Napoli missed the chance to top
Serie A after a shock 2-1 home defeat by Parma on Saturday as
champions AC Milan hit form with a 3-0 win over Palermo and
Inter Milan lost at Catania.
Parma's Francesco Modesto struck the winner against Napoli
eight minutes from time after Napoli's Giuseppe Mascara had
equalised following Massimo Gobbi's 57th-minute opener.
Milan's Antonio Nocerino, scoring against his former club,
Robinho and Antonio Cassano were all on target as Milan cruised
past a disappointing Palermo.
Earlier, Inter suffered their fourth loss in their six Serie
A matches this season, going down 2-1 at Catania.
Napoli, who host Bayern Munich in the Champions League on
Tuesday, looked a pale shadow of the side that had stormed the
San Siro two weeks ago in defeating Inter Milan 3-0.
After a lacklustre first half Massimo Gobbi put Parma ahead
just before the hour mark, swapping passes with Stefano Floccari
before slotting the ball past Morgan De Sanctis.
Napoli, who had created little against a well-organised
Parma side, equalised with 15 minutes to go when substitute
Giuseppe Mascara slipped the ball under goalkeeper Antonio
Mirante after a brilliant flicked pass from Ezequiel Lavezzi.
But Parma silenced the San Paolo faithful with eight minutes
left when Modesto tapped in Sebastian Giovinco's enticing cross
after a fast counter attack.
Napoli coach Walter Mazzarri felt his players lacked
sharpness after returning from international duty.
"Parma played a strong, defensive game," he told Italy's Sky
Sport channel. "They looked much fresher. The referee didn't
help either by blowing up all the time and breaking our flow.
"It's a shame Lavezzi doesn't score more. He likes dribbling
but perhaps doesn't have that coolness in front of goal that's
associated with top goal-scorers."
Milan welcomed back the fit-again Robinho allowing coach
Massimiliano Allegri to play the attacking trident that hit it
off so well last season with the Brazilian playing just behind
Swede Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Italian Antonio Cassano.
Cassano, who scored a double for Italy on Tuesday before
threatening to quit the game in three years, had two copycat
chances to open the scoring after 13 and 18 minutes but slipped
the ball the wrong side of the post on both occasions.
Palermo, starting in fourth position after new coach Devis
Mangia had inspired several stirring displays, offered little
going forward and had keeper Alexandros Tzorvas to thank after
37 minutes when he twice parried fierce Robinho strikes.
The Greek could do nothing three minutes later though when
midfielder Alberto Aquilani nodded Ibrahimovic's cross back
across goal for Nocerino to tap into an empty net although he
would not celebrate against his former club.
Robinho had no such qualms 10 minutes after half-time when he
ran on to Ibrahimovic's pass and coolly flicked the ball past
Tzorvas as a rampant Milan side cut the Rosanero defence open
After having a goal disallowed, the in-form Cassano made it
3-0 in the 64th by side-footing home Ignazio Abate's right wing
cross to allow Allegri to rest players ahead of Wednesday's
Champions League match at home to Belarus side Bate Borisov.
"The individual talent of Robinho, Cassano and Ibra made the
difference," Allegri told Sky Sport channel. "With them all
playing together, we were able to create lots of chances. Now we
have to keep on winning and climb up the table."
Inter's dismal start to the season continued in Sicily
despite the Milan side taking an early lead.
Esteban Cambiasso's sixth-minute volley had given Claudio
Ranieri's men the perfect start in a confident first-half
display but two Catania goals in the first five minutes of the
second half turned the game on its head.
Sergio Almiron bent in a superb equaliser for the home side
two minutes after the restart before Francesco Lodi converted a
penalty as the Sicilians ran out worthy winners.
Catania have climbed to sixth place with nine points while
Inter, who have lost their last two games under new coach
Ranieri, have just four points and face the prospect of falling
into the relegation zone after Sunday's matches.
"Nobody here's happy to come away without a point," Ranieri
told Sky Sport channel. "We got a reaction in the first half but
the second was bad. They scored with two breaks. We know we need
to get more points on the board."
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