MILAN - Italy defender Andrea Ranocchia
appeared to be offside when he grabbed his first Inter Milan
goal to secure a 1-0 home win over Cagliari on Saturday.
The controversial seventh-minute strike, which came when the
former Genoa player touched in Houssine Kharja's effort, powered
Inter up to second spot and just two points behind leaders AC
Milan ahead of their visit to Chievo on Sunday.
Holders Inter host Bayern Munich in a Champions League
last-16 first leg on Wednesday, a repeat of last season's final,
and coach Leonardo used the Cagliari game to give Goran Pandev a
The Macedonia striker is set to fill in against the Germans
for the ineligible Giampaolo Pazzini, partnering Samuel Eto'o
who was taken off in an insipid second half on Saturday to spare
Wesley Sneijder and Lucio sat out the game as they battle to
be fit to face Bayern and Inter, hanging on at the end of the
match, badly missed the guile of the Dutch playmaker.
In Saturday's other Serie A match, seventh-placed Palermo's
hopes of a Champions League spot took a blow when Daniele
Paponi's header in stoppage-time gave mid-table Bologna a 1-0
Injury-hit Palermo were reduced to 10 men on 57 minutes when
Santiago Garcia was dismissed for a second booking.
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