ROME - A first-half goal from new signing
Alessandro Matri gave Juventus a sweet 1-0 victory over Inter
Milan in the derby of Italy on Sunday, dealing a huge blow to
their opponents' bid to win a sixth successive scudetto.
The Italian striker struck with a downward header in the
30th minute of a match Juventus dominated, handing Leonardo his
second defeat as Inter coach since taking over from Rafa
Inter stayed fourth, eight points behind leaders Milan who
defeated Parma 4-0 on Saturday, with a game in hand while Juve
climbed to sixth.
Lazio recorded their first away league victory since October
by defeating lowly Brescia 2-0 to go third.
There were also away wins for Udinese and Fiorentina, their
first of the season. Struggling Cagliari, Sampdoria and Catania
won at home.
Juventus coach Gigi Del Neri said his players won because
they were the hungrier side.
"We wanted it tonight. January was a difficult month - we
had some injuries and lost form, but this is a good side and we
can go very far still if we keep up the same spirit and desire,"
Inter coach Leonardo said his team deserved a draw.
"The first half was difficult, we were slow and couldn't get
men forward. The second half was very different, we got more
players into the box and had chances.
"If we win all our matches, we will win the league but we
take each game at a time and so far we have seven positive
results out of nine."
Juve took a deserved lead on the half-hour when Milos Krasic
laid the ball back to Frederik Sorensen whose instant cross was
headed precisely into the bottom corner by Matri.
After three victories in a week culminating in a spectacular
5-3 win over Roma, Inter seemed strangely out of sorts but
Giampaolo Pazzini almost equalised just after the restart,
flicking a near-post header that Gianluigi Buffon did well to
Juventus, beaten three times at home this season, should
have doubled their lead twice but Matri headed a whisker wide
and Giorgio Chiellini also nodded just off target from a corner.
Inter pressed and striker Samuel Eto'o had an effort saved
on 82 minutes after an audacious flicked pass from Wesley
The in-form Cameroonian was then guilty of one of the misses
of the season with two minutes left after smashing the ball
against the crossbar from four yards with the goal gaping.
A minute later Eto'o kicked thin air with another
presentable opportunity to sum up a disappointing evening for
Inter who play their game in hand at Fiorentina on Wednesday.
Earlier on Sunday, a goal in each half from forwards Alvaro
Gonzalez and Libor Kozak earned Lazio a surprisingly
straightforward victory over Brescia.
Antonio Di Natale kept pace with Edison Cavani at the top of
the scoring charts. After the Uruguayan's double against Roma on
Saturday took him to 20, the Italian striker bagged his 17th and
18th strikes of the season in Udinese's 3-0 win at Cesena which
kept them fifth.
Strong first-half performances led Cagliari and Sampdoria to
convincing home wins over Chievo and Bologna, 4-1 and 3-1
respectively, lifting them to ninth and 12th places.
A late brace from Francesco Lodi enabled Catania to come
from behind and defeat resurgent Lecce 3-2 in Sicily. The one
game to miss out on the goal action was in Bari where Serie A's
bottom side played out a scoreless draw with Genoa.
In Sunday's early match, Fiorentina came from behind to earn
their first away victory of the season, defeating Palermo 4-2.
The Sicilians, who missed the chance to go fourth, led 2-1
but were undone by three strikes in the last 20 minutes with
Alberto Gilardino and Riccardo Montolivo among the scorers.
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