Italian league leaders Inter Milan equalled the Serie A record
of 11 consecutive wins after fighting back from a goal down to beat
Atalanta 2-1 on Saturday.
A hard-fought victory at the San Siro in the final round of
games before the winter break saw Inter match Roma's winning streak
of last season and maintain their seven-point cushion at the top of
Cristiano Doni gave Atalanta a deserved half-time lead before
Adriano equalised with his first goal in an Inter shirt for nine
Atalanta defender Simone Loria headed into his own net 15
minutes from time to gift Roberto Mancini's side three crucial
Mancini saluted his side, which was missing several key players
because of injuries and suspensions, for their second half
"We knew it was going to be a very tough match and Atalanta
played very well in the first half," he said.
"But after the break we came out fighting to get the three
Mancini said he hoped Adriano's confidence would be restored
after the Brazil international ended his lengthy goal drought.
"The goal was very important for him and let's hope he can start
the new year by playing the way that we know he can," he said.
Inter have 48 points from their 18 matches played, seven more
than Roma who won 2-0 at home to Cagliari.
Rodrigo Taddei's spectacular overhead kick set the 2001
champions on their way before his fellow Brazilian Mancini found
the net with a crisp shot.
Palermo remain third but dropped further off the pace after
being held 1-1 at Siena, while Gionatha Spinesi scored a hat-trick
as Catania beat Sampdoria 4-2, propelling the Sicilian dark horses
up to fourth place.
Lazio moved up to fifth after coming back from a goal down to
beat Parma 3-1. The win was even more remarkable given the fact
that Lazio had defender Sebastiano Seviglia sent off in the 15th
AC Milan, who were forced to start on minus eight points for
their part in the Italian match-fixing scandal, continued their
push for a Champions League place with a comfortable 3-0 win at
Kaka opened the scoring with a penalty before Alberto Gilardino
and Ricardo Oliveira ended Udinese's resistance.
Fiorentina hammered Messina 4-0 and Reggina thrashed Empoli 4-1,
while Livorno drew 1-1 at home to Torino. Bottom club Ascoli
defeated fellow strugglers Chievo 3-0 for their first win of the
Inter, who finished third last season but were awarded the title
after Juventus and AC Milan were found guilty of match-fixing, fell
behind in the 16th minute against a spirited Atalanta.
Luca Ariatti slipped a clever ball inbetween two Inter defenders
for Doni to run onto, and he drilled a right-footed shot into the
top corner from the edge of the 18-yard box for his seventh goal of
(China Daily December 25, 2006)