Serie A

Inter could only draw Cagliari

Mauro Icardi (C) fights for the ball with Cagliari's defender Luca Rossettini (L).
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Inter Milan could only draw 1-1 at home to relegation-threatened Cagliari in Serie A on Sunday and is at risk of losing out on a European spot to Hellas Verona, which held on to win 3-2 at struggling Livorno.

Rolando secured a point for Inter after Mauricio Pinilla's penalty had given Cagliari the halftime lead. Inter almost snatched all three points but Mauro Icardi's header crashed off the crossbar in the final minute.

Verona went close to squandering a three-goal lead but won to move a point behind fifth-placed Inter.

Torino can draw level with Verona if it beats leader Juventus in a derby match later.

Elsewhere, AC Milan recovered from its disappointing Champions League defeat to Atletico Madrid by winning 2-0 at Sampdoria, which had former Rossoneri striker Maxi Lopez sent off. New signings Adel Taarabt and Adil Rami both scored their second Milan goals.

Also, Chievo Verona beat Catania 2-0 in a relegation fight and Udinese drew 1-1 against Atalanta.

Inter had appeared to recover from a dip in form with back-to-back victories against Sassuolo and Fiorentina, while Cagliari had lost five of its past six matches.

But the visitors took a surprise lead four minutes from halftime when Victor Ibarbo's shot was deflected off Walter Samuel and onto Juan Jesus' arm.

Pinilla fired the resulting penalty into the bottom right corner, sending Samir Handanovic the wrong way.

Inter leveled seven minutes after the break when Yuto Nagatomo crossed to the far post where Icardi headed on for Rolando to bundle in from close range.

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The lunchtime kickoff was between two promoted sides, which are having very different seasons. Verona is chasing a Europa League spot, while Livorno is fighting relegation.

Verona broke the deadlock 11 minutes from halftime when Luca Toni allowed Bosko Jankovic's cross to fly past him and into the net, wrongfooting Livorno goalkeeper Francesco Bardi.

Romulo doubled Verona's tally and Toni appeared to seal the win with his 12th goal of the season.

However, Livorno got back into the game in the second half with two goals in as many minutes.

Paulinho curled an effort into the far bottom corner in the 72nd minute before setting up Leandro Greco.

Livorno could not get the equalizer and slipped back into the bottom three after Chievo's crucial win.

Just one point separated Chievo and Catania going into the match.

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Chievo had lost its past three matches, while Catania was undefeated in its previous four but the home side took the lead with Cyril Thereau's penalty after Pablo Alvarez handled the ball.

Luca Rigoni sealed the result with a looping header as Chievo moved a point above the relegation zone.

Milan had put on by far its best display of the season in the 1-0 defeat to Atletico in the first leg of its Champions League tie but had a massive injury list with Christian Abbiati, Mario Balotelli, Mattia De Sciglio, Daniele Bonera, Robinho, Stephan El Shaarawy, Cristian Zapata, Valter Birsa, Matias Silvestre and Bryan Cristante all out.

However, it continued from where it left off on Wednesday and took the lead in the 12th minute.

Taarabt's header from Rami's cross was parried by Angelo Da Costa at point-blank range but the on-loan Queens Park Rangers midfielder turned in the rebound.

The Morocco international was involved in the controversial second goal, crossing for Rami to head home after Da Costa had fumbled. Sampdoria players were furious as they felt Milan striker Giampaolo Pazzini had crashed into their goalkeeper but the referee awarded the goal.

Sampdoria's slim chances of rescuing something from the match evaporated when substitute Maxi Lopez was sent off in the 72nd minute, receiving a second yellow card for comments to the referee immediately after being booked.

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