Icardi dou­ble helps In­ter thwart Vi­ola

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

CAP­TAIN Mauro Icardi hit a brace as In­ter Mi­lan held on amid a stir­ring Fiorentina fight­back to se­cure a pre­cious 4-2 Serie A win at the San Siro yes­ter­day.

In­ter started life un­der new coach Ste­fano Pi­oli with a cred­i­ble 2-2 draw with city ri­vals AC Mi­lan last week.

And, de­spite a few shaky mo­ments yes­ter­day, the for­mer Lazio han­dler won more plau­dits for another solid dis­play that closed the gap on lead­ers Ju­ven­tus to 12 points.

In­ter, rocked 4-1 at home by Fiorentina in the cor­re­spond­ing fix­ture last sea­son, were 3-0 up af­ter a se­ries of de­fen­sive er­rors al­lowed Marcelo Bro­zovic, An­to­nio Can­dreva and Icardi to beat Ciprian Tataru­sanu be­fore the 20minute mark.

De­spite re­duc­ing ar­rears be­fore the in­ter­val thanks to Nikola Kalinic, hopes of a fight­back dipped when Fiorentina skip­per Gon­zalo Rodriguez was shown a straight red card for an arm-up foul on Icardi.

But In­ter were shook up when Josip Ili­cic struck on the hour to set up a ner­vous fi­nale, and Icardi told Sky Sport: “We went off the boil in the sec­ond half... and that’s some­thing we have to man­age bet­ter.

“I don’t know if we’re afraid to win, but we have to kill off games bet­ter when we get in front.” Af­ter an Ili­cic free­kick and a tame Kalinic strike kept Han­danovic on his toes, Kalinic re­duced ar­rears in style af­ter hold­ing Danilo D’Am­bro­sio at bay to beat the In­ter keeper down low on 37 min­utes.

It was his sixth goal of the cam­paign, all of which have come away from home, but when Rodriguez saw red for stop­ping an Icardi of­fen­sive with his fore­arm Fiorentina’s hopes dimmed.

Ear­lier, Gre­goire De­frel came off the bench to hit a sen­sa­tional late lev­eller as Sas­suolo dented Napoli’s Serie A ti­tle hopes in a 1-1 draw at the San Paolo. A dom­i­nant Napoli looked on their way to a 1-0 win that would have moved them to within six points of Ju­ven­tus af­ter Lorenzo In­signe put the hosts ahead in the 42nd minute with a sen­sa­tional strike. But Sas­suolo, who be­came the first Serie A side this sea­son to field an all-Ital­ian start­ing XI, had French­man De­frel to thank for a share of the spoils when he came off the bench to beat Pepe Reina with an equally im­pres­sive, 82nd-minute vol­ley. It left Napoli sev­enth, eight points off the pace. “We’re get­ting into the penalty area eas­ily, but at 10 up I saw too many fancy moves and that angers me be­cause it shows we’re not fo­cused on killing off games,” Napoli coach Sarri said. – AFP

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