MILAN: An own goal from Palermo defender Santiago Garcia saved Inter Milan’s blushes in a narrow 1-0 win over the Sicilians at the San Siro yesterday, while both Roma and Lazio claimed precious wins.
Inter manager Andrea Stramaccioni had called on his side to relaunch their campaign after some recent jitters and the pressure was on the hosts after Napoli had cemented second place earlier with a 5-1 rout of Pescara.
Despite creating a number of scoring chances the Nerazzurri failed to find a way through the visitors’ defense until Garcia stuck his leg out and deflected Andrea Ranocchia’s cross past his own keeper in the 74th minute.
After their 10th win in 15 games Inter remain third on 31 points, two shy of Napoli and four adrift of Juventus following the Turin giants’ 3-0 rout of Torino in the ‘Derby della Mole’ on Saturday.
Lazio’s 2-1 win over Parma moved the Biancocelesti up from fifth although Fiorentina can reclaim fourth from Vladimir Petkovic’s side if they beat Sampdoria in Sunday’s late match.
Lazio’s opener came in chaotic fashion when Biava Giuseppe pounced from close range to slam the ball into the roof of the net for his first goal of the campaign.
Parma were then unlucky not to be awarded a penalty when the ball came off Miroslav Klose’s hand as the German defended a corner.
Four minutes later Lazio doubled their lead when Klose ran on to a through ball from midfield to squeeze the ball past Antonio Mirante’s legs before slamming into the onrushing keeper for his ninth league goal this season.
Parma were handed a lifeline just after the hour mark when the referee pointed to the spot after Giuseppe Sansone was fouled in the area.
Ishak Belfodil stepped up and saw his effort saved by Lazio ‘keeper Albano Bizzarri but the Algerian was quick to the rebound to slam the ball past the Argentinian.
Lazio held on for a ninth win of the season, which keeps them among the European places.
An improved second half performance, which included a brace from Mattia Destro helped Roma transform a potential banana skin into a valuable 3-1 win away to Siena.
The Giallorossi started poorly and were a goal down on 25 minutes after Luis Neto rose to meet a corner from the right to beat Mauro Goicoechea in the Roma net for his first goal of the season.
Destro claimed Roma’s equalizer on 63 minutes after nodding home Alessandro Florenzi’s chip from the left after a nice buildup by the visitors.
And Roma took the lead on 81 minutes when Simone Perrotta slammed the ball home after it had come off a defender and strayed into his path.
Destro capped the win by slotting into a virtually empty net after Miralem Pjanic’s cross had drawn the defense on 90 minutes.
Udinese, meanwhile, hammered Cagliari 4-1 to dominate the day’s mid-table battle while an Alberto Paloschi hat trick allowed Chievo to move further away from the relegation zone with a 4-2 victory away at Genoa.
Bologna secured only their fourth win of the campaign with a precious 2-1 win at home to Atalanta thanks to Manolo Gabbiadini’s late winner.
Earlier, a brace apiece from Gokhan Inler and Edinson Cavani helped Napoli demolish Serie A basement side Pescara 5-1.