Stankovic hits three in Inter`s "mad" 5-2 win

Milan: Midfielder Dejan Stankovic set alight a freezing San Siro with his first three goals of the Serie A season in Inter Milan`s remarkable 5-2 win over Parma, their first league victory in a month.

The champions have struggled this term with injuries and form but after Wednesday`s Champions League victory over Twente Enschede, the pressure on coach Rafael Benitez was further eased by a battling if fortunate win which sent his side up to fifth.

"It was a mad game," Benitez told reporters. "We can still aim for the scudetto, the championship still has a long way to run."

Inter now trail leaders AC Milan by seven points after their city rivals drew 1-1 at Sampdoria on Saturday, but second-placed Lazio failed to take advantage with influential Brazilian midfielder Hernanes rifling in to grab a 1-1 draw with Catania.

Lazio, three points behind Milan, host Inter on Friday.

Juventus, who were held 1-1 by Fiorentina on Saturday, stayed third after Napoli went down 3-1 at Udinese where Naples-born Antonio Di Natale refused to celebrate after hitting his second hat-trick of the campaign.

Last term`s Serie A top scorer netted a penalty, a superb swerving long range effort and directly from a corner after an error by Marek Hamsik, who went straight up the other end to fire in a consolation before missing his own spotkick.

AS Roma can go above Juve with a win at Palermo at 1945 GMT.

Bari stayed bottom after 14 games following a 1-1 draw with promoted Cesena while Cagliari beat struggling Lecce 3-2.

Bologna, awaiting a possible points deduction for financial irregularities, tried to get their game with Chievo on but heavy snowfall meant the match was postponed just before kickoff.

Bureau Report