Leaders Juventus piled more misery
on Serie A rivals Inter Milan after winning a frantic "Derby of
Italy" 2-1 on Saturday.
With all the goals coming in the first half, Claudio
Marchisio got the winner after Maicon's 28th-minute piledriver
had cancelled out Mirko Vucinic's early strike.
The result leaves unbeaten Juventus two points clear of AC
Milan ahead of Sunday's programme with a fifth defeat in nine
games leaving struggling Inter fifth from bottom.
Champions AC Milan went second after Zlatan Ibrahimovic
struck twice in a 3-2 win at Roma, while Catania moved to sixth
with a 2-1 defeat of 10-man Napoli.
Juventus coach Antonio Conte said he was relieved his club
still topped the standings.
"We are making big steps and it's very satisfying to come to
the San Siro and win against a team who started the season as
favourites," he told Sky Sports channel.
"It was a very intense game, our third game in a week, but
we still need to improve and be a bit more clinical to finish
Inter coach Claudio Ranieri, who has now suffered three
Serie A defeats since taking over from Gian Piero Gasperini in
September, said he would not pay any attention to the table
before adding: "We are not in the best shape physically while
they are very fit... they scored with their only two chances."
Juventus struck first on 12 minutes as Vucinic slammed the
ball high into the net after Luca Castellazzi had saved
Alessandro Matri's close-range effort from Stephan
The dangerous Matri came close to doubling the lead twice in
the next three minutes, flashing a cross-shot just wide of
target before Castellazzi blocked another break from the Italian
as Inter's defence was run ragged.
The home side weathered the storm and Maicon equalised on 28
minutes, surprising Buffon at the near post with an angled
strike that took a slight deflection before flying into the top
Galvanised by the goal, Pazzini thundered a header against
the bar from Maicon's cross but it was Juventus who regained the
lead on 33 minutes when the talented Marchisio hit a low shot
into the corner after playing a delightful one-two with Matri on
the edge of the box.
Inter pressed for an equaliser but with Dutch playmaker
Wesley Sneijder strangely out of range, it was Juventus who
created more openings.
Alessandro Del Piero, thrown on for the last few minutes,
shot weakly wide after being sent clean through with four
minutes to go but the 27-times champions kept the hosts at bay.
At the Stadio Olimpico, Ibrahimovic headed home Alberto
Aquilani crosses in the 17th and 78th minutes as the Rossonero
claimed their fourth successive win.
In an action packed opening period, Nicolas Burdisso had
equalised for Roma on 28 minutes before Alessandro Nesta
restored Milan's lead with a copycat header at a corner two
minutes later. Bojan Krkic scored a 87th-minute consolation for
the home side.
Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri, who was dismissed for
using abusive language in the latter stages of the match along
with Kevin-Prince Boateng, praised striker Ibrahimovic's
"Ibra was huge - he played a wonderful game as did
[Christian] Abbiati," Allegri told Italy's Sky Sport channel.
"It's an important win against one of the title challengers, and
nice to savour victory at the place where we won the scudetto
In Sicily, Napoli were beaten 2-1 at Catania with goals from
Giovanni Marchese and Gonzalo Bergessio helping the hosts to a
comeback win after Edinson Cavani's first-minute strike.
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