MILAN - Serie A leaders Inter Milan ground
out a 1-0 victory at Chievo and Juventus ended their bad run
with a similarly battling 2-1 win at Parma on Wednesday.
AC Milan also triumphed in the late game, the returning
David Beckham producing a good all-round display in front of
England coach Fabio Capello in a crushing 5-2 home win over
Giuseppe Sculli's header gave Genoa the lead midway through
the first half after Ronaldinho had a penalty saved but the
Brazilian showed courage to slot in another spotkick to equalise
when the rampant Massimo Ambrosini was again tripped.
Thiago Silva, Marco Borriello's classy second-half double
and a Klaas-Jan Huntelaar penalty completed the rout for
second-placed Milan, who had to start on-loan Beckham on the
right of a front three because of Alexandre Pato's injury.
Milan, who let Genoa debutant David Suazo net late on,
stayed eight points behind Inter with a game in hand and visit
Juve on Sunday.
Champions Inter scored on 12 minutes when Mario Balotelli's
shot was cleared from the line and new signing Goran Pandev
nodded home, only for replays to show Balotelli's effort was in.
Striker Pandev had not played a league game since May having
been banished from the Lazio squad in a contract dispute but
made an immediate start because of injuries, suspensions and
Cameroon's Samuel Eto'o being at the African Nations Cup.
The Macedonian belied his lack of sharpness with a lively
display as Inter clung on and avoided conceding a late penalty
for a Ricardo Quaresma handball.
Cristian Chivu suffered a fractured skull and Patrick Vieira
shone in probably his last Inter game.
"Patrick has found the best way to say goodbye," coach Jose
Mourinho told Sky, adding he did not know his destination.
"I'm super satisfied. These are the matches that decide
lots. What makes the difference is personality and character."
Juventus had lost three in a row in all competitions before
the mid-season break, prompting media speculation that Russia
coach Guus Hiddink was being lined up to replace Ciro Ferrara.
Right winger Hasan Salihamidzic was brought into a new 4-4-2
formation and headed the visitors in front on three minutes
before former Juve striker Nicola Amoruso equalised for Parma.
Paolo Castellini nodded a corner into his own net to give
third-placed Juve the lead again on 39 minutes and Ferrara's men
held on despite having Martin Caceres dismissed for two yellows.
Napoli went fourth after a 2-0 win at lowly Atalanta while
fifth-placed AS Roma conceded twice in stoppage-time in a 2-2
draw at Cagliari where new striker Luca Toni came off the
Fiorentina got back to winning ways with a 5-1 thrashing of
bottom side Siena.
Sampdoria and Palermo drew 1-1.
At the bottom, Sergio Floccari netted twice on his Lazio
debut in a 4-1 victory over Livorno and Sinisa Mihajlovic's
Catania beat his former side Bologna 1-0.
Udinese are three above the drop zone after a 2-0 defeat at
Bari in coach Gianni De Biasi's first game in charge.
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