Zamorano relieves pressure on Hodgson

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The Independent Online
Chile's Ivan Zamorano struck twice as Internazionale fought back from conceding a goal in the opening minute to beat Parma 3-1 at San Siro on Sunday and join Juventus at the top of Serie A. The European champions had been held to a 1-1 draw on Saturday by Roma when Marco Delvecchio scored an injury time equaliser for the home side.

Zamorano, with a powerful header, took just three minutes to level the scores after Argentina's Hernan Crespo had pit Parma ahead. Javier Zanetti's 20-yard shot ensured Inter reached the interval a goal up. Zamorano, formerly of Real Madrid, added a third in the 54th minute.

The victory takes the pressure off Inter's English coach Roy Hodgson, severely criticised after his expensively assembled side were outclassed by Juventus last week. "We were 2-0 down after a minute - first the media criticism, then Crespo's goal," quipped Hodgson.

But relief for Hodgson has only added to the pressure on Parma's manager, Carlo Ancelotti. The former Milan midfielder, who took over in the summer, was banished from the bench in the 55th minute for protesting. After three successive defeats that have caused Parma to plunge to 11th in the table, his job is now at risk. In a rare show of solidarity, Hodgson embraced his counterpart after he was shown the red card.

Inter are level with Juventus on 14 points after seven matches, one ahead of unfancied Vicenza, 2-0 winners over Cagliari, playing their first match under new coach Carlo Mazzone. Vicenza's rise owes much to the markmanship of the Uruguayan Marcelo Otero, who yesterday broke the deadlock with his sixth goal of the season.

The champions, Milan, dropped to fourth after stumbling to their third league defeat of the season - going down to an 83rd minute goal by Anselmo Robbiati at Fiorentina. Milan, who play IFK Gothenburg on Wednesday in the Champions' League, had midfielder Stefano Eranio sent off for a crude foul on Massimo Orlando.

The Bundesliga leaders VfB Stuttgart and champions Borussia Dortmund both underlined their challenge for the title on Saturday with five-goal romps against lowly opposition.

International striker Fredi Bobic hit a hat-trick for Stuttgart as they trounced troubled Borussia Monchengladbach 5-0, taking his tally to 10 goals from 12 games; while for Dortmund, the Brazilian defender Julio Cesar, labouring with a knee injury, struck the first two goals in a 5-0 win over the bottom club, Arminia Bielefeld, to give them the perfect boost before Wednesday's Champions' League match against Atletico Madrid.

Ajax achieved their first away win of the season in the Dutch League yesterday as they hit Vitesse Arnhem with four second-half goals - the first from Patrick Kluivert - to win 4-1. Ajax, who visit Rangers on Wednesday in the Champions' League, were missing Tijani Babangida, Marc Overmars and Winston Bogarde because of injury. Ajax are seven points behind leaders the PSV Eindhoven, who beat Roda JC Kerkrade 8-0.

The prolific Brazilian striker Ronaldo hit a superb hat-trick for Barcelona, the Spanish League leaders, in a 3-2 victory over Valencia. Real Madrid endured a disappointing goalless draw at home to Tenerife, while the struggling champions, Atletico Madrid returned to winning ways by beating Sporting Gijon 1-0.