Five-goal Inter keep hopes alive as Lazio crash
Inter crushed Parma 5-0 at the San Siro last night to keep their Serie A title hopes alive while Lazio’s championship challenge took a hit when they crashed 4-0 to a vibrant and adventurous Siena.
Inter moved to within a point of Lazio, one place above them, having hit nine goals in their last two games. They have won seven of their last eight league matches.
It was also the third time this season that Parma have been thrashed by one of the big teams, having previously lost 4-1 to both Juventus and Milan.
Diego Milito scored a brace for Inter while he also had a hand in goals by Thiago Motta and Giampaolo Pazzini before youngster Marco Faraoni scored his first goal in Serie A late on.
Milito darted across his marker to flick home Ricardo Alvarez’s left-wing cross at the near post after 13 minutes.
His deflected shot then dropped to Thiago Motta 20 yards out five minutes later and the Brazilian-born international lashed home a low drive.
Former Inter forward Jonathan Biabiany created a pair of chances for Parma with fine crosses from the right but Sebastian Giovinco and Francesco Modesto each failed to hit the target.
Maicon crossed from the right four minutes before the break and Milito headed home to kill the game.
Milito then slipped in Pazzini on 56 minutes to clip home before 20-year-old Faraoni put the icing on the cake with a stunning volley that dipped over goalkeeper Antonio Mirante on 79 minutes.
In Siena, Mattia Destro scored a brace for the hosts and Emanuele Calaio added two penalties while the visitors had goalkeeper Albano Bizzarri sent off at the end of the first half.
The victory moved Siena up to mid-table while Lazio could drop to seven points off the leaders if either AC Milan or Juventus win today.
Lazio coach Edy Reja felt so embarrassed by his team’s performance that he apologised.
“That was the worst performance since I came to Lazio,” he said.
“I want to say sorry to the fans and I take full responsibility. That today wasn’t the same team that played very differently for the first half of the season.”
Siena coach Giuseppe Sannino suggested Lazio’s players still thought they were on holiday.
“Maybe Lazio weren’t yet ready after the (winter) break. I’m not saying they made things easy but almost,” he said.
Destro 11, 81; Calaio 35p, 45p;
HT: 3-0. Att: 10,270.
Red card: Bizzarri (L) 45.
Milito 13, 41; Motta 18; Pazzini 56; Faraoni 79;
HT: 3-0. Att: 37,326.
Playing today – 15.00
Atalanta vs Milan
Bologna vs Catania
Cagliari vs Genoa
Lecce vs Juventus
Novara vs Fiorentina
Palermo vs Napoli - 20.45
Roma vs Chievo
Udinese vs Cesena
Saturday: 20.45 Catania vs Roma.
Sunday: 12.30 Lazio vs Atalanta. 15.00 Cesena vs Novara; Chievo vs Palermo; Fiorentina vs Lecce; Genoa vs Udinese; Juve vs Cagliari; Parma vs Siena. 20.45 Milan vs Inter.
Monday, Jan. 16: 20.45 Napoli vs Bologna.
12 goals: Denis (Atalanta).
11 goals: Ibrahimovic (Milan).
10 goals: Di Natale (Udinese).
9 goals: Cavani (Napoli).
8 goals: Klose (Lazio), Milito (Inter).