MILAN - Zlatan Ibrahimovic ignored the
cacophony of boos to give AC Milan a deserved 1-0 win over his
troubled former side Inter Milan and send the Rossoneri back top
of Serie A to the horror of their city rivals.
The chances of Inter winning an unprecedented sixth
successive scudetto were greatly reduced by Ibrahimovic's
fifth-minute penalty after the Swede was recklessly fouled by
Inter's ageing defender Marco Materazzi.
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Just 12 games into the season Milan look favourites to win
their first title since 2004, given their six-point advantage
over fifth-placed Inter and the continuing brittle form of the
Coach Massimiliano Allegri triumphed in his first derby
despite having right back Ignazio Abate sent off with half an
hour left and the pressure intensified on his Inter counterpart
Rafael Benitez, also overseeing his first all-city clash.
"We put in great work and great sacrifice in the second half
with a man down, we played with huge heart," Ibrahimovic, who
accidently injured Materazzi in a second-half clash, told Sky.
"There are lots of games to go and there is a bit of an
advantage but we'll play each game as it comes."
The defeat in what counted as an Inter home game in the
shared San Siro, packed with 80,000 noisy fans, was the
champions' first home league loss in over two and a half years.
Milan, who substituted the pumped-up Gennaro Gattuso at the
break to avoid a dismissal but left Ronaldinho on the bench, had
the better chances with Ibrahimovic spectacularly volleying over
to remind Inter fans of the skill he used to wow them with.
Injury-hit Inter started with a new 4-3-1-2 formation but
they failed to gel and Benitez was soon regretting the inclusion
of 37-year-old Materazzi for his first league appearance this
Olympic sprint champion Usain Bolt watched on in the stands
but Inter lacked pace and urgency despite decent pressure in the
A controversial Mauro Zarate goal helped second-placed
Lazio, a point behind Milan, recover from two straight defeats
with a 2-0 win over Napoli.
Argentine Zarate appeared to use an arm when he grabbed the
opener on 15 minutes before fellow striker Sergio Floccari
doubled the lead in the second half from a Zarate assist.
Third-placed Napoli had seen the game as a key test for
their title credentials but failed to impose themselves.
Sampdoria drew 0-0 with Chievo to slip to 10th after again
missing the influence of forward Antonio Cassano, dropped by the
club for swearing at the president and facing an arbitration
hearing soon on his future at the Genoa-based side.
Samp have scored once in five games since his suspension.
Argentina playmaker Javier Pastore increased his burgeoning
worth with three goals in seventh-placed Palermo's 3-1 win over
Catania in the Sicilian derby.
Early season strugglers Udinese continued their surge up the
table and are level with Palermo and Genoa, who won 1-0 at
Cagliari, after last term's league top scorer Antonio Di Natale
bagged a first-half hat-trick in a 4-0 home romp over Lecce.
Bari stayed bottom after a 1-0 home loss to improving Parma
and Bologna overcame promoted Brescia 1-0.
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