De Rossi rides to Roma's rescue as Inter win again

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The Independent Football

Daniele De Rossi's penalty 10 minutes from time helped Manchester United's Champions' League opponents Roma beat Genoa 3-2 on Saturday, consolidating second place in Serie A behind Internazionale.

The Genoa forward Marco Borriello needlessly brought down Rodrigo Taddei and Rossi blasted the ball home to spare second-placed Roma's blushes after throwing away a two-goal lead.

Meanwhile, Internazionale beat Atalanta 2-0 after goals from 17-year-old Mario Balotelli and Patrick Vieira restored their four-point lead in the title race. Balotelli scored in the 74th minute after Vieira had put Inter ahead in the 21st.

Milan cut the gap on fourth-placed Fiorentina to a point after Filippo Inzaghi and Kaka returned from injury to score in a 3-1 home win over struggling Cagliari.

In Rome, the hosts opened the scoring on 14 minutes when Taddei tapped in a rebound after goalkeeper Rubinho had blocked his first effort from Max Tonetto's cross.

Striker Mirko Vucinic, standing in for the injured Francesco Totti, doubled the lead four minutes later with an excellent dipping shot from 20 metres.

Genoa then scored twice in a minute in the second half, Marco Rossi netting after Borriello's shot was saved and forward Julio Cesar Leon equalising with a fierce effort.

Inter's lead was 11 points in mid-February but Roma have whittled that down to four points and have six games left to try to snatch their first championship since 2001.

"We believed even when we were eight points behind. They have difficult fixtures, however, so do we," De Rossi said.

The win was a boost for Roma ahead of Wednesday's Champions League quarter-final second leg at Manchester United where the Italians must overhaul a 2-0 deficit. Totti is battling to recover from a thigh problem in time for the game.

While United can look forward to enjoying Wednesday night's game, Chelsea are in a far less secure position, having lost 2-1 to Fenerbahce in the first leg of their semi-final.

On Saturday, the Turkish side left it late to stretch their lead at the top of the Turkish Super Lig to five points with a last-gasp victory over Kayserispor. Substitute Semih Senturk struck in stoppage time to earn the hosts a 2-1 victory after De Souza Alex's 65th-minute penalty cancelled out Alioum Saidou's 32nd minute opener.