Juve heap misery on Inter and stay top

29 October 2011 10:47

Juventus maintained top spot in Serie A and piled the misery on arch rivals Inter Milan with a 2-1 victory at the San Siro on Saturday.

Juve leapt back above AC Milan, who had briefly gone top with a 3-2 win at Roma earlier in the evening, by completing a Milanese double this season having already beaten Milan 2-0.

Goals from Mirko Vucinic and Claudio Marchisio either side of a deflected Maicon strike sealed the points for the Old Lady of Turin.

"I'm satisfied that we won. There are always important steps when you're growing," said Juve coach Antonio Conte.

"We've still got to learn something to keep improving but we're taking big steps and this is an important win because we've got 19 points, we're still top. This is very satisfying for the guys for what they're doing."

For Inter they now have just two wins and five defeats in their eight league matches this season and will drop below fifth from bottom if either Bologna or Novara win on Sunday.

"I'm satisfied with the performance against the most in-from team in the league," said Inter boss Claudio Ranieri.

"There's still 87 points to play for, last year Milan won with 82 points so we shouldn't look at the table."

Inter dominated large swathes of the opening period but still went in behind at the break.

Gianluigi Buffon saved Giampaolo Pazzini's clever back-flick from Maicon's weak shot while Esteban Cambiasso hooked the ball beyond the far post when well placed.

Juve went in front on 12 minutes. Stephan Lichsteiner crossed from the right and although Luca Castellazzi saved Alessandro Matri's initial effort, Vucinic smashed home the rebound.

That sparked Juve's best spell of the half as Matri fired wide on the counter attack and then Castellazzi rushed out to block another effort from the striker.

Maicon equalised on 28 minutes after being played in by Wesley Sneijder, although his shot took a decisive deflection off Leonardo Bonucci to deceive Buffon.

Pazzini crashed a header off the bar from Maicon's cross but Juve took the lead again.

Marchisio played a one-two with Matri and surged past Cristian Chivu, who had rashly stepped up, before sending a precise low strike beyond Castellazzi.

Juve could also have had a penalty when Castellazzi seemed to upend Marchisio as he clipped the ball past the goalkeeper.

The hosts struggled to create clear chances after the break and Vucinic, Alessandro Del Piero and Marcelo Estigarriba all missed glorious chances to kill the game.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored a brace and Alessandro Nesta added the other for champions Milan at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome while Nicolas Burdisso and Bojan Krkic netted for the hosts.

Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri was delighted with the big Swede.

"Tonight he (Ibrahimovic) was excellent, he had an amazing game, as did (goalkeeper Christian) Abbiati who played very well and in some situations, like at 2-1, made important saves," he said.

Ibrahimovic gave Milan the lead with the first clear chance of the game as he got ahead of marker Juan to head home Alberto Aquilani's pin-point cross on 17 minutes.

Roma equalised on 28 minutes when Burdisso out-muscled Gianluca Zambrotta to head home Miralem Pjanic's corner.

Nesta headed home from 10 yards out when a sea of red shirts around him parted invitingly as Robinho swung over a corner.

Ibrahimovic killed the game with another header from another Aquilani cross 12 minutes from time before Bojan gave Roma late hope three minutes from time.

Meanwhile Napoli finished with 10-men and lost ground in the title race as they were beaten 2-1 at Catania.

Edinson Cavani gave Napoli a lightning start after just 29 seconds but goals from Giovanni Marchese and Gonzalo Bergessio condemned them to defeat after Mario Santana had been dismissed.

Source: AFP