Inter's Euro hopes fade

A review of the weekend's action in Italy's Serie A, including a defeat for Inter Milan at Cagliari on Sunday.

Last Updated: 14/04/13 at 22:32 Post Comment

Mauricio Pinilla celebrates for Cagliari

Mauricio Pinilla celebrates for Cagliari

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Cagliari made a perfect return to their temporary home in Trieste as Mauricio Pinilla scored twice to defeat struggling Inter Milan 2-0 at the Stadio Nereo Rocco on Sunday.

Inter's week spent blaming officials' decisions for their disappointing campaign ended with another controversial penalty call as Pinilla fired the rehoused Sardinians ahead midway through the second half before hitting the winner 15 minutes from time.

Cagliari have left the doomed Stadio Is Arenas to move back to the Rocco, where they closed out last season, but the 600-mile journey north east did not adversely affect their players, who now find themselves in the top half of the Serie A table.

Inter, meanwhile, drop to seventh on the back of a second consecutive defeat, with the prospect of Champions League, or even Europa League football for next season fading fast.

Goran Pandev kept Napoli four points clear of AC Milan with the equaliser in a 1-1 draw on Sunday.

Mathieu Flamini played both hero and villain as he briefly cut Napoli's lead over third place to a single point at San Siro before seeing red for a reckless challenge on Juan Camilo Zuniga in the second half.

The Azzurri were hoping to maintain their pursuit of Serie A leaders Juventus but Pandev's equaliser was only enough to cut the gap to eight points with six games remaining.

Roma held on for the final 10 minutes with a man less to claim a potentially valuable three-point haul from a 2-1 win away to Torino.

The visitors twice led in the match - goals from Pablo Osvaldo and Erik Lamela sandwiching an equaliser from Rolando Bianchi - but were left sweating at the end after their Italy international defender Federico Balzaretti picked up a second yellow card for a foul on Alessio Cerci.

Torino could not make the most of their numerical advantage though as Roma claimed a victory that moves them level on 51 points with fifth-placed Lazio, who play host to runaway leaders Juventus on Monday night.

Udinese moved within three points of the Europa League places after Luis Muriel scored twice in a comfortable 3-0 victory at Parma.

Bianconeri coach Francesco Guidolin was worried about visiting the Stadio Ennio Tardini without his suspended 20-goal striker Antonio Di Natale, but Muriel allayed his fears with a coolly-taken brace in the first half.

Parma, who dropped into the bottom half of the table, were at a loss for ideas after the break and Roberto Pereyra compounded their misery with a third goal on the hour mark.

Matuzalem spared Genoa's blushes with a fortuitous equaliser in a 1-1 derby draw as 10-man Sampdoria missed the chance to complete a rare double.

Samp were in no mood to do their city rivals any favours in their battle to beat the drop and Eder's improvised free-kick put Delio Rossi's men on course to follow up November's 3-1 derby victory and push Genoa closer to relegation.

But Matuzalem pounced on a mistake from Samp goalkeeper Sergio Romero, after Andrea Costa had seen red, to keep the Rossoblu within two points of 17th-placed Siena with six games remaining.

Palermo saw their survival hopes suffer a setback as they were held 1-1 at home by Bologna.

Josip Ilicic gave the hosts a flying start at the Stadio Renzo Barbera with a goal after just five minutes, but Manolo Gabbiadini brought Bologna level soon after.

Palermo searched for a winner, but could not find one as they were left inside the bottom three, two points adrift of Siena and safety.

Elsewhere, Catania's hopes of competing in Europe next season suffered a blow as they drew a blank in a goalless draw at lowly Chievo.

On Saturday, Fiorentina got back into the hunt for a place in the Champions League next season thanks to a 2-0 win at Atalanta, who ended the game with 10 men.

The hosts faded after a good start and a penalty scored by David Pizarro gave Fiorentina the lead after an hour's play.

Marcelo Larrondo made it two 10 minutes later to seal Fiorentina's victory.

Atalanta remain in mid-table, but will have to do without striker German Denis in at least their next game against Genoa after he received a red card in the last minute.

Siena boosted their survival hopes and pushed Pescara even closer to relegation with a dramatic 3-2 win at the Stadio Adriatico.

Angelo and a Damiano Zanon own goal gave the Bianconeri a two-goal cushion at the interval, but Pescara launched a spirited fightback in the second half to level through goals from Mervan Celik and Eugenio Togni.

However, Siena bagged victory in a pulsating relegation battle four minutes to spare with Innocent Emeghera taking them out of the relegation zone and leaving their hosts nine points behind.


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