FC Internazionale Milano's stuttering defence of their Serie A title continued as they lost 3-1 at second-placed S.S. Lazio but SL Benfica and CFR 1907 Cluj earned home wins domestically.
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FC Internazionale Milano's stuttering defence of their Serie A title continued on Friday as they suffered their fourth league defeat of the season, going down 3-1 at second-placed S.S. Lazio.
Seven points behind city rivals and leaders AC Milan prior to their trip to Rome, Inter's position started to deteriorate further when Giuseppe Biava scored on 25 minutes after the Nerazzurri failed to deal with Hernanes's header from a corner. The home side added another seven minutes after half-time when Mauro Zárate nipped in behind Felice Natalino and clipped a composed finish over Luca Castellazzi.
Rafael Benítez's side set up a tense finish when Goran Pandev (74) fired in at the second attempt after a pass from Wesley Sneijder but a deflected free-kick from Hernanes (89) sealed their fate. Edoardo Reja's charges are now level with pacesetters Milan while Inter, who travel to SV Werder Bremen in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday, drop to sixth before the rest of the weekend fixtures.
SL Benfica and CFR 1907 Cluj may have already been eliminated from Europe's premier club competition but both earned valuable victories domestically. Second-placed Benfica closed within five points of leaders FC Porto after beating SC Olhanense 2-0 while CFR made it seven league games without defeat as they came from behind to edge FC Universitatea Craiova 2-1 and rise to seventh in the standings.