Mon, Sep 03, 2007 - Page 18 News List

Ibrahimovic puts Inter top


Inter Milan's Zlatan Ibrahimovic, left, on his way past Empoli's Guillermo Giacomazzi on his way to score during their Italian Serie A first division soccer match in Empoli, Italy, on Saturday.


Swedish international striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored both goals as champions Inter Milan beat Empoli 2-0 on Saturday to go top of Serie A.

Inter had endured a disappointing start to the season last weekend when they were held to a 1-1 draw at the San Siro by Udinese in a game where goalkeeper Julio Cesar was sent off.

He was suspended on Saturday which meant a rare start for the experienced Francesco Toldo, who was kept busy by the battling Empoli.

Inter, still missing injured pair Marco Materazzi and Patrick Vieira, were in front after 13 minutes when Ibrahimovic volleyed in a Maicon cross.

Empoli had a penalty appeal turned down after 15 minutes when Luca Saudati was sandwiched between Ivan Cordoba and Walter Samuel, but the referee turned down the appeals.

The home side continued to press in the second half and Toldo was called upon to keep out a Davide Moro drive and then denied Vittorio Tosto and Nicola Pozzi in quick succession.

But against the run of play Inter made sure of the win with seven minutes remaining.

Dejan Stankovic combined with substitute Luis Figo down the right and Cesar touched on for the unmarked Ibrahimovic to sidefoot home.

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