Milan: Inter Milan failed to ease the
pressure on beleaguered coach Rafael Benitez after slumping to
a 2-1 loss at Chievo Verona in the Serie A.
Chievo striker Sergio Pellissier scored in the first half
and teammate Davide Moscardelli added the second near the end
of the match, before Inter forward Samuel Eto`o pulled a goal
back in injury time yesterday.
Inter also lost 1-0 in the Milan derby last week,
prompting club president Massimo Moratti to criticize the
team`s approach to the match and warn Benitez that he expects
a return to form. Inter is sixth in the standings with 20
points, nine behind leader AC Milan.
"I`m a professional coach and I have faced this type of
situation before," Benitez said. "The only solution to it is
to keep working hard.”
"Clearly after a defeat like this, no one is happy. The
only good thing is that the players worked hard. But you can`t
really say much when you lose a game like this."
There could be further problems for Inter after Eto`o was
caught on camera head-butting Chievo defender Bostjan Cesar in
the chest in a scene reminiscent of Zinedine Zidane`s infamous
clash with Marco Materazzi in the 2006 World Cup final.
Cesar threw a weak punch that hit Eto`o in the face in
the 38th minute. The Cameroon international initially started
to jog away before turning around and butting Cesar in the
chest. No action was taken against either player.
"I didn`t see what happened, but I know he was hit
before," Benitez said. "Obviously no one likes this type of
situation, but it was clear he was hit and this is
provocation. We have four officials on the pitch and if none
of them consider it worth pursuing, we should leave it at
Lazio drew 1-1 with Parma to stay in second place with 26
points. Former Lazio striker Hernan Crespo gave Parma the lead
in the 23rd, before Sergio Floccari drew Lazio level with a
header in first-half injury time.
"I am happy if we continue to play like we did today. We
played well and created chances," Lazio coach Edy Reja said.
"Of course I`m not happy with the result. We created chances,
but didn`t take them."
Marek Hamsik scored twice to lead Napoli to a 4-1 win
over Bologna. Christian Maggio and Edinson Cavani also
collected goals as Napoli stayed third with 24 points.
Riccardo Meggiorini found the net for Bologna.
In Verona, Chievo attacked from the start, forcing Inter
goalkeeper Luca Castelazzi to push away Cyril Thereau`s shot
Chievo goalkeeper Stefano Sorrentino then stopped efforts
from Wesley Sneijder and Davide Santon before Pellissier
opened the scoring. Nicolas Frey crossed from the right and
Pellissier rose above Santon to head past Castelazzi in the
Pellissier nearly doubled his tally in the 32nd, but his
shot deflected off Inter defender Lucio for a corner.
"We knew that if we won the ball and got it forward
quickly we could cause Inter problems," Chievo coach Stefano
Piolo said. "Inter`s players pushed forward in attack and
Pellissier troubled the defense all game."
Not long after the break, Sorrentino denied Dejan
Stankovic and Sneijder in close succession. Chievo striker
Fernandes missed a great chance to add a second by missing an
open goal in the 65th.
Moscardelli`s goal wrapped up the game in the 82nd
minute. The big striker reached the ball ahead of Lucio to
sweep it home.
Eto`o`s 18th goal of the season for Inter came too late
to inspire a comeback. Juventus` Claudio Marchisio and Milos
Krasic scored in the first half to give their team a
comfortable 2-0 win at Genoa.
Juventus took the lead when Krasic crossed to Fabio
Quagliarella at the far post. The striker headed back into
Marchisio`s path and the midfielder`s low shot deflected off
Dario Dainelli in the 18th minute.
Krasic doubled the lead in the 23rd. He cut in from the
right wing, dribbled past Domenico Criscito and hit a low shot
that goalkeeper Eduardo got a hand to but couldn`t stop from
rolling in at the far post.
Genoa made Juventus work for the victory and twice hit
the goal frame. Italy fullback Domenico Criscito fired a
volley off the frame in the first half, and Houssine Kharja
also struck the bar with a long-range shot with six minutes
"The team is maturing and we played with the right
mentality," Juventus coach Luigi Delneri said. "We played very
well in the first half. After halftime, we let Genoa have the
ball a bit more so that they wouldn`t be able to hit us on the
Krasic continued to cause problems on the right wing,
putting in a cross in the 38th that Vincenzo Iaquinta shot
After the break, both sides continued to attack. Iaquinta
came close again in the 64th when he used his strength to
escape from Kakha Kaladze but Eduardo raced off his line to
block the subsequent shot.
Genoa substitute Mattia Destro forced goalkeeper Marco
Storari into a sharp save to push his shot wide for a corner.
Later, Eduardo again stopped Juventus from adding a third
when he smothered Marchisio`s effort. Two minutes later,
Storari was left stranded as Kharja struck the bar from
Former Italy coach Roberto Donadoni made a winning return
to club management when Cagliari came back from a goal down to
beat Brescia 2-1.
Cagliari`s Alessandro Matri and Daniele Conti scored in
the second half after Andrea Caracciola had scored a
first-half penalty for the hosts.
Also Sunday, it was; Catania 1, Bari 0; Cesena 1, Palermo
2 and Lecce 2, Sampdoria 3.