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Inter scrape past Palermo as Napoli crush Pescara

Inter’s Walter Gargano closely shadows Santiago Garcia, of Palermo.

Inter’s Walter Gargano closely shadows Santiago Garcia, of Palermo.

An own goal from Palermo defender Santiago Garcia saved Inter’s blushes in a narrow 1-0 win over the Sicilians at the San Siro yesterday, while Napoli kept up the pressure on leaders Juventus with a comfortable victory over Pescara.

Inter manager Andrea Stramaccioni had called on his side to relaunch their campaign after some recent jitters and the pressure was on the hosts after Napoli had cemented second place earlier with a 5-1 rout of Pescara.

Despite creating a number of scoring chances the Nerazzurri failed to find a way through the visitors’ defence until Garcia stuck his leg out and deflected Andrea Ranocchia’s cross past his own keeper in the 74th minute.

“We weren’t at our best but the team were persistent and kept plugging away,” said Stramaccioni, who explained why he did not field Dutch midfielder Wesley Sneijder as indicated on Saturday.

“There are players in better form than him (Sneijder) and it’s my job to put the best team together.”

After their 10th win in 15 games Inter remain third on 31 points, two shy of Napoli and four adrift of Juventus.

Palermo slipped to fourth from bottom and coach Gian Piero Gasperini, who lasted only five games before being sacked as Inter coach last season, said: “We gifted them the goal. It’s a pity because we had a decent game.”

In the day’s early kick-off a brace apiece from Gokhan Inler and Edinson Cavani helped Napoli demolish basement side Pescara to keep them second behind champions and leaders Juventus.

Napoli’s 10th win of the season put Walter Mazzarri’s side on 33 points, two adrift of Juventus who routed 10-man Torino 3-0 in the derby on Saturday.

Swiss midfielder Inler started the rout with a ninth-minute strike from the edge of the area and midfielder Marek Hamsik doubled Napoli’s lead after some fine control in a crowded box to score from close range on the quarter hour.

Napoli were pegged back a few minutes later when Icelander Birkir Bjarnason rose to meet a cross from the right to beat Morgan De Sanctis with a glancing header.

On the restart, Cavani was fouled as he danced around the Pescara defence just before the hour and stepped up to convert the spotkick. He added his second five minutes later following a Hamsik delivery

Lazio’s 2-1 win over Parma moved the Biancocelesti up to fifth. Biava Giuseppe opened his account for Lazio from close range and Miroslav Klose squeezed their second through the legs of onrushing keeper Antonio Mirante.

Parma were awarded a penalty just after the hour mark and Ishak Belfodil needed two attempts before beating Lazio’s Albano Bizzarri.

However Lazio held on for a ninth win of the season.

An improved second-half performance which included a brace from Mattia Destro helped Roma transform a potential banana skin into a 3-1 win away to Siena.

The Giallorossi were a goal down on 25 minutes after Luis Neto rose to head past goalkeeper Mauro Goicoechea in the Roma net for his first goal of the season.

Destro equalised on 63 minutes and, after Simone Perrotta’s 81st minute strike gave them the lead, Destro capped the win by slotting home from Miralem Pjanic’s cross.

Serie A

Bologna 2
Diamanti 16; Gabbiadini 70;
Atalanta 1
Denis 50;

HT: 1-0. Att: 18,006.

Fiorentina 2
Savic 21, 75;
Sampdoria 2
Krsticic 48; Rodriguez 72 og;

HT: 1-0. Att: 24,059.
Red card: Mustafi (S) 90.

Genoa 2
Said 40; Jankovic 56;
Chievo 4
Paloschi 14p, 22, 45; Stoian 90;

HT: 1-3. Att: 17,000.
Red card: Andreolli (C) 72.

Inter 1
Garcia 74 og;
Palermo 0

HT: 0-0. Att: 42,113.

Lazio 2
Biava 25; Klose 34;
Parma 1
Belfodil 66;

HT: 2-0. Att: 29,000.
Missed penalty: Belfodil (P) 66.

Napoli 5
Inler 9, 78; Hamsik 15; Cavani 58 pen, 63;
Pescara 1
Bjarnason 18;

HT: 2-1. Att: 50,000.
Red card: Bocchetti (P) 57.

Siena 1
Neto 25;
Roma 3
Destro 63, 90; Perrotta 86;

HT: 1-0. Att: 10,291.

Udinese 4
Pereyra 33; Angella 39; Danilo 48; Pasquale 66;
Cagliari 1
Dessena 80;

HT: 2-0. Att: 9,000.

  P W D L F A Pts
Juventus 15 11 2 2 32 10 35
Napoli 15 10 3 2 28 12 33
Inter 15 10 1 4 27 16 31
Fiorentina 15 8 5 2 27 14 29
Lazio 15 9 2 4 24 18 29
Roma 15 8 2 5 34 24 26
Milan 15 6 3 6 24 19 21
Parma 15 5 5 5 18 20 20
Udinese 15 4 7 4 22 24 19
Catania 15 5 4 6 19 23 19
Atalanta (-2) 15 6 2 7 15 22 18
Sampdoria (-1) 15 5 3 7 19 21 17
Cagliari 15 4 4 7 14 24 16
Torino (-1) 15 3 7 5 15 17 15
Chievo 15 4 3 8 17 27 15
Bologna 15 4 2 9 17 20 14
Palermo 15 3 5 7 14 22 14
Genoa 15 3 3 9 16 26 12
Siena (-6) 15 4 5 6 14 17 11
Pescara 15 3 2 10 10 30 11

Top scorers
12 goals: El Shaarawy (Milan).
10 goals: Cavani (Napoli).
9 goals: Klose (Lazio).
8 goals: Lamela (Roma), Di Natale (Udinese).

Next fixtures
Saturday: 18.00 Atalanta vs Parma; 20.45 Roma vs Fiorentina.
Sunday: 15.00 Cagliari vs Chievo; Palermo vs Juve; Pescara vs Genoa; Siena vs Catania; Torino vs Milan. 20.45 Inter vs Napoli.
Monday, Dec. 10: 19.00 Sampdoria vs Udinese; 21.00 Bologna vs Lazio.

Prima Divisione ‘A’
AlbinoLeffe vs Pavia 0-0; Cremonese vs Tritium 5-0; Cuneo vs Carpi 0-0; FeralpiSalo vs Lecce 4-0; Lumezzane vs Como 1-1; Reggiana vs Portogruaro 2-1; Trapani vs San Marino 4-0; V. Entella vs SudTirol 1-1.

Leading standings: Lecce 29; Carpi 25; Trapani, SudTirol 22; V. Entella 19.

Prima Divisione ‘B’
Avellino vs Latina 1-1; Carrarese vs Catanzaro 2-2; Gubbio vs Nocerina 2-1; Paganese vs Andria 2-2; Prato vs Barletta 1-0; Sorrento vs Perugia 0-0; Viareggio vs Pisa 2-2.

Leading standings: Pisa 23; Latina, Gubbio 21; Frosinone, Avellino 20.

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