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Feb 24, 2013

Inter salvages derby draw as Juve romps

Four days after beating Barcelona, AC Milan's mood was tempered Sunday following a 1-1 draw with Inter in a derby that was a tale of two sharply different halves.

Serie A leader Juventus, meanwhile, rebounded from a defeat to Roma with a convincing 3-0 win over visiting Siena.

Milan dominated the first half and took the lead through Stephan El Shaarawy in the 21st minute, but Inter responded after the break and substitute Ezequiel Schelotto equalized in the 71st.

"It was a fair result,'' Inter coach Andrea Stramaccioni said. "Milan had a great first half and they put us in trouble but we responded well and finished better, in a crescendo.''

The draw left Milan third, six points behind second-place Napoli, which visits Udinese on Monday, and 13 points behind Serie A leader Juventus, which beat Siena 3-0 earlier.

Inter is one point behind Milan and level with Lazio, which hosts struggling Pescara on Monday.

In front of a colorful crowd at the San Siro, the 20-year-old El Shaarawy put the Rossoneri ahead by deftly controlling a pass from Kevin-Prince Boateng before using the outside of his foot to launch a precise shot in under the crossbar for the forward's 16th goal of the season.

Six minutes later, Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic prevented Milan from taking a two-goal lead with an acrobatic save to stop a powerful header from Mario Balotelli.

Balotelli, playing against his former club for the first time since transferring from Manchester City last month, also had two other chances in the first half.

Inter fans waved inflated bananas and whistled at Balotelli. The forward, who is of Ghanian descent, responded by holding a finger to his mouth midway through the second half, signaling for the fans to shut up.

Schelotto equalized by heading in a cross from Yuto Nagatomo after being left unmarked in the center of the area.

A midfielder, the Argentine-born Schelotto joined Inter from Atalanta last month, having debuted for Italy's national team last year.

"When the opposition is hurt, you need to kill it,'' Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri said, regretting his players' inability to score more in the first half.

Earlier in Turin, Juventus bounced back from its loss to Roma in convincing fashion.

Switzerland midfielder Stephan Lichtsteiner gave Juve the lead in the 30th after Siena goalkeeper Gianluca Pegolo redirected a pass from Mirko Vucinic directly into Lichtsteiner's path. Sebastian Giovinco doubled Juve's lead in the 74th from a sharp angle, with Pegolo again responsible, deflecting the shot off the bar and in.

France midfielder Paul Pogba added another for Juve in the 89th with a shot from beyond the area, his fifth this season after joining from Manchester United.

Siena's best chance came in the 76th when Innocent Emeghara, the Switzerland forward who has scored four goals since coming over on loan from French club Lorient last month, threatened with an impressive header that Juve goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon did well to tip off the bar.

"We had the right approach against a squad in very good health,'' said Juventus coach Antonio Conte, who previously managed Siena. "Today wasn't easy and the guys did well. We're in a key phase of the season and the details also make a difference.''

Elsewhere, Roma won 3-2 at Atalanta under the snow, which at times made the pitch in Bergamo completely white.

On loan from Inter Milan, 19-year-old Croatian forward Marko Livaja scored twice for Atalanta but Roma responded with goals from Marquinho, Miralem Pjanic and Vasileios Torosidis - the Greece defender who scored the winner in the 71st with a header from a sharp angle for his first goal since transferring from Olympiakos last month.

Roma, which beat Ju 1-0 last weekend with a blistering strike from Francesco Totti, is eighth, 18 points behind the leader.

Catania stayed two points ahead of Roma with a 2-1 win at Parma, getting goals from Francesco Lodi and Spanish forward Keko.

Also, Cagliari edged Torino 4-3 in a match behind closed doors at Cagliari's Is Arenas stadium, which has safety issues. Cagliari captain Daniele Conti scored the winner in the fifth minute of added time with a long shot that deflected in off a defender, two minutes after Rolando Bianchi had equalized for Torino with a penalty.

In the lunchtime fixture, Sampdoria moved safely into the middle of the table with a 2-0 win over Chievo Verona, extending its unbeaten streak to five matches.

Andrea Poli put Samp ahead in the 33rd with a precise, angled shot, then Brazilian forward Eder sprinted past three defenders to finish off a counterattack in the 83rd.

Sampdoria protested to no avail for a last-man foul on Chievo goalkeeper Christian Puggioni in the 55th after Puggioni charged forward from his area and tripped rising Argentine standout Mauro Icardi. Icardi remained on the pitch and was eventually replaced by Eder.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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