Italian Serie A Roundup, Mar. 6
Inter Milan needed a second-half comeback to overturn a one-goal deficit and went on to beat Genoa 5-2 on Sunday.
Genoa opened the scoring in the first half through Rodrigo Palacio, but the strike sparked a fierce response by Inter after halftime.
Giampaolo Pazzini drew Inter level early in the second half and Samuel Eto'o put Inter out of sight with a well-taken brace. Goran Pandev wrapped up the win with a fourth before Yuto Nagatomo scored his first goal since joining Inter in January.
Mauro Boselli then scored a late second for Genoa.
"We started a bit timidly and lacked rhythm," Pazzini said. "Things were said in the changing room and we came out and won the match in 15 minutes."
The result means Leonardo's side keeps up pressure on Serie A leader and cross-city rival AC Milan, which it trails by five points.
Napoli though remains third but slipped further back when it drew 0-0 at home to Brescia and is now eight points behind Milan.
Lazio is one point behind Napoli following a clinical 2-0 win over Palermo thanks to two early goals from Giuseppe Sculli.
Also Sunday, it was: Bologna 2, Cagliari 2; Chievo Verona 0, Parma 0; Udinese 1, Bari 0; and Sampdoria 3, Cesena 2.
Inter started brightly and Wesley Sneijder went close with an early shot before Eto'o had a goal ruled out for offside.
Genoa's Alberto Paloschi nearly turned Abdoulay Konko's cross in at the far post, but shot into the side netting.
Palacio opened the scoring when he shot low under Julio Cesar and inside the far post after Genoa hit Inter on the counterattack.
Inter equalized five minutes into the second half when Pazzini swept Maicon's cross over Eduardo in the Genoa goal.
Less than a minute later Eto'o put the hosts ahead. Eduardo failed to hold Pandev's low shot and Eto'o poked the rebound into the empty net.
Eto'o then took advantage of Giandomenico Mesto's indecision to rob him of the ball, race past Kakha Kaladze, shrug off Rafinha and poke the ball under Eduardo.
Eto'o then turned provider for Pandev. He picked out Sneijder behind the Genoa defense and passed for the Macedonian to tap into the unprotected goal.
Nagatomo scored Inter's fifth when he turned Marco Rossi in the area to shoot home and Boselli grabbed Genoa's second at the final whistle, when he headed in Palacio's cross.
"There weren't any magic words," Leonardo said. "The team knew full well that it was a poor first half in every sense. We knew we were too slow and not finding space.
"We needed a lot of enthusiasm, but we are getting to the end of the season. We've closed the gap and as of today we are still very competitive."
Napoli enjoyed a good start against Brescia, but was denied four times by goalkeeper Michele Arcari.
He twice blocked Edinson Cavani and then stopped efforts from Marek Hamsik and Juan Zuniga in quick succession.
Napoli coach Walter Mazzarri was sent to the stands when he protested after fullback Christian Maggio was bundled over in the box.
"If that wasn't a penalty, what is?" Mazzarri said. "It would have changed the game completely. These types of episodes are vitally important."
In the second half Napoli's efforts in the league and Europa Cup appeared to be taking a physical toll and the nearest it came to scoring was when Arcari pushed Maggio's dangerous cross to safety.
Near the end Andrea Caracciolo nearly grabbed an important win for Brescia when he made space to shoot in the area, but Paolo Cannavaro got back to block his effort.
"We weren't at our best," Mazzarri said. "We have to recover and get back to how we can play next week."
Sculli scored his first goal of the season in the seventh minute. Cristian Ledesma picked out his run behind the Palermo defense and Sculli stayed calm to slot the ball past goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu.
Sculli doubled his tally for the season in the 18th when he rose above Sirigu to head in Ledesma's cross.
After the break, Palermo did little to threaten a comeback and Lazio's Guglielmo Stendardo hooked wide a late chance for a third.
"We had to work hard at time today and we certainly didn't underestimate Palermo," Ledesma said. "It has been a strange season, but we have just tried to win every game we played."
Adrian Mutu appeared back to his best for Fiorentina by scoring twice in the first half against Catania. The first came with a diving header and Mutu exploited indecision in the Catania defense to fire in from the edge of the area.
"Physically I am not 100 percent, but I am getting stronger and will soon be at my best," Mutu said. "(Fiorentina coach Sinisa) Mihajlovic fired me up before the game and told me to show what I could do on the pitch."
In the second half the Romanian led the counterattack for Fiorentina's third goal. He raced from the halfway line to Catania's area, picked out Riccardo Montolivio and the midfielder passed the ball for Alberto Gilardino to score.