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Inter back on top as Roma pummel Palermo

Inter back on top as Roma pummel Palermo

MILAN: Ivan Perisic’s maiden goal for Inter Milan in a 1-1 draw at Sampdoria sent the Nerazzurri provisionally back on top of Serie A on Sunday, as AS Roma continued their early season push with a convincing 4-2 win away to Palermo.

Elsewhere, four-time defending champions Juventus recorded only their second league win of the season as they came from behind to beat bottom side Bologna 3-1, while Keita Balde and Filip Djordjevic struck in the 80th and 94th minutes to seal a 2-0 win for Lazio over promoted Frosinone.

With five opening wins, Roberto Mancini’s Inter side had been the early season pacesetters — until a 4-1 humbling by Fiorentina last week sent La Viola on top thanks to superior goal difference.

The Nerazzzurri’s title ambitions were kept in check for the second successive week and Sampdoria were unlucky not to take all three points after missing a host of chances in a dominant first half.

In a hotly-contested encou­nter at the Luigi Ferraris stadium, Inter were heading for their second successive defeat after Luis Muriel slid in at the back post to meet Pedro Pereira’s inswinging cross and beat goalkeeper Samir Handanovic in the 51t minute.

It ended the hosts’ long wait for a goal after a succession of earlier misses by Eder, Muriel and Joaquin Correa, who produced an absolute howler when he somehow skewed the ball wide of an empty net only a yard from the goal-line.

Those misses proved costly when Sampdoria’s defence went walkabout in the 75th minute and Perisic stuck out his right leg at the back post to beat Emiliano Viviano.

Inter’s first draw of the season sent them top of the pile with a one-point lead on Fiorentina, who were playing later on Sunday.

Fellow scudetto hopefuls Roma moved up to fourth place, a point below Lazio who are below Fiorentina on goal difference and two points behind Inter, with a comprehensive win away to Palermo.

Roma were looking to bounce back from a 3-2 loss to BATE Borisov in the Champions League and Miralem Pjanic gave them the lead after just 108 seconds, rolling the ball into the bottom right corner after a one-two with Alessandro Florenzi.

The pair combined for another goal in the 14th minute when Pjanic’s scuffed shot turned into an assist for Florenzi and Gervinho confirmed his recent return to form with a superb curling drive on 28 minutes to put the match beyond reach.

Palermo reduced arrears twice, through Alberto Gilardino on the hour and Gonzalez on the stroke of full time but Gervinho secured the points with his second of the match barely a minute later.

Sami Khedira sealed the win for Juve on his Serie A debut after Paulo Dybala’s penalty and Alvaro Morata’s equaliser. Anthony Mounier had given Bologna the lead thanks in part to a rare error from Gianluigi Buffon.

It was a first home league win for Juve, who moved up to 12th.

Published in Dawn, October 5th , 2015

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