Italy: Inter's Cruz control enhances title bid

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The Independent Football

Julio Cruz's goal on the half-hour last night against Torino earned Internazionale a 1-0 win and extended their lead at the top of Serie A to six points over Roma who were held 1-1 at home by Livorno on Saturday.

Kaka scored a hat-trick to help Milan keep their Champions League qualification hopes alive with a 5-1 win over relegation-threatened Reggina yesterday. Juventus striker Alessandro del Piero also scored three in a 4-0 victory at Atalanta, which means third-placed Juve are almost assured of a Champions League qualifying place.

Kaka's first two goals came from the penalty spot after the Brazilian and Clarence Seedorf were tripped. Edgar Barreto grabbed one back with a fierce strike for Reggina but Kaka rifled home in the 68th minute before Filippo Inzaghi and Alexandre Pato completed the job.

Juventus were just as clinical with defender Nicola Legrottaglie heading in Del Piero's free-kick in the first minute.

Del Piero again reminded the Italy coach Roberto Donadoni of his worth with a close-range effort, a cool finish and a fierce shot which gave him his 17th goal in the League campaign.

Fiorentina, in fourth place, won 1-0 at home to Palermo on Saturday.