Inter Milan holds off Catania: Serie A

Inter Milan rejoined Lazio in third place in Serie A Sunday with a 2-0 win over a Catania squad that threatened to draw until the final five minutes.
Inter Milan's Rodrigo Palacio celebrates his goal in the 85th minute. (Claudio Villa/Getty Images)

Inter Milan rejoined Lazio in third place in Serie A Sunday with a 2-0 win over a Catania team that threatened to steal a point until the final five minutes.

Antonio Cassano opened the scoring in the 28th minute at the San Siro by easily heading in a pass from Esteban Cambiasso, and Rodrigo Palacio secured the win with an expert chest control and volley in the 85th.

Sergio Almiron, Mariano Izco and the rest of Catania's Argentine-filled squad had several chances, but Inter's talented strike trio of Cassano, Palacio and Diego Milito proved too much to handle.

Cassano has five goals since transferring from city rival AC Milan on the eve of the season, and continues to impress despite being left out of Italy's national squad recently.

Inter and Lazio each trail leader Juventus by four points, with second-place Napoli just one point ahead in second following a 2-0 loss at Juventus on Saturday. Also Saturday, Lazio beat struggling AC Milan 3-2.

"The standings are not important, we shouldn't be looking at that," Inter manager Andrea Stramaccioni said. "We took an important step today. In the second half, for the first time this season, I saw fluid movements without conceding anything."

Roma is fifth, eight points back, following a comeback 4-2 win at Genoa.

After Juraj Kucka and Bosko Jankovic gave Genoa a 2-0 lead after just 15 minutes, Roma hit back with Francesco Totti's 217th Serie A goal — to move to third place on the all-time list — two scores from Pablo Osvaldo, and another from Erik Lamela.

Osvaldo has five goals in his past four matches.

"During the first 20 minutes we didn't read the match well, then our skill and quality emerged and we were able to play solid football," Osvaldo said.

Fiorentina is next, 10 points back, after a 1-1 draw at Chievo Verona.

Cyril Thereau gave Chievo the lead in the 17th and Gonzalo Rodriguez equalized for Fiorentina a minute later. Also, Fiorentina striker Luca Toni hit the post at the end of the first half. The Tuscan squad is yet to win away.

Elsewhere, Parma beat 10-man Sampdoria with two goals from Brazilian-born forward Amauri; Palermo and Torino drew 0-0; and 10-man Udinese edged out promoted Pescara with a 53rd-minute goal from Brazilian midfielder Maicosuel, whose missed "Panenka" penalty kick cost Udinese a spot in the Champions League a couple of months ago.

Also, Atalanta celebrated its 105th anniversary with a 2-1 comeback win over last-place Siena, with goals from Luca Cigarini and Giacomo Bonaventura.

Earlier in the lunchtime fixture, Cagliari beat Bologna 1-0 to move out of the relegation zone. Belgium midfielder Radja Nainggolan scored on the hour mark by finishing off a counterattack with a shot from the edge of the area.

The best visiting Bologna could produce was a header off the post from Alberto Gilardino in the first half and a dangerous effort from Alessandro Diamanti in the 78th that Cagliari goalkeeper Michael Agazzi stopped with a reflex save.