Chasing pack miss chance to overhaul Inter

MILAN - Inter Milan remained top of Serie A despite Saturday's defeat at AS Roma after most of the unlikely chasing pack lost on Sunday, leaving Lazio the main beneficiaries five matches into the season.

It was also a good day for Juventus and their new Serbia winger Milos Krasic, who opened his account for the club with a hat-trick in a 4-2 home win over Cagliari which banished memories of Thursday's 3-1 loss to Palermo.

The former CSKA Moscow player, who Juve fans liken to their retired hero Pavel Nedved because of his Slavic blonde hair and driving runs, netted with an angled drive, a ferocious volley and a scrappy third to send Luigi Del Neri's enigmatic side up to ninth.

Mauro Zarate's second-half goal gave Lazio a 1-0 win at Chievo to end the home side's hopes of top spot and lift the Romans level on points with champions Inter, who stay first on goal difference following the 1-0 defeat by last term's runners-up.

Argentine striker Zarate, a rare bright spot last season before Lazio's flirt with relegation, has endured a difficult start to the campaign but rewarded coach Edy Reja for restoring him to the starting lineup by finishing off Stefano Mauri's pass.

"I don't want us to get carried away. It's only the start even if we are doing well," the down-to-earth Reja told Sky. "I want to thank the lads because I'm changing tactics a lot and as long as they react like this we'll be very happy."

Brescia could have surged to the summit but lost 2-1 at Bari and fellow promoted club Cesena also slipped up.

The modest team from the town near Rimini, in the top flight for the first time since 1991, had the chance to join Inter on 10 points but lost 4-1 at home to Napoli after taking the lead.

FIRST POINT

Uruguay World Cup forward Edinson Cavani cleverly struck twice late on for the inconsistent Naples side to leap to the top of the scoring charts alongside Inter's Samuel Eto'o on five goals.

Stop-start Sampdoria failed to keep pace with a 0-0 home draw against Udinese, who picked up their first point of the season but remained bottom.

Fiorentina also secured their opening win of the campaign with a 2-0 victory over Parma in Florence to ease the pressure on new boss Sinisa Mihajlovic.

The Serb's former side Catania drew 1-1 at home with Bologna to lie two adrift of the top alongside Napoli, Bari and AC Milan, who beat Genoa 1-0 on Saturday thanks to another Zlatan Ibrahimovic strike.

Palermo continued their rollercoaster start to the season by coming from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with Lecce after substitute Massimo Maccarone netted on the rebound in stoppage time.

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