Inter Milan wins 15th straight in Serie A

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The Independent Online

Inter Milan won its 15th straight game in the Serie A yesterday, beating Chievo Verona 2-0, and Brazil striker Ronaldo made his debut in AC Milan's win.

The Serie A resumed Sunday, more than a week after all professional soccer in Italy was suspended for fan violence.

Adriano put Inter ahead in the first minute with a strike from the left edge of the penalty box and Hernan Crespo added the second in the 51st.

The game at Marc Antonio Bentegodi stadium was one of four Serie A matches played behind closed doors for failing to meet new security standards, which were approved by the government after the death of a policeman in rioting at the Catania-Palermo match on Feb. 2.

The safety requirements include having closed circuit surveillance cameras and turnstiles at the entrances.

Ronaldo, wearing the No. 99 jersey, replaced Oliveira in the 63rd for his first appearance for Milan since joining from Real Madrid last week. Milan beat Livorno 2-1.

Inter leads the league with 60 points, 11 more than second-place AS Roma, which beat relegation-threatened Parma 3-0. Palermo, which lost to fourth-place Empoli 1-0, is third with 42 points.

Also Sunday, it was: Atalanta 0, Lazio 0; Cagliari 2, Siena 2; Fiorentina 2, Udinese 0; Messina 1, Catania 1; Sampdoria 2, Ascoli 0; and Torino 1, Reggina 2.

On Saturday, Juventus drew 2-2 with Vicenza to drop into a tie for first place in the Serie B with Napoli.

Inter's result at Chievo tied the European record for consecutive victories held by Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.

Madrid won 15 in La Liga in the 1960-61 season and Bayern won its last nine Bundesliga games of 2004-05 and its first six of 2005-06.

At San Siro, which was open to Rossoneri season ticket holders only, Italy midfielder Gennaro Gattuso scored in the 29th from close range for Milan's first goal. But Livorno captain Cristiano Lucarelli equalized two minutes later, after three excellent saves by goalkeeper Marco Storari, who also made his Rossoneri debut.

Left back Marek Jankulowski scored the winner with a hard drive, five minutes after the 30-year-old Ronaldo entered the game.

Ronaldo looked lively and had three goal attempts in the final 10 minutes - the first was saved by Livorno goalkeeper Marco Amelia and the other two were off target.

Milan, which started the season with an eight-point penalty from the Italian mach-fixing scandal, climbed to seventh place in the standings with 30 points.

At Stadio Olimpico, Francesco Totti headed in Roma's first goal in the 50th on his club-record 452nd appearance.

Simone Perrotta made it 2-0 16 minutes later, and Rodrigo Taddei got the third in second-half injury-time.

A minute's silence was held before kickoff at all the weekend's games for 38-year-old Filippo Raciti, the policeman killed in the riots. However in Rome, some fans whistled in derision and turned their backs on the field.

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