Del Piero strikes late as Juve beat Inter 2-1
Updated: 2006-02-13 09:33
ROME, Feb 12 (Reuters) - Juventus' grip on Serie A tightened to a
stranglehold on Sunday when a late goal by Alessandro Del Piero gave them a 2-1
win at nearest challengers Inter Milan.
The striker's 85th-minute free
kick gave Juve 66 points from 25 matches, 12 ahead of AC Milan, who moved up to
second with a 4-1 win at Reggina. Inter slipped to third, also on 54 points.
Juventus started the game at San Siro stadium aggressively, pinning Inter
back on the edge of their area.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Emerson forced early saves from Julio Cesar while a
low cross by Mauro Camoranesi flew dangerously across goal but somehow failed to
find a Juve boot.
Gradually, though, Inter found a rhythm. Adriano's header was turned behind
by a defender and Juve's Gianluigi Buffon came off his line to punch the ball
away from Esteban Cambiasso.
Inter's players briefly thought they had taken the lead three minutes before
halftime when Adriano curled a free kick past Buffon but referee Gianluca
Paparesta signalled that the kick had been taken before he was ready.
Inter continued to create chances after the break. Obafemi Martins sprinted
down the right and crossed low into the path of Adriano but the Brazil forward
was robbed of possession by Lilian Thuram before he could get his shot away.
In the end it was a lapse in concentration by Inter that allowed the visitors
to take a 63rd-minute lead.
Camoranesi crossed to the far post where Ibrahimovic took advantage of a
defensive mix-up between Javier Zanetti and Ivan Cordoba to sneak in front of
both and slot the ball past Cesar.