MILAN - Samuel Eto'o scored another
cracking goal to give Inter Milan a 1-0 Serie A win at Cagliari
on Sunday and hit back at the racist fans who held up the game.
The battling victory put champions Inter level on points
with AC Milan, who beat Chievo on Saturday, but Lazio's 2-0 win
at Bari kept the Romans top of the standings by two points.
GEAR: Inter Milan home shirts available here, courtesy of online retailer Kitbag
Tricky playmaker Hernanes, one of the buys of the season
from Sao Paulo, latched on to Italy midfielder Stefano Mauri's
pass to give Lazio an early second-half lead before Sergio
Floccari sealed the points from Mauri's mishit shot.
Lazio flirted with relegation last term but coach Edy Reja
has them riding high on 16 points from seven matches.
Napoli, in fourth, missed the chance to join Inter and Milan
on 14 points after a 1-1 draw at Catania where Edinson Cavani
netted his sixth league goal.
Juventus made a bad start but now lie just five points from
the summit after a rampant 4-0 home win over Lecce sparked by
Alberto Aquilani's first goal for the club.
The former Liverpool and AS Roma midfielder fired in from 25
metres before Felipe Melo, booed by his own fans for much of
last term, continued his renaissance with a cheeky penalty and
Fabio Quagliarella nodded in on his knees just before the break.
Milos Krasic, distraught when Serbia's Euro qualifier in
Italy was abandoned on Tuesday because of rioting away fans, was
again superb before Alessandro Del Piero scored a late fourth to
equal Giampiero Boniperti's Juve record of 178 Serie A goals.
In the early game, Cameroon's Eto'o took his league tally to
six goals from seven games this season and, like most of his
recent efforts, the 39th-minute goal was a marvellous strike.
Wesley Sneijder hooked on and Eto'o twisted and turned like
Inter's serpent symbol on their new away kit before planting a
left-foot shot into the corner from the edge of the box.
"Cagliari put us under pressure but we deserved the lead.
Eto'o is enjoying a great moment and we hope he continues like
this," Inter's Javier Zanetti, back from injury for Wednesday's
Champions League clash with Tottenham Hotspur, told Sky.
Eto'o's strike was the perfect riposte to the Cagliari fans
whose racist chants towards him caused the referee to suspend
the game after three minutes.
A public announcement was made asking fans to stop the
chants, which they did for the rest of the match. The game
restarted after around three minutes.
The Italian football federation, which has long struggled with
racist fans, gave referees the right to suspend matches in case
of such chanting after Mario Balotelli was constantly abused in
Inter's match at Juventus two seasons ago.
Inter had other chances but the hosts also went close when
they hit the bar and Julio Cesar was forced into a double save.
The table is beginning to take on a familiar look and
Palermo joined Juve on 11 points in fifth after Javier Pastore
and Josip Ilicic enhanced their growing reputations with
spectacular strikes in a 4-1 home win over struggling Bologna.
Fiorentina slumped to bottom after Antonio Cassano scored
the winner in Sampdoria's 2-1 comeback victory, prompting
visiting coach Sinisa Mihajlovic to say he would not quit.
Cesena drew 1-1 with Parma and Udinese won 1-0 at Brescia.
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