Diego Milito, struggling for
most of this season, scored early in the second half to give
Inter Milan a surprise 1-0 win over arch-rivals AC Milan in
their Serie A derby on Sunday.
The Argentine broke clear of the defence and placed his shot
inside the far post to propel Claudio Ranieri's team back into
the title race and end Milan's unbeaten 12-match league run in
which they dropped only two points.
Champions Milan, who began the weekend as joint leaders with
Juventus, had the better of the first half but failed to take
their chances as coach Massimiliano Allegri lost a derby for the
first time in his 18 months in charge.
Milan dropped into second place one point behind Juventus
after the unbeaten Turin side drew 1-1 at home to Cagliari.
Inter stayed fifth but their sixth successive win moved them
within six points of Juventus, who have 38 points.
"It was an important examination for us, in terms of the
table and team morale," Milito told Inter's website.
"Winning the derby is the best thing possible especially for
everyone who supported me when things got difficult."
Ranieri said: "This was a gigantic step. We've played a good
game, tactically aware. We're playing well and getting our pride
A dreadful stoppage-time miss by forward Milos Krasic cost
Juventus the chance to win after they squandered an early lead.
Krasic, out of favour under coach Antonio Conte this season,
was given a rare chance and failed to take it as he sent a weak
effort wide when presented with a free shot inside the penalty
Mirko Vucinic had given unbeaten Juventus a seventh-minute
lead, only for Andrea Cossu to equalise three minutes after the
break with a 25-metre shot that swerved away from Gianluigi
Former Italy coach Roberto Donadoni, sacked by Cagliari
before the start of the season, made a winning start at Parma
who beat Siena 3-1, leaving them 12th with 22 points.
Donadoni replaced Franco Colomba, sacked by the Sardinians
after last week's 5-0 defeat at Inter.
Third-placed Udinese lost ground in a 3-2 defeat at Genoa
where they were missing three regular players - Kwadwo Asamoah
(Ghana), Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu (Ghana) and Mehdi Benatia
(Morocco) - who have been picked to play in the Africa Cup of Nations
which starts on Saturday.
Although Damiano Ferronetti gave Udinese a half-time lead,
they were stung by three goals in a 21-minute spell from Andreas
Granqvist, Bosko Jankovic and Rodrigo Palacio.
Striker Antonio Di Natale, 34, pulled one back from a
penalty, his 13th goal of the season.
Udinese have 35 points, two more than fourth-placed Lazio,
who narrowed the gap with a 2-0 win over 10-man Atalanta.
Hernanes converted a first-half penalty and Miroslav Klose
added the other in stoppage-time, both celebrating with
acrobatic somersaults, as Lazio ended a three-match winless run
and bounced back from last week's 4-0 defeat at Siena.
Romania forward Adrian Mutu scored twice, including a
penalty, to give Cesena a 3-1 win over bottom club Novara who
are level with Lecce following their 1-0 win at Fiorentina.
On a foggy night at San Siro, Alexandre Pato, Kevin-Prince
Boateng and Mark van Bommel, who crashed his effort against the
crossbar from an unmarked position, missed chances as Milan had
the better of the first half.
Inter occasionally threatened on the break and Ricardo
Alvarez shot straight at Christian Abbiati from 10 metres as he
wasted their best first-half chance.
Ranieri, the fourth different Inter coach to face Allegri
over the last 18 months, saw his side break the deadlock
following a run by 38-year-old Javier Zanetti.
Ignazio Abate failed to cut out his pass which found Milito,
who burst clear to score with a clinical finish and repay
Ranieri's faith in him.
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