Serie A: Draw with Udinese ends Inter's run

February 28, 2007

ROME, Feb 28 (Reuters) - Inter Milan's record 17-match winning streak in Serie A came to an end when they were held 1-1 by Udinese on Wednesday.

Trailing to an early second-half goal by visiting midfielder Christian Obodo, Inter hit back through striker Hernan Crespo in the 66th minute.

But Inter could not find the winner against Udinese, who were also the last side to take points off the leaders when they held them to a 0-0 draw in late October.

Inter have 67 points from 25 matches, 14 ahead of second-placed AS Roma, who drew 2-2 with relegation-threatened Chievo Verona.

AC Milan's drive for a Champions League place also suffered a setback. The Italian giants drew 0-0 at third-placed Palermo (45 points) to slip back to sixth on 37 points.

Inter lacked their usual cutting edge in the first half at the San Siro stadium. Their best chance came in 27th minute when Adriano blasted a long-range shot just over the bar.

A corner two minutes after the interval gave Nigerian international Obodo the chance to squeeze in between two defenders and fire in an overhead kick to give Udinese an unexpected lead.

Adriano's substitute Crespo pulled Inter level when he headed Brazilian defender Maxwell's cross in at the far post.

At Verona's Bentegodi stadium, Albanian striker Bogdani punished Roma's slow start by heading home Chievo's opening goal after 17 minutes.

It was only when Semioli put the home side 2-0 up in the 33rd minute that the visitors found their rhythm and began to put Chievo under pressure.

They grabbed their first goal barely a minute later, Francesco Totti leaping to Marco Cassetti's nod-on to head the ball into the net.

The Italian international struck again three minutes into the second half when he chested down a high pass and fired a shot under advancing keeper Lorenzo Squizzi.

Milan arrived in Palermo on the back of seven wins in eight games. They dominated the early stages at the Barbera stadium but were frustrated by home keeper Alberto Fontana.

The former Inter keeper made a poor start to the match, fouling Alberto Gilardino to give away a penalty.

Having saved Kaka's spot kick, however, he went on to pull off a series of superb saves from shots by Clarence Seedorf, Kaka and Pirlo.

The draw left Milan three points behind the fourth and final Champions League berth occupied by Lazio, who came from behind to beat Catania 3-1.