Friday, August 18, 2017

Serie A wrap: Inter hopes fade, Milan romp

Inter Milan’s Scudetto hopes appear all but over after a 2-0 loss at Parma on Saturday, while AC Milan extended their lead with another win.

Inter’s form has been on the slide ever since the defending champions fell to Milan in the Derby della Madonnina on April 2, and were since bundled out of the Champions League by German side Schalke.

With Milan rediscovering their best form despite the ongoing absence of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Napoli surging up the table, Inter needed a win at Parma in order to remain in touching distance of the title with five games remaining.

But it was not to be, as Sebastian Giovinco and Amauri netted goals in either half to leave Inter trailing Milan by eight points.

Giovinco left Inter goalkeeper Julio Cesar for dead on 34 minutes, with the Italy international pouncing on Francesco Modeto’s cut-back pass with a blistering left-footed strike that found the far corner.

The visitors could not equalise past Parma custodian Antonio Mirante, who saved several attempts from Dejan Stankovic and Wesley Sneijder, and former Juventus forward Amauri landed the killer blow with a goal four minutes from stoppage time.

The result will only bring further cheer to bitter cross-town rivals Milan, who thumped visiting Sampdoria 3-0 to open up a provisional six-point lead on top of the table.

Dutch midfielder Clarence Seedorf blasted a free kick from range past the outstretched arms of Gianluca Curci in the 20th minute, a lead that was stretched after the break by Antonio Cassano and Robinho.

Cassano, substituted on for Alexandre Pato, converted from the penalty spot against his former club following Massimo Volta’s 54th-minute handball.

Robinho headed in his 11th goal of the campaign after Cassano met a through ball at the left post and looped a clever pass over for the Brazilian after the hour.

Napoli can peg the gap back to three points when they host Udinese on Sunday.

Finally, Roma’s campaign hit another low with a 3-2 loss at home to Palermo.

Veteran forward Francesco Totti put Roma ahead from the spot in the 20th minute, but Mauricio Pinilla was equal to the task shortly before half-time and Uruguay international Abel Hernandez sent the visitors clear with a second-half brace.

Montenegrin attacker Mirko Vucinic added a consolation strike in stoppage time for Roma, whose position in the Europa League places could come under threat from Juventus before the weekend is out.

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