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Palacio Keeps Inter In Line For A European Place

Palacio-InterInter Milan kept their faint Champions League dreams alive as they won 2-0 at Sampdoria tonight in a rearranged Serie A game.

The win puts Inter on 50 points, level with Lazio in fifth and one point behind Fiorentina in fourth. Unfortunately for Inter, only three teams from Serie A qualify for the Champions League, and they are 7 points behind city rivals AC Milan, with 8 games to go. Samp, meanwhile, slipped one position to 13th but stayed ten points clear of the relegation zone having enjoyed several promising chances until Inter shut up shop for much of the second half.

The first 45 minutes were dominated by Sampdoria as Inter were content to sit back and hto Samp on the counter-attack.

First Palacio latched onto Antonio Cassano’s weighted ball forward to ripple the side-netting, but he had been a yard offside. Nenad Krsticic went even closer as he cut inside to test Handanovic with a left-footed effort but Samp would live to regret their missed chances. In the 43rd minute, Palacio broke forward again, on this occasion timing his run perfectly to nick in between the centre-backs and head Alvaro Pereira’s cross into the back of the net.

Inter have been heavily linked with Samp’s nine-goal striker Mauro Icardi and he lived up to the billing,first heading just over the bar before Samir Handanovic struggled to save his header from a Sansone corner.

In the second half Sampdoria continued to press for the equalizer as Inter seemed content to concede possession as long as it did not lead to goals. And with Handanovic in outstanding form again, Samp could not find a way through the Inter defence.

And then deep into added time, the Nerazzurri hit another perfect counter-attack as Palacio dribbled past three defenders to slip a delicate angled drive beneath Romero at the near post.