x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

'Serene' Inter Milan back on track with 2-0 victory in Serie A

After two devastating losses last week, Inter bounce back to beat Chievo Verona.

MILAN // Inter Milan bounced back from two devastating losses to beat Chievo Verona 2-0 in Serie A with second-half goals from Esteban Cambiasso and Maicon.

Inter was coming off a 3-0 derby loss to AC Milan and a 5-2 home defeat by Schalke in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-finals.

"Today required a lot of serenity, after the two losses and most of all due to what was created more outside than inside," Cambiasso said, referring to the media criticism the team has faced. "We, the club and our fans have always remained confident in our chances and we did well to move forward."

While Inter threatened throughout, they didn't break through until Cambiasso took a pass from Maicon in the 65th minute and watched as his shot deflected first off a defender and then off the crossbar before going in. Maicon then pounced on a loose ball inside the area in the 84th and slid it in.

Chievo captain Sergio Pellissier wasted a chance to equalise when he sent a poor shot high after being left free in the penalty area in the 78th.

Inter's victory moved the five-time defending champion back into second place, two points behind Milan and one in front of Napoli. However, Milan can restore their lead to five points when it visits Fiorentina on Sunday, while Napoli is at Bologna.

Inter trailed Milan by 13 points when Leonardo replaced Rafa Benitez as Inter manager during the winter break. "This situation was unthinkable in December, so we can't lose our heads for two losses," Cambiasso said.

Also on Saturday, Francesco Totti scored twice and AS Roma posted a dramatic last-minute 2-1 win at Udinese to get back into the hunt for fourth place and the final Champions League berth.

Totti put Roma in front with a softly struck penalty kick in the 57th, then was left unmarked to restore the lead in the fourth minute off added time.

Udinese's Antonio Di Natale had equalised in the 88th with his league-leading 26th goal of the season, using one touch to finish off a quick counterattack.

Totti has 11 goals this season and 203 for his Serie A career, moving the Roma captain within two scores of Roberto Baggio for fifth place on the all-time list.

Udinese remained fourth but has just a two-point lead over Lazio, who face Parma on Sunday, while Roma are now just three points back in sixth.