Serie A

Italian Serie A Roundup, Oct. 3

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European champion Inter Milan was held to a 0-0 draw at home to Juventus on Sunday after Diego Milito once again failed to find the target.

The draw left Inter second in the table, two points behind Serie A leader Lazio, which beat Brescia 1-0.

Milito scored nearly all of Inter's key goals in leading the club to an unprecedented treble last season, but his two strikes this campaign both came in a 4-0 rout of Bari two weeks ago.

Still recovering from a leg injury, Milito began the night on the bench but came on midway through the first half when Jonathan Biabiany left with a muscle problem.

Milito couldn't pounce on a cross from Samuel Eto'o near the post in the 45th minute and wasted a superb setup by fellow Argentine Esteban Cambiasso in the 78th with a poor shot that missed the target.

With newly signed Serbia winger Milos Krasic leading the way, Juventus created several scoring chances at the San Siro but also failed to find the net.

It was a second consecutive weekend without scoring for Inter, which conceded a 90th-minute goal in a 1-0 loss at AS Roma in the previous round.

"It was a fair result. It was a very tactical match," said Inter midfielder Dejan Stankovic. "No two seasons are the same. Sure, over the last few years maybe we already had a big lead at this point, but then we got caught later on. It's better like this, more balanced."

Lazio leads with 13 points and Inter, Napoli and AC Milan are level on 11 points each. Juventus has eight points.

Earlier, Lazio won with a first-half goal from Stefano Mauri, while Napoli extended AS Roma's struggles with a 2-0 victory.

Mauri scored in the 45th minute at the Stadio Olimpico after receiving a pass from Lazio's new Brazilian playmaker Hernanes, and Brescia ended with 10 men after Alessandro Diamanti picked up his second yellow card in the 74th.

In Naples, Slovakia captain Marek Hamsik put the hosts ahead in the 72nd and Roma defender Juan then doubled the lead with an own goal in the 83rd.

Milan won 1-0 at Parma on Saturday with a superb strike from Andrea Pirlo.

Chievo Verona also has 10 points after drawing 0-0 with Cagliari.

Elsewhere, Luca Toni scored the winner five minutes into added time as 10-man Genoa beat Bari 2-1.

Palermo won 2-1 away at Fiorentina with Slovenia midfielder Josep Ilicic and Argentina sensation Javier Pastore each scoring their third goals of the campaign. Palermo goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu blocked a penalty from Adem Ljajic in the 64th.

Also, Daniele Portanova scored an own goal for Sampdoria and Uruguay defender Miguel Angel Britos equalized for Bologna in a 1-1 draw; while Lecce beat Catania 1-0 with a 36th-minute volley from Daniele Corvia in the lunchtime fixture.

At the San Siro, Krasic threatened several times early on, while Eto'o was involved in Inter's most dangerous chances.

In the 42nd, Eto'o dribbled past a couple defenders but Paolo De Ceglie intercepted his cross to Milito.

Another effort from Krasic was stopped with a diving save from Julio Cesar in the 60th and Fabio Quagliarella threatened for Juve in the 65th and then again in 69th, when he left Inter defender Lucio trailing behind him but his shot drew a reflex save from Julio Cesar.

"I think it was a fair result. Both sides had their chances," said Juventus manager Luigi Del Neri.

Lazio nearly took the lead in the 35th when Mauro Zarate sent a free kick towards the top corner but Brescia goalkeeper Matteo Sereni made a well-timed leap to save.

"We definitely have some decent talent, but I can't tell yet if we're one of the top squads. We'll know that by the middle of the season," said Lazio manager Edy Reja.

Roma has won only one of its six matches, having snatched a victory over Inter last weekend with a last-minute strike from Mirko Vucinic.

"After their (first) goal we stopped playing," Roma coach Claudio Ranieri said, refusing to blame the constant speculation over the club's pending sale. "We know they need a buyer but let's not drag out more excuses. We're the ones making the errors. The Sensi family is standing by us."

Roma captain Francesco Totti wasted a decent chance with an awful free kick in the 55th and Hamsik then converted a cross from former Liverpool fullback Andrea Dossena to finish off a counterattack.

Hamsik celebrated his goal by brushing his hands along his mohawk.

Juan's own goal came when he tried to prevent Edinson Cavani from reaching a cross.

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