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Teen Balotelli is unlikely Inter Milan hero
by Paul Kennedy, February 23rd, 2009 7AM



[ITALY] Inter Milan didn't give challengers Juventus and AC Milan any chance to make a dent on its big lead when won at Bologna, 2-1, on Sunday. The win left Inter nine points ahead of Juventus, a 2-0 winner at Palermo, and 11 points in front of AC Milan, which edged Cagliari, 1-0, on a second-half Clarence Seedorf goal.

Teenager Mario Balotelli, who has spent most of the season in Coach Jose Mourinho's doghouse, scored his first goal of the Serie A campaign on his first touch after coming off the bench to give Inter the win. His free kick into the box went untouched and found the corner of the Bologna goal with eight minutes to play. Bologna had several chances to equalize by was stymied by goalie Julio Cesar.

Juventus got goals from Mohamed Sissoko and veteran Frenchman David Trezeguet -- his first of the season after missing five months with a knee injury.

Both Inter and Juventus have big matches this week against English clubs in the UEFA Champions League. Inter hosts defending champion Manchester United on Tuesday, while Juve plays at Chelsea on Wednesday.

David Beckham was back in the starting lineup for Milan after spending most of Wednesday's UEFA Cup game against Werder Bremen on the bench.



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