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Mercurial Milanese (VIDEO)
by Ian Plenderleith, October 20th, 2008 7AM



[ITALY] It was a good weekend for the Milans, with champion Inter whupping wannabe title pretender Roma, 4-0, in its own backyard, while AC began to find its groove with a 3-0 home victory over Sampdoria. Stuttering Juventus lost again, to high-flying Napoli, 2-1.

Inter utterly dominated and outplayed its host, moving back to what its fans will see as the reigning champion's rightful place at the top of the table. Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored twice, and there were goals too from Dejan Stankovic and Nsofor Victor Obinna, the Nigerian Olympic star. Roma fell to 14th, with just two wins from its first seven games.

"We really did do well today," said Inter coach Jose Mourinho. "I think the team is very intelligent and this is the fruit of the work we have done. We knew the Roma midfield [would make] lots of movements and it was important to stop them. I worked a lot on the midfielders."

Its city rival was enjoying an easy romp at home against 10-man Sampdoria, resting Kaka (though he came off the bench to set up a goal) while Ronaldinho scored twice (one from a penalty) and substitute Filippo Inzaghi added a late third. The team is now sixth, and just three points behind Inter, while its fans are busy wiping away their tears at the words of Ronaldinho: "Here in Milan I feel more at home with the passing of the days. All the people I meet welcome me very well and I hope to reward them with many more joys. In the meantime I'm recovering my rhythm."

The scoring woes of Juventus, meanwhile, continue. With just seven goals in as many games, it has still to score more than a single goal in any one match. On Saturday, it fell to Napoli, despite taking a second-half lead through Carvalho Amauri. Napoli struck back three minutes later through Slovak midfielder Marek Hamsik (his fourth of the season) and a winner from the impressively named Ezequiel Ivezzi 10 minutes from time.

"We'll analyze the goals we let in to avoid it happening again," promised Juve coach Claudio Ranieri after bemoaning injuries to two midfielders during the game. "We're doing the best we can at the moment, but the fact we're not able to win weighs down on everybody. Unfortunately this year we haven't been consistent; we have good spells, but we're not smooth enough." And this week his side faces Real Madrid in the Champions League.

Catania topped Palermo, 2-0, in the Sicilian derby to keep third place, while Udinese missed the chance to go top, held 2-2 at Lecce, though it did come back from two goals down. Lazio dropped to fifth after a 3-1 defeat at Bologna.

HIGHLIGHT (VIDEO): All four Inter goals at Roma -- exemplary finishing.

Inter Milan 7 5 1 1 13 5 16

Udinese 7 4 2 1 12 5 14
Catania 7 4 2 1 8 4 14
Napoli 7 4 2 1 10 7 14
Lazio 7 4 1 2 15 10 13
AC Milan 7 4 1 2 11 6 13
Fiorentina 7 4 1 2 9 6 13
Atalanta 7 4 1 2 8 6 13
Genoa 7 4 0 3 10 7 12
Palermo 7 4 0 3 10 10 12
Lecce 7 2 3 2 8 8 9
Juventus 7 2 3 2 6 6 9
Siena 7 2 2 3 5 5 8
Roma 7 2 1 4 8 12 7
Bologna 7 2 0 5 6 10 6
Chievo 7 1 3 3 5 9 6
Torino 7 1 2 4 7 11 5
Sampdoria 7 0 4 3 4 11 4
Cagliari 7 1 1 5 2 10 4
Reggina 7 0 2 5 4 13 2


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