanta 4-0 through a hat trick from Alessandro Del Piero, all but securing their participation in the next Champions League.

Fiorentina hold the fourth available berth for the continental tournament after beating Palermo 1-0 Saturday, while AC Milan and Sampdoria still nourish hopes despite a four-point deficit.

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