Rome, Feb 7 (DPA) Samuel Eto’o scored a brace for Inter Milan in a dramatic 5-3 win over a 10-man Roma Sunday that pushed the champions within five points of Serie A leaders AC Milan.
Since December, the Nerazzurri have trimmed a 13-point gap from the top and still have a game in hand against Fiorentina Feb 16.
A 1-1 draw earlier Sunday at Genoa slowed down the Devils, who drew four times in the past six games and saw Napoli close to within three points.
League top-scorer Edinson Cavani continued his impressive season with the opening goal in Napoli’s 2-0 win over promoted Cesena.
The Naples side moved onto 46 points from 24 games as Cavani bolstered his tally with his 18th goal off a feed from Christian Maggio.
At the Giuseppe Meazza, Inter took the lead on three minutes as Dutchman Wesley Sneijder performed a perfect stop-and-fire to find the junction of bar and post to the right of Brazilian Julio Sergio.
Marco Borriello immediately replied for Roma with a tight-angle shot saved by Brazilian Julio Cesar, who was beaten on 13 minutes by a flick from compatriot Fabio Simplicio off a Marco Cassetti feed.
Two minutes later, Cesar incredibly saved two drives from Jeremy Menez and a header from Borriello and was crucial as the Rome guests pressed Inter into their midfield.
Cameroonian Eto’o, however, was deadly on 35 minutes on a reversal that he finished off with a low shot past a dithering Sergio.
Equalising became hard for Roma when Eto’o converted a spot kick spot on 63 minutes, after Argentina’s Nicolas Burdisso floored Giampaolo Pazzini and was dismissed for a last-man foul.
After Eto’o notched his 15th goal, Thiago Motta nodded home for 4-1, but Mirko Vucinic and substitute Simone Loria pulled two goals back with 10 minutes left before Esteban Cambiasso set the score on 5-3.
Third-place Lazio drew 1-1 at home to Chievo and remained seven points from the top.
Goals abounded in Lecce, where Palermo fell behind 2-1 but rallied to win 4-2 as Argentine Javier Pastore, Uruguayan Abel Hernandez and Slovenian Josip Ilicic scored three goals in five minutes.
Parma and Fiorentina drew 1-1, and Brescia won 2-0 against bottom side Bari.
Bologna beat 10-man guests Catania 1-0 to steer clear of the lower reaches.
Saturday, Juventus won 3-1 at Cagliari, and Udinese beat Sampdoria 2-0.