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Inter beat Torino, Milan sunk at San Siro in Serie A

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Rome, March 15 (IANS) Inter Milan saw their lead over second-placed AC Milan extend to nine points after a 2-1 away win over Torino, while the Rossoneri suffered a 1-0 home defeat to Napoli.

Inter had won seven Serie A fixtures on the bounce before Sunday’s game, and with Arturo Vidal injured, Roberto Gagliardini stepped into the starting line-up.

The Nerazzurri pinned Torino back from the beginning of the game, but failed to break the compact defence in the first half, while the home side created a genuine chance when Lyanco’s header smacked the woodwork, Xinhua reported.

Inter continued its pressure after the interval, and finally went ahead on the hour mark as Lautaro Martinez won a penalty that Romelu Lukaku converted.

The Granata got back on levels terms minutes later when Antonio Sanabria found the net amid chaos in the box.

The home side was increasingly pegged back after 1-1, while Inter threw on Alexis Sanchez to strengthen the attack, and it worked in the 85th minute when Sanchez’s floated cross over the top found Martinez who steered his header into the far corner.

The win, coupled with Milan’s defeat, allowed Inter to lead the table with 65 points, nine points ahead of its city rivals.

In a high-profile fixture between AC Milan and Napoli, former Milan player and boss Gennaro Gattuso made his first return to the San Siro in the opposing dugout.

But Gattuso showed no mercy as his side managed a 1-0 victory with Matteo Politano scoring the winner, while Milan striker Ante Rebic was sent off in the dying minutes for insulting the referee.

Juventus bounced back from their Champions League exit by beating Cagliari 3-1. Cristiano Ronaldo bagged a perfect hat-trick with a header, right-footed and left-footed strike all within 31 minutes. That was the Portuguese’s second Serie A hat-trick, with his first also having come against Cagliari.

The win gives Juve hope of overtaking Milan for second place, as the Bianconeri ranks third with 55 points, but with a game in hand.

Also on Sunday, a pair of strikes from Valentin Mihaila and Hernani helped relegation battlers Parma stun Roma 2-0, while Sampdoria dominated Bologna 3-1.

–IANS

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