Inter beat Atalanta 2-1 in Serie A

David Suazo scored one goal and set up another on Saturday to help Inter Milan beat Atalanta 2-1 and maintain its lead in the Serie A.

updated: November 26, 2007 11:50 IST
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David Suazo scored one goal and set up another on Saturday to help Inter Milan beat Atalanta 2-1 and maintain its lead in the Serie A.

Suazo scored from a tight angle in the 10th minute after exchanging passes with strike partner Julio Ricardo Cruz on the edge of the area. The Honduras forward also hit the post with a looping cross from the right and Cruz collected the rebound to tap in Inter's second goal in the 30th.

Sergio Floccari scored for Atalanta in the 39th with a powerful shot from the edge of the area.

"Atalanta by nature is a team that makes you suffer," Inter coach Roberto Mancini said. "At 2-0 we thought we had closed the game but you must never think like that because it only takes a second to reopen the situation."

Earlier Saturday, Christian Panucci scored another late winner to lead AS Roma over Genoa 1-0.

Panucci headed in David Pizarro's free kick in the 90th minute as Roma remained the only team in the league to have scored in every game this season. The defender also headed in an injury-time goal to help Italy beat Scotland 2-1 last weekend and qualify for next year's European Championship.

Inter leads the Italian first division with 28 points, followed by Roma with 25, Fiorentina with 23, and Juventus and Udinese with 22 - although Inter, Roma and four other teams have yet to play their matches from the last round.

Atalanta has 18 points, four more than Genoa.

Atalanta and Roma played without their supporters as the fans of six Serie A teams were banned by the soccer league from attending this weekend's games following riots sparked by the shooting of a Lazio fan by police two weeks ago.

Suazo had a lively game at San Siro and almost scored again the 15th, only to be denied by Atalanta goalkeeper Ferdinando Coppola.

"Suazo is settling in well and improving week by week," Inter coach Roberto Mancini said. "He is able to do so many things."

Suazo transferred from Cagliari in the offseason.

Atalanta also caused Inter problems and Nerazzurri goalkeeper Julio Cesar did well to parry Cristiano Doni's header in the 53rd.

Atalanta defender Thomas Manfredini should have been sent off for a tackle on Suazo in the 61st, which upended the striker, but only received a yellow card.

Suazo was replaced by Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the 77th.

Inter defender Marco Materazzi, who suffered a thigh injury in August, replaced Olivier Dacourt in the 88th for his first appearance in the Serie A this season.

Atalanta substitute Simone Inzaghi was sent off in second-half injury time for his second yellow card.

Roma was lucky to win at Genoa's Luigi Ferraris stadium and struggled up front in the absence of captain Francesco Totti, who aggravated a right foot injury in training this week.

Totti's replacement Mirco Vucinic often misread the intentions of his teammates in Roma's buildup play but did force a fine save by Genoa goalkeeper Rubinho, who parried the forward's header onto the cross bar in the 75th.

At the other end, former AC Milan striker Marco Borriello was a constant threat and drew two saves from Roma goalkeeper Doni either side of half time.

Genoa midfielder Matteo Paro also hit the post with a powerful shot from distance in the 69th.

Paro and Roma defender Matteo Ferrari were both booked in the second half and will miss the next round because of accumulated cards. Roma next hosts Udinese, while Genoa travels to Torino.

"We suffered but created many chances for a goal," Roma coach Luciano Spalletti said. "It was nice to see the right attitude. If you demonstrate it in certain situations, at times you are rewarded."

A minute's silence was held before both games Saturday for an Italian soldier killed by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan.