Vieira winner gives Inter 2-1 win over Palermo
November 27, 2006 6:25pm CST
ROME, Nov 26 (Reuters) - Inter Milan extended their lead at the top of Serie A to four points when Patrick Vieira scored the winner in a 2-1 victory at Palermo on Sunday. Vieira's 61st-minute goal -- his first for the club since his close-season transfer from Juventus -- followed first-half strikes by Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Palermo striker Amauri. The result left Inter on 33 points from 13 matches. Palermo slipped to third on 27 points, two points behind AS Roma who climbed to second after a 4-2 win at Sampdoria. Inter took an early lead when striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic unleashed a low, long-range drive that skidded under the body of keeper Alberto Fontana in the seventh minute. Palermo pulled level seconds before the break with a goal from Brazilian Amauri. Marco Pisano crossed from the left, Mark Bresciano nodded it across the box and Amauri side-footed the ball powerfully into the bottom corner. Inter, however, continued to create the clearer chances when play restarted. Fontana did well to palm a Marco Materazzi header off his line, but was left flatfooted in the 61st minute, when Adriano broke forward, slid the ball out to the right and Vieira fired coolly into the roof of the net from the edge of the area. "I think we should have been ahead at the end of the first half. Palermo created very little, though Amauri did well on the goal," Inter coach Roberto Mancini told Italy's Sky TV. "As far as the championship goes, though, this doesn't change anything. We have only played 13 rounds. "Palermo have played a great championship so far, as have Roma. I think all three will compete for the scudetto right to the end of the season." TWO FROM TOTTI The Roma side that travelled north to Genoa resembled more the one that thrashed Catania 7-0 last weekend than the one that slithered to a 1-0 defeat in the Champions League against Shakhtar Donetsk midweek. Daniele De Rossi sent captain Francesco Totti through alone on goal to score Roma's first goal after 13 minutes. A short clearance by defender Philippe Mexes allowed Sergio Volpi to equalise a minute later, but midfielder Simone Perrotta restored Roma's lead shortly after the half-hour mark with a shot from the edge of the area. Totti provided the cross for defender Christian Panucci to volley in their third goal just before the interval, then killed off Sampdoria's hopes of fighting back with a precise angled volley midway through the second half. Striker Francesco Flachi grabbed Sampdoria's second goal in stoppage time from the penalty spot after he was fouled by Marco Cassetti. Elsewhere, Roma's city rivals Lazio continued their good league form, making it three league wins in a row as Manuel Belleri, Goran Pandev and Pasquale Foggia scored to sink Ascoli 3-1. Livorno hung on to fourth place with 20 points despite letting a two-goal lead slip to draw 2-2 with Reggina.