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Inter Milan held by Palermo

September 19, 2004 16:51 IST

Inter Milan were held to a 1-1 draw at home to promoted Palermo on Saturday after Luca Toni cancelled out Adriano's opener for Inter at the San Siro stadium.

The result was Inter's second successive draw in Serie A this season but proof that Palermo, back in the top flight after a 31-year absence, are a side to be taken seriously.

Italy international Toni had a goal harshly ruled out for offside in the 17th minute of a disappointing first half but the game came alive straight after the break.

From the kick-off Inter's Brazilian fullback Ze Maria burst down the right flank and picked out his compatriot Adriano who firmly headed home at the back post.

The goal maintained Adriano's record of scoring in all five competitive games this season at home and in Europe and was his seventh of the campaign so far after his double against Werder Bremen in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Adriano's strength and skill proved hard for Palermo to contain and he went close again in the 58th minute when only a fine save from Palermo keeper Matteo Guardalben stopped him from a second.

Palermo never stopped working and creating and Mario Santana should have done much better in the 65th minute when he fired high over the bar from a promising position.

Two minutes later though Palermo drew level when winger Lamberto Zauli produced some superb skill on the right flank to lose three Inter defenders and slip the ball into the path of Toni who poked home from close range.

Inter threw everything forward in a bid to regain their lead and when substitute Obafemi Martins was hauled down by Palermo defender Giuseppe Biava as he raced goalwards, the visitors were reduced to 10 men.

With five minutes left, Adriano unleashed a thundering drive from more than 20 metres out which crashed out off the cross-bar but Inter were almost caught out in the final moments when their keeper Francesco Toldo did well to foil Toni from close range.

Two goals from 18-year-old Bulgarian striker Valeri Bojinov helped Lecce to an impressive 4-1 home win over Brescia earlier on Saturday.

Bojinov scored with a smart shot on the turn in the 38th minute to cancel out Andrea Caracciolo's opener for the visitors.

Serbian Sasa Bjelanovic put Lecce ahead, sliding in a low cross from Erminio Rullo five minutes after the restart and Bojinov grabbed his second and Lecce's third in the 72nd when he sprung the Brescia defence, breaking from the halfway line before confidently slotting home.

Brescia's Argentine international midfielder Matias Almeyda was sent off for dissent in the 74th minute before Guillermo Giacomazzi made it 4-1.

Simon Evans
Source:
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