Tue, Nov 14, 2006 - Page 20 News List

Palermo, Inter Milan remain tied atop Serie A

DPA , MILAN

PHOTO: REUTERS

Palermo and Inter Milan retained the joint lead of the Italian Serie A on Sunday as each secured wins against lowly sides.

Palermo notched a round 3-0 win over promoted visitors Torino, while Inter had to thank a last-gasp goal from Ricardo Cruz to clinch a 2-1 win in a late game at Parma.

The Sicilians are the league top scorers with 26 goals and on 27 points from 11 games lead the title holders Inter on goal difference.

Third on 23 points lie Roma, who late Saturday snatched a 2-1 win at penalized giants AC Milan, while Fiorentina, also penalized, beat promoted Atalanta 3-1.

Torino's careful defense tactics and sudden counterattacks caused Palermo quite a few problems early in the game, particularly on nine minutes when Alessandro Rosina hit the post.

The Palermo attacks gradually gathered steam, creating dangerous chances through David Di Michele from close range and Australia's Mark Bresciano, whose shots were twice saved by Christian Abbiati.

The hosts' keeper, though, stood no chance on 43 minutes when Palermo captain Eugenio Corini tapped in a feeble drive from Brazilian teammate Simplicio.

Di Michele was on target on 62 minutes leaping past the onrushing keeper and 15 minutes later suffered a serious muscle injury as he set up Brazilian Amauri for 3-0.

"It would be nice if the whole city took part, even more than what they are already doing, in this moment and enjoy this lead, which we consider deserved, albeit temporary," Palermo coach Francesco Guidolin said after his side's fifth straight win.

"In the first 15 minutes it was a balanced game. Then we pressed harder and took the lead, but the first 15 minutes were hard," he said.

In Parma, Inter struggled after taking the lead on 14 minutes through Zlatan Ibrahimovic as they were tied shortly after by an Igor Budan goal.

Two minutes into injury time, Cruz topped a long pressing flicking home after a poor defensive clearance.

A sparkling game in Catania saw the promoted Sicilian hosts edge Livorno 3-2 with a last-gasp goal that pushed them level on 16 points with their opponents and with Atalanta and Siena.

A one-point penalty for a missed tax payment and a 1-0 home beating to Reggina held Siena on 16 points, while the guests from Reggio Calabria rose to zero points from a 15-point penalty received in a match fixing-trial, which also involved Milan, Lazio, Fiorentina and Juventus.

A flurry of goals at Rome's Stadio Olimpico delighted Lazio fans as Stefano Mauri and Tommaso Rocchi scored a brace each, pushing their side onto 12 points through a 5-0 hammering of Udinese.

The side from Udine now lie level on 13 points with Sampdoria, who beat lowly Chievo Verona 3-0 with a brace by Fabio Quagliarella.

Messina have 14 points after a 2-2 home draw with Cagliari.

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