Sunday, March 18, 2007

Inter Milan Extends Lead to 18

Zlatan Ibrahimović scored twice to guide Serie A leaders FC Internazionale Milano to a 2-1 win at Ascoli Calcio 1898, while second-placed AS Roma lost ground after being held 0-0 at ACF Fiorentina.

Adriano set up Ibrahimovic for both goals, in the 65th and 73rd minutes. The Swede also scored the winner in the derby against AC Milan last week.

Ibrahimović made it five goals from five league games as Inter took their points tally to 76 from 28 matches. The Swedish international opened the scoring on 65 minutes against Ascoli, volleying past Dimitrios Eleftheropoulos from Adriano's cross before the same combination created the visitors' second goal - this time Ibrahimović profiting from a mazy run by his strike partner. Massimo Bonanni scored a late penalty for the hosts but it came too late to affect the outcome.

Inter, which is undefeated with 24 wins and four draws, increased its lead over second-place AS Roma to 18 points. Inter needs only four more wins in the final nine rounds of the season to mathematically clinch the title.

Roma drew 0-0 with a Fiorentina team that played with only 10 men for an hour. Fiorentina goalkeeper Sebastien Frey, celebrating his 27th birthday, stymied several scoring chances and defender Manuel Pasqual hit the post with a free kick in the 49th.

After a two-week break for national team play, the Serie A resumes on March 31.

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