Inter keep Juve in sight with fourth straight win
Inter maintained their pursuit of Serie A leaders Juventus with a 2-0 win over Catania as Fiorentina lost ground after being held to a 1-1 draw at Chievo yesterday.
Inter’s fourth win on the trot came thanks to goals from Antonio Cassano and Argentina international Rodrigo Palacio and leaves Andrea Stramaccioni’s side in fourth place only four points behind leaders Juventus.
Champions Juve took sole lead of the title race on Saturday when goals from second-half substitutes Juan Caceres and Paul Pogba secured a 2-0 home win over Napoli and left Walter Mazzarri’s side in second, three points adrift.
Juventus, now on 22 points, remain the only unbeaten team in the league.
Lazio, meanwhile, maintained their early-season charge with a 3-2 win over embattled Milan on Saturday that left the Rome-based side third, four points behind Juve.
Milan’s fifth defeat in eight games is unlikely to lead to the sacking of coach Massimiliano Allegri.
However, the club have reacted to Saturday’s reverse – at one point Lazio were leading 3-0 until goals from Nigel De Jong and Stephan El Shaarawy reduced arrears – by ordering the players to a week-long training camp.
The Rossoneri squad will meet at Milanello outside Milan for training today before flying out to Spain tomorrow for their Champions League Group C fixture against Malaga a day later.
They will then return to Milanello to prepare for Saturday’s visit of Genoa.
San Siro neighbours Inter have no such problems so far.
Fresh from a 1-0 victory in the Milan derby last week, Stramaccioni sent out his “dream trio”, as he likes to call Diego Milito, Palacio and Cassano, for their home fixture against Catania.
In 30 previous encounters Catania had registered only five wins to 21 for their hosts.
And win number 22 looked on the cards when Cassano, who has recently been left on the sidelines by Italy coach Cesare Prandelli, headed the ball between the legs of ‘keeper Mariano Andujar to give Inter a 28th-minute lead.
Although Milito has yet to score this month, the Argentine initiated the move which led to Cassano’s goal and provided the assist for Palacio to open his Inter account in the 85th minute.
Fiorentina spurned the chance to keep tighter tabs on Inter when they had to settle for a share of the points in Chievo.
French striker Cyril Thereau hit a low angled shot past Emiliano Viviano in the Fiorentina net in the 17th minute to give his Verona-based side the lead.
But the visitors levelled only a minute later when Argentine defender Guillermo Rodriguez pounced to beat Stefano Sorrentino after a corner.
Fiorentina were last night overtaken in the standings by Roma who hit back from two goals down to beat Genoa 4-2 away.
Cigarini 62; Bonaventura 82;
HT: 0-0. Att: 18,344.
Red card: Carmona (A) 64.
HT: 0-0. Att: 10,000.
HT: 1-1. Att: 12,000.
Cassano 28; Palacio 85;
HT: 1-0. Att: 48,708.
Kucka 7; Jankovic 15;
Totti 27; Osvaldo 44, 55; Lamela 83;
HT: 2-2. Att: 25,000.
Amauri 36 pen, 53;
Eder 81 pen;
HT: 1-0. Att: 15,023.
Red card: Romero (S) 34.
HT: 0-0. Att: 13,000.
Red card: Danilo (U) 30.
Saturday: 18.00 Siena vs Palermo. 20.45 Milan vs Genoa.
Sunday: 12.30 Catania vs Juventus. 15.00 Bologna vs Inter; Fiorentina vs Lazio; Pescara vs Atalanta; Sampdoria vs Cagliari; Torino vs Parma. 20.45 Napoli vs Chievo; Roma vs Udinese.
6 goals: Cavani (Napoli), Klose (Lazio).
5 goals: Gilardino (Bologna), Jovetic (Fiorentina), Hernanes (Lazio), El Shaarawy (Milan), Cassano (Inter), Osvaldo (Roma).
4 goals: Bianchi (Torino).
Prima Divisione ‘A’
Carpi vs Lumezzane 1-0; Como vs Pavia 1-2; Cuneo vs Portogruaro 0-1; Reggiana vs AlbinoLeffe 1-1; Treviso vs SudTirol 1-3; Tritium vs FeralpiSalo 0-1; Entella vs Cremonese 0-0.
Standings: Lecce 19; Entella, Carpi 14; SudTirol, Portogruaro 13; Como 11; Trapani, Pavia, Lumezzane, Cremonese 10; FeralpiSalo 9; Reggiana, San Marino 7; Cuneo 5; Tritium 3; Treviso 1; AlbinoLeffe -1.