Porto pull away from league rivals Benfica

Overseas football
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The Independent Online
Porto, Manchester United's opponents in the quarter-finals of the European Cup, strengthened their grip on this season's Portuguese championship when they won 2-1 away to their main rivals, Benfica, on Saturday. Porto now lead the table by eight points.

The Brazilian striker Mario Jardel put Porto ahead in the 23rd minute with a sharp volley. The Benfica captain, Joaa Vieira Pinto, briefly raised the hopes of his team's massed fans in the 75,000 crowd with a goal at the start of the second half, but Jorge Costa restored Porto's lead a few minutes later.

Internazionale strengthened their claim to the Italian title with a hard- fought 2-1 victory over Napoli. Gianluca Pagliuca, the Inter goalkeeper, kept his side in the game with several outstanding saves and opportunist goals by Marco Branca and Youri Djorkaeff earned a crucial victory. The win left Inter on 28 points from 16 matches, just two adrift of the leaders Juventus, who were held to a goalless draw at Atalanta.

The early-season pacemakers, Vicenza, dropped to third after losing 1- 0 to Milan. Arrigo Sacchi, the Milan coach, left Dejan Savicevic and Roberto Baggio on the bench, preferring to play Christophe Dugarry as a lone striker, and in the 19th minute the Frenchman headed home Marco Simone's cross. After the break Milan's Marcel Desailly was sent off for his second bookable offence.

The Spanish champions, Atletico Madrid, went on the rampage against Zaragoza, winning 5-1. Zaragoza's goalkeeper, Otto Konrad, let in a goal just 30 seconds into his league debut.