Series A: Inter beat Roma as Palermo go top

September 20, 2006

MILAN, Sept 20 (Reuters) - Palermo went clear at the top of Serie A with a 5-3 derby win over Catania on Wednesday while Inter Milan beat AS Roma 1-0 in the capital.

Palermo came from behind to trounce visiting Catania, in the first top flight derby between the two Sicilian clubs, making it three wins out of three for Francesco Guidolin's side.

A 44th minute goal from Argentina striker Hernan Crespo gave Inter Milan, who are third with seven points, victory at the Olympic stadium although they had French midfielder Patrick Vieira sent off for the second time this season.

Another Sicilian club, Messina, are in second place, on seven points, after a goal in each half by Christian Rigano gave them a 2-0 home victory over Reggina.

AC Milan picked up their third straight win with a 68th minute header from Czech international Marek Jankulovski earning them a 1-0 victory over Ascoli at San Siro.

Milan have now wiped out the eight-point penalty imposed on them by a sports tribunal and have one point.

Fans clashed before the start of the Sicilian derby while on the field Palermo suffered an early setback when Giorgio Corono's fine individual goal gave Catania a 27th minute lead.

But within a minute Palermo drew level through Giovanni Tedesco and Brazilian Fabio Simplicao then put them ahead two minutes after the break.

A Eugenio Corini penalty and goals by Brazilian Amauri and Italy defender Andrea Barzagli made sure of victory for Palermo.

"It is a fantastic win and we are absolutely delighted with a splendid performance," said coach Guidolin.

Inter were on top from the outset in Rome with Crespo's solo effort giving them a deserved lead before Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic missed a penalty and Argentine Javier Zanetti hit the post.

Vieira, who was sent off in the Champions League defeat by Sporting Lisbon earlier this month, was dismissed in injury time for a second bookable offence.

Milan also had plenty of chances to wrap up their game against Ascoli but almost ended up having to accept a point.

Jankulovski produced a fine header as he latched on to a superb floated pass from Andrea Pirlo to break the deadlock for Milan after Filippo Inzaghi had missed a great chance.

Brazilian Kaka then wasted a perfect chance to make it 2-0 before Milan suffered a late scare as Ascoli's Ukrainian Viktor Boudianski hit the bar with a thundering long-range drive.

Sampdoria produced an outstanding comeback from three goals down to draw 3-3 at home to Udinese while Fiorentina picked up their first win of the season with an early Adrian Mutu goal giving them a 1-0 victory over visitors Parma.

Fiorentina, who had a 19 point penalty imposed on them at the start of the season as a result of Italy's match-fixing scandal, are now on minus 16 at the bottom of the table.

Lazio, who got an 11-point penalty from the tribunal which investigated the match-fixing claims, are now on minus eight after a Massimo Oddo penalty gave them a 1-0 win at Chievo.