Football: Around the world - Italy

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The Independent Online
INTERNAZIONALE AND their coach, Luigi Simoni, faced a barrage of criticism yesterday after they crashed 5-3 at home to Lazio in the most explosive match of the Italian season so far.

Lazio led 5-1 at one point during Sunday's match and threatened to hand Inter their heaviest-ever defeat at San Siro. Nicola Ventola reduced the deficit with two late strikes but, even so, Inter conceded five league goals at home for the first time in over 40 years.

The fiery Argentinian midfielder Diego Simeone was sent off in the first half as Inter lost their cool after conceding a first-minute goal. Francesco Colonnese was lucky to stay on the pitch after a dreadful tackle on Chile's Marcelo Salas, and three more Inter players were booked.

Inter's president, Massimo Morrati, was chastened by what he termed "a humiliating defeat. All their goals were preventable." Mistakes by the coach? "Well, maybe," he said. "I just want to ask the fans for forgiveness for this match."

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