Sat | May 15, 2021

Inter remain in control despite draw

Published:Thursday | April 22, 2021 | 12:16 AM
Spezia’s Ardian Ismajli (left) and Inter Milan’s  Lautaro Martinez compete for the ball during their Italian Serie A match at the Alberto Picco stadium in La Spezia yesterday. The match ended 1-1.
Spezia’s Ardian Ismajli (left) and Inter Milan’s Lautaro Martinez compete for the ball during their Italian Serie A match at the Alberto Picco stadium in La Spezia yesterday. The match ended 1-1.

MILAN (AP):

Inter Milan were held to a 1-1 draw at relegation-threatened Spezia but still extended their lead at the top of the Serie A table yesterday.

Ivan Perišić cancelled out Diego Farias’ opener for Spezia as Inter moved 10 points above second-place AC Milan, after the Rossoneri lost 2-1 at home to Sassuolo.

Juventus came from behind to win 3-1 against Parma to move into third ahead of Atalanta’s match at Roma today.

Spezia remained five points above the relegation zone.

Inter were one of the three Italian clubs involved in the attempt to launch a Super League. Along with Juventus and Milan, the Nerazzurri abandoned the project on yesterday.

Inter had seen their 11-match winning run come to an end with a draw at Napoli on Sunday, but knew they could move 12 points clear after Milan’s loss.

But it was Spezia which took a surprise lead in the 12th minute when Farias’ snapshot went under Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanović. It was another howler from the veteran, just three days after an own goal against Napoli.

Inter piled on the pressure and it paid off six minutes from half-time, when Achraf Hakimi rolled a ball across from the right and Perišić poked it in at the far post.

RASPADORI DOUBLE SLOWS MILAN

Substitute Giacomo Raspadori scored twice in the final 14 minutes for Sassuolo to damage Milan’s chances of holding on to a Champions League spot.

Second-place Milan were firmly in the title race at the start of the year but are now looking nervously over their shoulder.

Atalanta could move a point above Milan if they beat Roma. Fifth-place Napoli also play today and can close the gap to three points with a win at home to Lazio.

Zlatan Ibrahimović was out injured, but Milan scored the opener in the 30th minute when Hakan Çalhanoğlu curled into the top-right corner.

Both teams had chances before Sassuolo turned the match on its head.

Raspadori passed to Jeremy Toljan on the right side of the area and his shot was deflected back into the path of his teammate, who turned it in at full stretch.

Raspadori doubled his tally seven minutes later with a low, angled shot which went in off the left post.

Juventus moved just a point behind Milan, but were forced to come from behind after Gastón Brugman’s sublime free kick gave relegation-threatened Parma the lead in the 25th.

Alex Sandro put Juventus in front with a goal either side of the interval, and Matthijs de Ligt sealed the result in the 68th.