Vol. 5 Num 557 Tue. December 20, 2005  

Serie A
Milans put four apiece

Inter Milan and AC Milan revived their Serie A title hopes with emphatic 4-0 victories on Sunday.

Inter thrashed Reggina in Calabria while Andriy Shevchenko scored twice as AC Milan trounced Messina at the San Siro.

Juventus, held to a 1-1 draw at Lazio on Saturday, have 43 points from their 16 matches played, followed by Inter on 35 and AC Milan on 34.

Inter coach Roberto Mancini took encouragement from the weekend's results which enabled his side to trim Juve's lead from 10 to eight points.

"There are 22 matches remaining until the end of the season and many things can happen," he said. "We are going well at the moment, but we have to hope that Juve slip up."

Carlo Ancelotti was a little less optimistic about his team's chances of winning the championship.

"It was a win that gives us confidence. We made two points on Juventus and that's something positive," he said.

Fiorentina dropped one place to fourth after they drew 1-1 at local rivals Empoli and surprise-package Livorno won 2-0 at Palermo to maintain their push for a place in Europe next season.

Chievo climbed to sixth after defeating Udinese 2-0, while Cagliari boosted their chances of surviving the relegation dogfight with a 2-1 win against fellow strugglers Ascoli.

Parma gained a valuable point in their battle to stay up in a 2-2 draw at Siena.

Inter enjoyed the perfect start at Reggina, taking the lead with less than two minutes on the clock.

Juan Sebastian Veron's drilled free-kick was pushed away by Nicola Pavarini and Ivan Cordoba lashed home the rebound.

Inter tightened their grip on the match when Luis Figo crossed from the right for Obafemi Martins whose close range header beat Pavarini at the near post.

Adriano scored with a left-footed shot in the 40th minute after good work from Figo and Claudio Pizarro's stoppage-time solo effort completed the rout.

At the San Siro, AC Milan took the lead in the 22nd minute thanks to a highly-dubious penalty.

Nigerian defender Matthew Olorunleke was judged to have pulled down Alberto Gilardino and Shevchenko tucked home the spot-kick.

Shevchenko doubled his tally two minutes into the second half with a cool finish after Kaka's cheeky back-heel had unlocked the Messina defence and a sublime Andrea Pirlo free-kick made it 3-0.

Gilardino completed the scoring with a right-footed shot five minutes from time.