Football: Poor weekend for pretenders in Spain but Inter keep rolling

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The Independent Online
REAL SOCIEDAD and Celta slipped up yesterday in their pursuit of Uefa Cup places in the Spanish league.

Barcelona, who won 2-1 against Oviedo on Saturday, extended theirs lead over Real Madrid to eight points after the defending champions only managed a 0-0 draw against Athletic Bilbao. Third-placed Sociedad managed only a 1-1 draw against Salamanca despite taking the lead seconds before half- time through Francisco de Pedro. Portugal's Cesar Brito equalised for Salamanca in the 84th minute.

Celta fared even worse, losing 2-1 to second-from-bottom Racing Santander despite going ahead with a goal by Juan Sanchez in the 52nd minute. Racing had imports to thank for their two goals, the Uruguayan Fernando Correa scoring in the 69th minute, and the Russian Vladimir Bestchastnyk in the 80th. The result dropped Celta to fifth alongside Athletic Bilbao.

Two goals in two minutes from France's Benoit Cauet and Luigi Sartor and a third from Ronaldo gave Internazionale a 3-0 home win over Sampdoria in Serie A.

With Inter rarely threatening in the first 45 minutes, only a superb save by Gianluca Pagliuca denied Sampdoria's Alain Boghossian and the home side were booed off at half-time.

Five minutes into the second-half, the Brazilian Ronaldo brought the crowd to their feet with a 30-metre run from midfield that opened up Samp's defence and set up Cauet to break the deadlock. Within two minutes, Sartor had surprised Sampdoria's keeper, Marco Ambrosio ,with a powerful shot for Inter's second. Three minutes from time, Brazil's Ze Elias set up Ronaldo to round Ambrosio for Inter's third.