Internazionale Milano were rewarded for their patience as two second-half strikes gave them a 2-0 win against ACF Fiorentina and kept them four points clear of an AS Roma side that had won 3-1 at Udinese Calcio earlier in the day.
Inter had been the dominant force in the first half but Fiorentina goalkeeper SÃƒÂ©bastien Frey continued to repel their best efforts to forage the opening goal as he kept out strikes from Patrick Vieira, Javier Zanetti and Julio Cruz. Ten minutes into the second half though Esteban Cambiasso did beat the French international after Vieira had pulled back a cross from the byline. Seven minutes later, the points were safe as 17-year-old Mario Balotelli justified his selection by rounding the goalkeeper to make it 2-0.
Earlier in the day, Roma had recovered from their midweek UEFA Champions League defeat at Manchester United FC to win at Udinese and maintain the pressure on the league leaders. Antonio Di Natale headed the home side into the lead, but Mirko VuÃƒÂ¨iniÃƒÂ¦ levelled from David Pizarro’s pass and Taddei put Luciano Spalletti’s side in front with an effort that cannoned in off the woodwork before Ludovic Giuly completed a fine away win with a strike late on.
Elsewhere, UC Sampdoria failed to move above AC Milan into fifth after losing to a Franco Brienza goal at Reggina Calcio, who started the day at the bottom of the table. Cagliari Calcio won 2-1 at fellow strugglers AS Livorno Calcio while relegation battlers Empoli FC also picked up a point, drawing 1-1 at Parma FC. Genoa CFC won 3-0 at home against Torino FC and Simone Loria’s late goal earned AC Siena a 1-1 draw at S.S. Lazio, while SSC Napoli beat Atalanta BC 2-0.
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