Inter slow down march towards Serie A title

May 11th, 2009 - 3:00 pm ICT by IANS  

AC Milan Rome, May 11 (DPA) Inter Milan slowed down their march towards a fourth straight Serie A football title Sunday as hosting Chievo levelled goals from Hernan Crespo and Mario Balotelli in an intense 2-2 draw.
With three games left in the Italian Serie A, Inter have now a seven-point lead over AC Milan, who had defender Giuseppe Favalli dismissed late in a 1-1 draw with third-place guests Juventus.

The late big match at the Giuseppe Meazza in the second half saw Vincenzo Iaquinta’s diving header level a counter-attack flick from Milan’s Dutch veteran Clarence Seedorf.

Earlier Sunday, Inter missed the suspended Swedish star Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but scored very early in the game through his Argentine substitute Hernan Crespo.

The Argentine forward in the third minute flicked home the first ball he touched after goalkeeper Stefano Sorrentino failed to grab a fast drive from Esteban Cambiasso.

It was not to be an easy game for Inter despite the early lead as the Verona hosts showed no respect and pressed forward until they levelled in the 27th minute through a smashing drive from Michele Marcolini.

Inter’s defence seemed to nap as the midfielder had the leisure to control the ball outside the area and shoot it into the corner to Julio Cesar’s left.

Increasing pressure from Inter was rewarded in the 65th minute, when the young Balotelli put his side ahead again, letting the ball bounce on the turf before slamming an impressive volley under the bar.

The undaunted hosts clinched a second equaliser in the 73rd minute through a precise low volley from Brazilian midfielder Luciano.

Fourth place and a last available Champions League are currently in the hands of Fiorentina after their 2-0 win at Catania, while Genoa drew 1-1 at 10-man Atalanta and lie now three points adrift from the Florence side.

Cagliari and Roma drew 2-2, Siena beat Palermo 1-0 and Torino remained one point above the three-team drop zone after drawing 1-1 with Bologna, who lie above Lecce and tail-enders Reggina.

Bologna remain mired in the lower reaches despite the 22 goals by league top scorer Marco Di Vaio, who levelled from the spot a previous penalty converted by Alessandro Rosina.

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