Milan face keeper crisis as Internazionale hit top form

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The Independent Online

Internazionale warmed up for tomorrow's trip to Anfield by extending their lead at the top of Serie A to 11 points on Saturday after David Suazo's double earned a 2-0 win over Livorno, while Milan prepared for Wednesday's meeting with Arsenal with a 0-0 draw in Parma, which took Carlo Ancelotti's side up into fourth.

But Milan face a potential goalkeeping crisis ahead of their visit to London. Zeljko Kalac dislocated the index finger on his right hand during a training session yesterday, while Dida is also doubtful after a recurrence of his back pain during Saturday's match, which he was watching from the bench. He was carried off the sidelines on a stretcher. If neither can play against Arsenal, Milan will have to call on Valerio Fiori, who has not played for the first team since December 2003 and has never played in the Champions League.

Milan did welcome back Kaka from injury on Saturday, but neither he nor his team-mates impressed during a game that saw Paolo Maldini make his 1,000th career appearance. The 39-year-old reached the milestone as a second-half substitute, and said: "I would like to dedicate this achievement to my family, in particular my mother who has followed me all these years."

Saturday's three matches were brought forward to allow Italy's three Champions League representatives more time to prepare for their midweek battles.

Inter's Suazo made the most of his chance with coach Roberto Mancini resting top strike duo Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Julio Cruz ahead of tomorrow's game against Liverpool.

The Honduran striker was virtually unmarked when he headed in Cristian Chivu's free-kick after 14 minutes and soon netted his seventh goal of the campaign for the unbeaten champions after the Livorno defence failed to clear Maxwell's cross.

"I'm worried. There were no doubts about our goals. What will they talk about tonight?" Mancini jokingly asked a TV reporter given recent controversies surrounding some of Inter's goals. The champions received another boost for their trip to Anfield with Luis Figo coming as a substitute to make his first appearance since breaking his leg in November.

Second-placed Roma lost 1-0 at Juventus in Saturday's late game when Alessandro Del Piero rifled in a free-kick just before half time to hand his side victory in an open game.

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