[QODLink]
Sport
Inter open door for AC Milan
Draw with Palermo means Milanese rivals can go top in Serie A with win over Napoli.
Last Modified: 20 Mar 2010 22:30 GMT
Samuel Eto'o vies with Cesare Bovo [AFP]

Exhausted Inter Milan risked surrendering their long-held Italian Serie A lead after drawing 1-1 at fourth-placed Palermo.

AC Milan, two points adrift, can overtake Inter with a win at home to Napoli on Sunday while third-placed Roma are four points behind the leaders after Mirko Vucinic grabbed a hat-trick in a 4-2 victory at home to Udinese.

Argentina striker Diego Milito gave Inter the lead on 11 minutes when he blasted home a penalty after Lucio had been hauled down by defender Cesare Bovo.

Palermo, winners of seven home league games since Delio Rossi took over as coach in November, were level midway through the first half when Uruguay's Edinson Cavani fired in at the near post following Fabrizio Miccoli's clever pass.

Impossible angle

Either side could have won with Milito hitting the post from an impossible angle and heading just over before Cavani nodded wide for the Sicilian hosts.

Champions Inter, who have won just one of their last seven Serie A games but have been top since September, looked tired in the closing stages after their exertions in eliminating Chelsea from the Champions League in midweek.

Jose Mourinho's side have nine games left and host lowly Livorno on Wednesday before travelling to Roma on Saturday as a fifth straight scudetto looks much less likely than when they held a nine-point lead in February.

Results & fixtures

Saturday March 20

 Roma 4-2 Udinese
 Fiorentina 3-0 Genoa
 Palermo 1-1 Inter Milan 

Sunday March 21

 AC Milan v Napoli
 Atalanta v Livorno
 Bari v Parma
 Cagliari v Lazio
 Chievo v Catania
 Siena v Bologna
 Sampdoria v Juventus

"I'm angry as we could have won at the end," Palermo's man-of-the-match Miccoli told Sky TV.

"But anyway we have drawn with champions Inter and the team deserves great applause."

Roma went ahead thanks to fit-again Luca Toni showing great strength and hooking in from the edge of the area on 16 minutes before strike partner Vucinic coolly doubled the lead.

Serie A top scorer Antonio Di Natale pulled one back for struggling Udinese with a debatable penalty on 38 minutes and then equalised in the second period before a Vucinic spotkick and his third goal restored Roma's advantage.

Eighth-placed Fiorentina earlier boosted their hopes of a Europa League berth with a 3-0 home win over Genoa, who are seventh.

Argentine forward Mario Santana scored with an audacious backheel on five minutes and Alberto Gilardino netted a second-half penalty after rowing with team mate Stevan Jovetic over who would take the kick following a foul on the Montenegrin.

Substitute Khouma Babacar, 17, then slotted his first Serie A goal as Fiorentina moved within three points of sixth-placed Sampdoria, who fill the last guaranteed Europa League qualifying round spot and host Juventus on Sunday.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Your chance to be an investigative journalist in Al Jazeera’s new interactive game.
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Featured
Despite 14-year struggle for a new mosque in the second-largest city, new roadblocks are erected at every turn.
Authorities and demonstrators have shown no inclination to yield despite growing economic damage and protest pressure.
Lebanese-born Rula Ghani may take cues from the modernising Queen Soraya, but she'll have to proceed with caution.
One of the world's last hunter-gatherer tribes has been forced from the forest it called home by a major dam project.
Chinese authorities scramble to cut off information on Hong Kong protests from reaching the mainland.