Tue, Apr 24, 2007 - Page 19 News List

Inter claim Serie A title with 2-1 win

HISTORY MAKERS Roberto Mancini's side won the Italian championship with five matches still remaining, a feat previously only accomplished by Torino and Fiorentina


Inter Milan player Marco Materazzi and club president Massimo Moratti pose for a photo on a balcony at the Duomo Square in Milan, Italy, on Sunday.


Inter Milan won their 15th Serie A title on Sunday after beating Siena 2-1.

Marco Materazzi scored two goals to help Inter move 16 points clear of second-place AS Roma, who lost 2-1 at Atalanta.

Materazzi scored from close range in the 18th minute and converted a penalty in the 60th. Paolo Negro headed in Siena's goal in the 21st.

"The team has had an extraordinary season," Inter coach Roberto Mancini said. "To win five games from the end is a fantastic achievement. I am delighted for all Inter fans."

Mancini also announced that he had agreed to a four-year contract extension through 2011, with an option for another year.

The triumph matched Torino (1948) and Fiorentina (1956) for the league record of wrapping up the title with five games remaining and was only the third time Inter had won consecutive championships.

The Milan team also won back-to-back titles in 1953-54 and 1965-66 -- although last year's trophy was awarded by default following the Italian match-fixing scandal.

"We have won without stealing," Inter president and owner Massimo Moratti said. "We are all really happy. But my first thought is for Giacinto Facchetti. This championship has the imprint of his generosity and honesty."

The former Inter player and president died in September.

Inter have 84 points, followed by Roma with 68, Lazio with 57, Milan with 56 and Empoli with 50.

"I have been waiting a long time for this moment and made a lot of sacrifices," said Inter captain Javier Zanetti, who won his first title on the field since joining the club in 1995. "The Inter family deserves this joy. Our only objective has been to do well for Inter and our triumph has arrived for this reason."

Inter could have won the title on Wednesday but lost 3-1 to Roma.

"They deserve the title," Roma coach Luciano Spalletti said. "They have a great team and it is fair that they celebrate."

Roma were forced to field an understrength team in Bergamo. Philippe Mexes, David Pizarro and Amantino Mancini were suspended because of accumulated cards, while captain Francesco Totti was out with a back injury.

Cristiano Doni headed in Atalanta's first goal in the 37th minute and Riccardo Zampagna added the second with a looping shot over his right shoulder seven minutes later. Italy midfielder Simone Perrotta tapped in Roma's goal in the 74th.

Roma defender Matteo Ferrari was sent off in the 90th and will miss next weekend's derby against Lazio.

Also on Sunday, it was: Chievo Verona 2, Livorno 1; Empoli 0, Torino 0; Lazio 0, Fiorentina 1; Reggina 1, Udinese 1; and Parma beat 10-man Palermo 4-3 to climb out of the relegation zone.

On Saturday, Milan beat Cagliari 3-1 and Sampdoria downed Messina 3-1.

At Palermo, Parma rallied from a 2-1 half-time deficit with goals by Fernando Couto, Andrea Gasbarroni and Giuseppe Rossi for their first away victory this season.

Igor Budan put Parma ahead in the 25th before Mark Bresciano equalized in the 36th and David Di Michele converted a 45th-minute penalty.

Cristian Zaccardo got a late consolation goal for Palermo in the 90th.

Palermo defender Marco Pisano was expelled in the 58th for a two-footed lunge.

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