Serie A leaders Internazionale FC missed the chance to extend their lead at the top of the table as they slipped to a 2-1 defeat at AC Chievo Verona.
The home side went ahead after 22 minutes, when the referee adjudged that Inter’s Italian international defender Fabio Cannavaro had handled a shot from Sergio Pellissier and, despite Inter’s protests, a penalty was awarded. Chievo captain Eugenio Corini made no mistake from the spot.
Chievo doubled their advantage nine minutes before the half-time interval, again from the penalty spot when Inter's Argentinian defender Javier Zanetti brought down Pellissier. The away side were again unhappy with the decision, and Turkish midfield player Okan Buruk was sent off for complaining. Corini kept his composure to beat Inter goalkeeper Francesco Toldo for the second time.
Despite being a man down, Inter pulled a goal back 20 minutes from time as Uruguayan forward Alvaro Recoba’s free-kick into the box was headed down by Cannavaro and Christian Vieri scored his 19th goal of the season, the 100th in his Serie A career, from close range.
Vieri nearly salvaged a point for Inter in the last minute, but his powerful shot from an indirect free-kick was superbly saved by Chievo keeper Cristiano Lupatelli. Corini’s evening was then spoiled as he was dismissed for a second yellow card in the closing stages.
Inter remained three points clear of Juventus and AC Milan at the top of the table, who are away to Parma AC and at home to S.S. Lazio respectively on Sunday, while Chievo stayed fifth.
In tonight’s late game, AS Roma poor run of form continued as they were held to a 0-0 draw at home by Brescia Calcio. Both sides had chances to win the match, with Brescia's Luca Toni shooting just wide and Roma substitute Vincenzo Montella forcing a good save from Brescia goalkeeper Matteo Sereni with a header.
The draw means that Roma have just one win from their last six matches, while Brescia unbeaten run has been extended to nine games. Roma moved up to ninth place on 28 points, while Brescia remained four points behind their opponents in eleventh.
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