Pazzini's debut double inspires Inter comeback
Monday 31 January 2011
Giampaolo Pazzini scored twice on his debut for Internazionale yesterday, as the Serie A champions pulled off a remarkable fightback to defeat Palermo 3-2 at San Siro.
The striker, 26, who only joined Inter from Sampdoria on Friday, came on at half-time with his team 2-0 down. His two goals levelled the score, before Samuel Eto'o's 76th-minute penalty saw Leonardo's side return to winning ways after losing 3-1 to Udinese last week.
Second-placed Napoli remain four points behind leaders Milan, after thrashing Sampdoria 4-0. Uruguay forward Edinson Cavani hit a hat-trick. Milan needed second-half goals from Robinho and Zlatan Ibrahimovic to gain three hard-fought points away at Catania. "It's a difficult place to play," Robinho admitted after their 2-0 win. "Especially against a team that defends well."
Mark van Bommel was sent off on his league debut for the Rossoneri after receiving two yellow cards. It was the combative midfielder's 11th dismissal of his career, but his new coach Massimiliano Allegri refused to criticise the former Bayern Munich player. "The referees make decisions based on what they see and this is an example," he said. "These fouls are not generally sanctioned with a booking in Germany, but he is a generally aggressive player."
In Spain, Barcelona equalled Real Madrid's 50-year La Liga record by winning their 15th consecutive league game, 3-0 away at Hercules on Saturday. "It's an immense honour to share the record with such a fantastic team like that of Real Madrid and Alfredo di Stefano," the Barça coach Josep Guardiola said.
Pedro opened the scoring for Barcelona, before Lionel Messi wrapped things up for the league leaders with two late goals. The Argentine forward has now scored 37 goals in all competitions this season. His coach was quick to praise the Fifa World Player of the Year's outstanding form. "Messi is on his way to break all records," Guardiola said. "He is competitive but also works for the team."
In Germany, Borussia Dortmund restored their 11-point lead at the top of the Bundesliga after defeating Steve McClaren's Wolfsburg 3-0 at the Volkswagon Arena. Lucas Barrios, Nuri Sahin and Mats Hummels scored for the league leaders. The under-pressure former England manager's team now lie in 12th place, just four points above the relegation zone.
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