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On-fire Ibrahimovic keeps Inter top
by Ian Plenderleith, November 17th, 2008 7AM



[ITALY] On a relatively high-scoring weekend in Serie A, two outstanding goals from Inter Milan's Zlatan Ibrahimovic kept his team at the top of the league. Milan's victory over Chievo Verona on a Kaka penalty was less spectacular, but kept the city rival breathing down Inter's neck in second place. Roma took three desperately needed points from the Rome derby.

Ibrahimovic's first goal at pink-shirted Palermo (2-0 win) was a super shot from outside the penalty area. His second was a free-kick struck with such force that the Palermo wall seemed to duck out of its way, and brought his season's league total goals to seven. "He only scores incredible goals, never bad goals. I want him to start scoring 'bad' goals now," quipped Inter Coach Jose Mourinho. He said his team didn't play well in the first half, but "we did well in midfield. In the locker room we said we could win this match and we dominated for long stretches in the second half. We improved and they suffered the counter blow of the two goals."

Next Saturday, Inter entertains Juventus, 4-1 winner over Genoa on Thursday (see Friday's Daily).

Milan had to rely on an early penalty from Kaka following a foul on Ronaldinho to top Chievo Verona, 1-0. "We found it more difficult today [Sunday] than against Lecce," said Milan President Adriano Galliani, "but we got the three points. It keeps us high in the standings and maintains our Scudetto challenge. From the start of training camp, everything is programmed towards winning the Scudetto." Milan now faces two consecutive road games, at Torino and Palermo.

A stale first half in the Roma-Lazio derby was followed by a lovely glancing header from Roma's Brazilian midfielder Julio Baptista five minutes after the restart, a goal that sufficed to give his team the 1-0 win and lift it three points clear of the relegation zone. Lazio's Cristian Ledesma was dismissed for his yellow card on 66 minutes, and Roma was able to enjoy a one-man advantage until its own Simone Perrotta followed him three minutes from time.

Napoli's challenge faltered with a 3-1 defeat at Atalanta, which scored two last-gasp goals through Thomas Manfredini and Sergio Floccari, his sixth of the campaign. Udinese was upset at home by Reggina, which moved off bottom spot thanks to a goal from Franco Brienza in its 1-0 win. Fiorentina's inconsistent form continued with a defeat at Cagliari by the same scoreline, the goal coming from a first-half Robert Acquafresca penalty kick.

Seventh-placed Catania scored eight goals in its first nine games, but has now scored five in the past two, including Sunday's 3-2 home win over Torino. Giuseppe Mascara scored all three for Catania, taking his season's tally to seven. Sampdoria won the other five-goal game, edging Lecce by the same scoreline. Siena and lowly Bologna shared two points and two goals.

Goals scored: 27 in 10 games (2.7 per game)



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