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Inter Milan Move Nine Points Clear

Inter Milan extended their lead at the top of Serie A to nine points on Sunday night by beating city rivals AC Milan 2-1 in an entertaining derby at the San Siro. Jose Mourinho’s side seemed in complete command at the break thanks to goals from Adriano and Dejan Stankovic. But a second-half rally from the Rossoneri saw Alexandre Pato half the deficit while Milan also had several chances to claim an unlikely point. England star David Beckham played only 55 minutes before being replaced by Filippo Inzaghi as Milan looked to fight back.

Inter went into the game boosted by the news that closest challengers Juventus could only manage a 1-1 draw at home to Sampdoria earlier in the day. Giampaolo Pazzini put Samp ahead but Amauri nodded home an equaliser 17 minutes into the second half.

Third-placed Milan are two points adrift of Juve but three ahead of Fiorentina, for whom Adrian Mutu scored a hat-trick as they came back from 3-0 down to salvage a draw at Genoa. Thiago Motta put the home side in front in the 12th minute, but they were forced to play for an hour with 10 men after Giuseppe Biava was sent off for a second yellow card. Raffaele Palladino made it two for Genoa in the 38th minute and a penalty from Diego Milito added a third 10 minutes into the second half. Mutu responded from the spot on the hour mark before grabbing a second with a direct free-kick in the 80th minute. He completed his hat-trick with the final kick of the game.

Roma’s unbeaten start to 2009 was brought to a brutal end as they slipped to a 3-0 defeat at Atalanta. Cristiano Doni scored twice to add to Daniele Capelli’s opener as Atalanta crushed a Roma side which finished with 10 men following the late dismissal of Simone Perrotta.

Cagliari moved up to seventh after goals from Michele Fini and Alessandro Matri saw them beat struggling Lecce 2-0 while Palermo could only manage a goalless draw at rock-bottom Reggina.

Chievo, who are second bottom, needed a last-minute equaliser to salvage a draw against Catania, who had gone ahead thanks to a 13th-minute penalty from Pablo Ledesma.

Siena and Udinese also drew 1-1. Massimo Maccarone put the home side ahead but Italy international Antonio Di Natale levelled with 18 minutes to go.

Lazio halted their slide down the table with a 1-1 draw at home to Torino on Saturday night. Ignazio Abate’s first goal in the top flight put Torino on course for their first away win of the season after 36 minutes, but Sebastiano Siviglia equalised in the 75th minute.

Napoli’s woes continued as they were also held at home to a 1-1 draw by Bologna. Eduardo Reja’s side have not won a game since January 11, but that seemed set to change when Christian Maggio put them ahead in the 20th minute. However, their lead lasted only three minutes before Serie A’s top goalscorer Marco di Vaio pounced to earn Bologna a point which moved them three points clear of the bottom three.

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