Crespo keeps Inter going

The Italian champions remain unbeaten in Serie A.

    Don't forget me: Hernan Jorge Crespo uses
    his start to remind his coach [AFP] 
    Argentina striker Hernan Crespo equalised in the 76th minute of a 1-1 draw with Sampdoria to maintain Inter Milan's unbeaten record in Serie A.

    Antonio Cassano had put Sampdoria ahead in the 65th minute at the Luigi Ferraris stadium in Genoa.

    With Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Julio Ricardo Cruz both out of action, Crespo responded by outmuscling a defender to head in a cross from Dejan Stankovic.

    It was the Argentine's third goal this season and the 135th of his Serie A career.

    "It's a goal that will improve his morale. And when he starts (scoring), he doesn't stop,'' Inter coach Roberto Mancini said.

    Inter was in danger of losing two straight after getting beaten by Liverpool 2-0 in the Champions League on Tuesday.

    "Every once in a while it's OK to drop a few points. You can't always win,'' Mancini said.

    "It was a tough match because we were coming off a Champions League game.''

    Roma cut the gap

    Second-place AS Roma edged Fiorentina 1-0 with a 54th-minute goal from Cicinho.

    It was the Brazilian defender's first goal in Serie A since joining Roma from Real Madrid before the season.

    Inter leads the league with 60 points and Roma is second with 51. Inter and Roma meet on Wednesday.

    "It's true that the (title race) could reopen, but we're still nine points ahead,'' Mancini said.

    "To be honest, I'm not too worried.''

    Filippo Inzaghi scored in the 90th minute as AC Milan moved into a tie for fourth with a 2-1 win over Palermo.

    Left unmarked inside the area, Inzaghi headed in a cross from Yoann Gourcuff for his first goal in Serie A this season and the 128th in his career.

    Massimo Ambrosini had equalized for Milan in the 24th after Australia midfielder Mark Bresciano put Palermo ahead in the ninth.

    Milan and Fiorentina are tied with 41 points each.

    On Saturday, Reggina beat injury-ridden Juventus 2-1 with a controversial 90th-minute penalty.

    Also Sunday, it was: Atalanta 2, Siena 2; Cagliari 1, Lazio 0; Empoli 2, Catania 0; Livorno 1, Napoli 2; and Udinese 3, Genoa 5.

    Inter midfielder Dejan Stankovic was carried off in the second half.

    Cassano scored by calmly dribbling the ball with his knee before beating Inter goalkeeper Julio Cesar from within the area.

    Cicinho hit the target [AFP] 
    Cicinho strikes

    Cicinho's goal came during a move in which Roma captain Francesco Totti appeared to be offside.

    Two minutes later, Fiorentina midfielder Zdravko Kuzmanovic hit the crossbar.

    Fiorentina forward Adrian Mutu exited in the first half after apparently twisting his left knee.

    The Romanian was hurt in a tackle by Roma goalkeeper Alexander Doni after wasting a one-on-one opportunity.

    Cicinho picked up his second yellow card in the 89th.

    Marco Borriello scored his second hat trick of the season against Udinese and moved into a tie for the league scoring lead with David Trezeguet, with 15 goals each.

    Emanuele Calaio got a start at forward for Napoli with Marcelo Zalayeta disqualified and scored his first two goals of the season, with his winner coming in the 90th.

    Calaio scored 14 goals for Napoli in Serie B last season.

    Sergio Floccari scored twice to rally Atalanta to a draw after falling behind by two goals, then had his chance at the winner deflected wide in the 51st.

    Empoli won its third straight with goals from Sebastian Giovinco, on loan from Juventus, and Alessandro Budel.

    Empoli goalkeeper Davide Bassi blocked a penalty shot from Gionatha Spinesi.

    Alessandro Matri headed past Lazio's 43-year-old goalkeeper Marco Ballotta in the 89th to earn 10-man Cagliari a win and improve the Sardinian club's last-place standing.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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