Italian Serie A Roundup, Nov. 28
Dejan Stankovic scored a hat trick as Inter Milan ended a run of four Serie A games without a win to beat Parma 5-2 on Sunday.
Hernan Crespo gave Parma an early lead against one of his former clubs, but Inter was soon 3-1 ahead thanks to two goals from Stankovic and another from Esteban Cambiasso.
Crespo grabbed his second before halftime, but in the second period Thiago Motta came off the bench to make it four for the home side before Stankovic completed his treble.
Parma hit the frame of the goal on two occasions and Inter goalkeeper Luca Castelazzi twice denied Crespo his hat trick goal.
"We came out slowly and conceded an early goal," Stankovic said. "But we reacted in the right way with our goals."
Second placed Lazio was held to a 1-1 draw at home by Catania and missed a chance to close the gap on leader AC Milan.
Milan leads the table with 30 points, while Lazio is second with 27.
Juventus is third with 24 points, ahead of Napoli in fourth place on goal difference. Inter and Palermo have 23 points.
Sergio Floccari and Hernanes both missed chances to give Lazio the lead before Catania's Matias Silvestre headed in a corner from Cristian Llama in the 44th.
Hernanes made amends just before halftime when he scored the equalizer having run unchallenged to the edge of the Catania box and shooting past Mariano Andujar.
"We are still in the same position as before," Lazio coach Edy Reja said. "Catania moved the ball well and was well organized. We needed to be at our best, but Catania controlled the game well.
"It is not a bad result considering the other results this weekend but overall it is disappointing," Reja said.
Antonio Di Natale scored the second hat trick of the day to inspire Udinese to a 3-1 victory over Napoli. Having scored two in the opening period he got his third by curling in a corner to the near post. Marek Hamsik scored for Napoli.
"He (Di Natale) is a very good player and is good in a number of positions," Udinese coach Francesco Guidolin said. "Today I chose to play him further up so he could use his pace to exploit the gaps that Napoli's defense leave."
Palermo moved up the standings with a 3-0 win at home to AS Roma. Fabio Miccoli opened the scoring in the first half. After the break, Josip Ilicic and Antonio Nocerino scored in quick succession to secure the win.
Parma took the lead in the fourth minute. Angelo crossed from the right and Crespo raced in ahead of Lucio and Marco Materazzi to clip the ball over Castelazzi.
Inter equalized in the 18th. Stankovic's shot from the edge of the area deflected off Alessandro Lucarelli to leave Parma goalkeeper Antonio Mirante wrongfooted.
Less than a minute later Stankovic doubled his tally. Jonathan Biabiany raced into the Parma area and laid the ball off to the Serb, who hit a low shot into the corner of the net.
Five minutes later Inter scored its third. Biabiany flicked on a corner by Wesley Sneijder and the ball fell to the unmarked Cambiasso, who poked it home.
Crespo brought Parma back into the match with his second in the 36th. Materazzi failed to clear, allowing Antonio Candreva to slip the ball to Crespo to fire low into the corner.
The Argentine nearly grabbed a hat trick two minutes later. Again he was first to Angelo's cross, but Castelazzi pushed his header over the bar.
After the break the teams kept up the pace of the game and both sides had early opportunities to score. Cambiasso flashed a shot narrowly wide and Castelazzi again denied Crespo his hat trick when he was through on goal.
In the 52nd, Angelo hit the post and after Motta stretched Inter's lead with a scrambled finish, Crespo headed against the bar in the 74th.
"I'm delighted to be back and able to help the team," Motta said. "We needed a win to keep up with Juventus after its draw last night.
"We haven't seen the real Inter up to now, but now we are starting to see the real Inter as the injured players are starting to come back."
Stankovic wrapped up his hat trick in clinical style. Sneijder found him in space on the edge of the box and he slipped between Lucarelli and Cristian Zaccardo to power a shot past Mirante.
The match between Bologna and Chievo Verona was postponed after heavy snowfall at Bologna's Dell'Ara stadium, while the 0-0 draw between Brescia and Genoa was stopped in each half to allow groundstaff to remark the lines of the pitch after they had become obscured by falling snow.
Also Sunday, it was; Bari 1, Cesena 1; Cagliari 3, Lecce 2.