MILAN - Inter Milan ended up six points clear at the top of Serie A on Sunday after the Italian champions beat Napoli 2-1 and rivals AC Milan were humbled 3-1 at mid-table Palermo. Striker Fabrizio Miccoli fired in a superb goal on 50 minutes before Edinson Cavani and Simplicio sealed Palermo's victory with Ronaldinho, who had a spotkick saved at 0-0, netting a late penalty for the shell-shocked visitors. Milan, without the suspended Kaka in Sicily, have now not won in four away games in all competitions. Earlier in the day, Inter went 2-0 up through Ivan Cordoba and Sulley Muntari but were forced to hang on after Ezequiel Lavezzi pulled one back on 36 minutes. Inter have 33 points from 14 games with Milan on 27 alongside Juventus, who hammered lowly Reggina 4-0 in a snowy Turin on Saturday. Jose Mourinho's side, who beat Juve last Saturday thanks to another Muntari goal, lost 1-0 at home to Panathinaikos in the Champions League in midweek but continue to grind out results in Serie A despite their inconsistency. "I am very satisfied with my players," Mourinho told reporters, but he was less impressed with the San Siro fans. "When we're in difficulty it seems like we are playing away. I think a team like this deserves more convincing support." NEAT BACKHEEL Cordoba settled Inter's nerves with an expert finish for a defender following Muntari's cross on 16 minutes. Inter were on top and made fourth-placed Napoli suffer when Muntari turned in a Maicon pass after Julio Cruz's backheel. The visitors refused to lie down however and were soon back in the hunt when talisman Lavezzi dinked home after another neat backheel from strike partner Marcelo Zalayeta. Napoli had much of the play in the second half and the hosts were fortunate when Argentina's Lavezzi was booked for diving in the box in the second half despite replays showing contact between the forward and Maxwell. Last term's runners-up AS Roma, who had a terrible start, recorded a third straight league win after Francesco Totti netted in the second half to seal a 1-0 victory over Fiorentina. Adrian Mutu, who almost joined Roma in the close season, went close with a free kick and a header for the visitors but they remain joint fifth with Lazio, who went down 2-0 in soggy Bergamo against midtable Atalanta. Early season pacesetters Udinese, who had top striker Antonio Di Natale sent off, are ninth after losing their fourth league game in a row when a late Felipe own goal gave bottom side Chievo a 1-0 away win and ended a six-game losing streak.
30 November 2008
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