Leonardo good off to a winning start in charge of Inter as Thiago Motta scored twice to help Inter beat Napoli 3-1. in a 3-1 success against SSC Napoli in the final game of a full Epiphany programme in Serie A.
Thiago Motta was the hero for the home side with the first and the last goal in a pulsating game. He put Inter ahead after three minutes, but Michele Pazienza deservedly levelled for an impressive Napoli in the 25th minute.
Esteban Cambiasso restored Inter’s lead in the 37th minute before Motta’s second sealed the win and allowed Inter to start eating into their huge deficit on league leaders AC Milan.
Earlier, Antonio Cassano came off the bench on his AC Milan debut to set up Rodney Strasser for a late winner at Cagliari that extends Milan’s their Serie A lead. Milan went into the Christmas break three points clear of both Lazio and Napoli. However, they were struggling to break the deadlock at Cagliari when Cassano, freshly signed from Sampdoria, was brought on and with five minutes left played through fellow substitute Strasser for his first Milan goal.
Lazio are now five points behind Milan after being held 0-0 by Genoa while Juventus’s 13-game Serie A unbeaten run was ended with a shock 4-1 home defeat to Parma. Juve had Felipe Melo sent off after only 17 minutes, and Parma took advantage with Sebastian Giovinco, who is on loan from the Turin club, scoring his side’s first two goals either side of half-time.
Roma overtook Juve to go fourth as Mirko Vučinić struck twice late on to beat Catania 4-2. The bottom four faced off and Cesena moved three points clear of the relegation zone as they beat Brescia 2-1 and Lecce lost 1-0 to basement club Bari.