Serie A: Late Panucci strike hands Roma victory

November 24, 2007

ROME, Nov 24 (Reuters) - Goals by David Suazo and Julio Cruz gave Inter Milan a 2-1 win over Atalanta on Saturday to keep the champions firmly on top of the Serie A standings.

Unbeaten Inter have 28 points from 12 games, three more than second-placed AS Roma, who won 1-0 at Genoa earlier on Saturday.

Honduran striker Suazo put Inter ahead in the 10th minute when he drilled the ball past the near post following a neat one-two with Cruz.

Argentine forward Cruz tapped in after a Suazo cross bounced off the far post to double the lead in the 30th.

Sergio Floccari pulled one back for the visitors six minutes before halftime with a splendid right-footed strike from the edge of the box.

Inter keeper Julio Cesar did well to push away a Cristiano Doni header in the 53rd and Atalanta's Ferreira Pinto had a shout for a penalty turned down in the 86th.

Inter defender Marco Materazzi came off the bench in the closing stages to return to action after missing nearly three months with a thigh problem.

Atalanta's Simone Inzaghi was sent off for a second yellow card in stoppage time.

Roma beat Genoa thanks to defender Christian Panucci, who headed home a 90th-minute David Pizarro free kick in what looked like a photocopy of the injury-time goal he scored to hand Italy a 2-1 over Scotland in last week's Euro 2008 qualifier.

Saturday's games were the first in Serie A since Nov. 11 when Lazio fan Gabriele Sandri was killed by a police bullet.

The authorities banned the fans of six top-flight clubs, including Roma and Atalanta, from travelling to their teams' away matches this weekend in a bid to avoid a repetition of the widespread trouble that followed Sandri's death.