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Pazzini inspires Inter Milan to victory

Posted By: Pti

Milan, Jan 31 (AP) Inter Milan needed new signingGiampaolo Pazzini''s inspiration to mount a second-halfcomeback and beat Palermo 3-2.

Pazzini joined Inter for euro12 million (USD 16.5million) on Friday. He came on at halftime yesterday withInter trailing 2-0 to goals from Fabio Miccoli and AntonioNocerino.

He hit his first in the 57th, before Inter goalkeeperJulio Cesar saved Javier Pastore''s penalty.

Pazzini scored his second in the 73rd and then earned thewinning penalty that was converted by Samuel Eto''o.

"You have to say he had an excellent game," Inter coachLeonardo said. "He made his debut off the bench when we weretwo goals down, scored twice and won a penalty."

Napoli beat Sampdoria 4-0 at home with Edinson Cavanihitting a hattrick to stay second, four points behind leagueleader AC Milan on 47. Lazio is third with 40 and Inter isfourth, two points back.

"I never have and never will start thinking about wherewe are in the standings," Napoli coach Walter Mazzarri said.

"We don''t want to start thinking about that."

Udinese followed up its win over Inter a week ago bybeating Juventus 2-1 at Turin''s Olympic Stadium.

Following a tepid first half Juventus'' Claudio Marchisioopened the scoring with an acrobatic volley after AlessandroDel Piero''s shot deflected into the air.

Udinese drew level soon after when Juventus failed toclear a corner and Cristian Zapata scored from the rebound.

With five minutes remaining, Alexis Sanchez slid homeMauricio Isla''s low pass to give Udinese victory.

Both teams ended the match with 10 men due to Sanchez andJuventus defender Leonardo Bonucci being sent off late on.

"We''re improving and we need to keep going as we are,"Zapata said. "We need to keep playing as well as we are toachieve our first aim, which is to guarantee our safety."

Also yesterday, it was; Cagliari 2, Bari 1; Genoa 3,Parma 1; Lecce 1, Cesena 1.

Palermo opened the scoring early through Mattia Cassaniwho took advantage of Davide Santon''s error and crossed forMiccoli who had the straight forward task of slotting pastCesar. MORE (AP) PM

Inter had its first chance from a Maicon corner in the 21st, but Salvatore Sirigu held Lucio''s powerful header.

Nocerino then made it 2-0 when he was first to a weakpunch from Cesar.

Pazzini came on at the break for Coutinho and immediatelyhelped lift Inter''s performance as Eto''o and Diego Militoforced Sirigu into saves.

Pazzini scored his first using his strength to turn inthe area and shoot past Sirigu.

Palermo narrowly missed scoring a third when Thiago Mottabrought down Pajtim Kasami in the area, but Pastore hit a weakpenalty that Cesar saved.

The Sicilian team was left to rue the miss in the 73rd.

Pazzini was left free to run on to Maicon''s freekick and headhis second at the near post.

Two minutes later, Inter was ahead. Ezequiel Munoz pulleddown Pazzini and Eto''o converted the penalty.

"It is an excellent result," Leonardo said. "At halftime,Palermo wasn''t only two goals ahead, but had a number of othergoal-scoring chances. But our second half showed the force andcharacter of this team."

Napoli opened the scoring in the 16th. Cavani took a passfrom Ezequiel Lavezzi, rounded Pietro Accardi and shot pastGianluca Curci.

Just before halftime Cavani scored his second from thepenalty spot, after Accardi had brought him down.

Marek Hamsik made it three for Napoli early in the secondhalf and Cavani wrapped up his hattrick in the 57th by pokingin Hamsik''s cross from close range.

"Like he did against Palermo, Cavani won the match on hiswon," Mazzarri said. (AP) PM

Story first published: Monday, January 31, 2011, 12:15 [IST]
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