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Inter keep firm grip on top spot
Zlatan Ibrahimovic scores twice as Inter Milan make light work of last-place Reggina.
Last Modified: 22 Mar 2009 22:24 GMT

Ibrahimovic enjoys life at the top [AFP]
Zlatan Ibrahimovic again scored two goals to help Inter Milan restore their seven-point lead at the top of Italy's Serie A with a 3-0 win over last-place Reggina.

Esteban Cambiasso put Inter ahead in the sixth minute at the San Siro, and Ibrahimovic converted a penalty to double the lead in the 10th before sealing the match with a delicate chip shot in the 58th.

Inter lead the league with 69 points with nine games remaining, followed by Juventus with 62.

AC Milan, who drew 0-0 at Napoli, are third with 55 points.

Mourinho comfortable

"The title race is still open, but seven points are seven points and nine games are nine games. We like our situation,'' Inter coach Jose Mourinho said.

"Juve is winning games and having a great season, that's why we haven't sealed it yet.''

Juventus routed AS Roma 4-1 on Saturday with two goals from Vincenzo Iaquinta and others by Olof Mellberg and Pavel Nedved - briefly cutting Inter's lead to four points.

In the race for fourth place and the final Champions League place, Genoa and Fiorentina both won.

Genoa beat 10-man Udinese with goals from Giuseppe Sculli and Diego Milito, with Udinese forward Alexis Alejandro Sanchez given a direct red card for protests in the 73rd.

Adrian Mutu scored his first goal in a month for Fiorentina, who beat Siena 1-0 in a Tuscan derby.

Genoa currently hold the coveted fourth place with 51 points, followed by Fiorentina with 49 and Roma with 46.

Cambiasso goal

Results & Fixtures

Saturday March 21

 Catania 1-0 Lazio 
 Roma 1-4 Juventus
 


Sunday March 22

 Bologna 0-1 Cagliari 
 Chievo 1-0 Palermo 
 Fiorentina 1-0  Siena 
 Genoa 2-0 Udinese
 Inter Milan 3-0 Reggina 
 Lecce 2-2 Atalanta
 Napoli 0-0 AC Milan 
 Torino 1-3 Sampdoria

Normally a midfielder, Cambiasso paired with Nelson Rivas in central defence for injury-hit Inter but still managed to score his second goal of the season - although the Argentina player may have been offside when he chipped the ball over Reggina goalkeeper Christian Puggioni.

Inter were then awarded a penalty when Reggina defender Carlos Valdez was cautioned for tripping Amantino Mancini in the area, and Ibrahimovic calmly beat Puggioni from the spot.

Ibrahimovic was set up by Mario Balotelli with a great look in the 18th but missed the target with a bad shot, then sent a shot off the post seconds later after taking a pass from another 18-year-old teammate, defender Davide Santon.

When he finally did find the target again in the second half, Ibrahimovic equalled Bologna's Marco Di Vaio for the league scoring lead with 19 goals each.

Ibrahimovic also scored twice in a 2-0 win over Fiorentina last week.

Donadoni debut

At the San Paolo stadium, Napoli's Marek Hamsik had a goal disallowed for a controversial offside call in the 37th.

The match marked Roberto Donadoni's San Paolo debut as Napoli coach. The former Italy coach and standout player at Milan drew 1-1 at Reggina in his first game in charge.

Dida made his first start of the season in place of injured Milan goalkeeper Christian Abbiati, and Napoli threatened throughout.

Marcelo Zalayeta was set up by Hamsik with only Dida to beat in the 64th but volleyed wide.

In injury time, Napoli goalkeeper Nicola Navarro stopped a free kick from David Beckham in front of the post.

The Italian league resumes in two weeks following a break for national team play.

Source:
Agencies
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