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Inter stay in touch at top with Verona win


Rome (AFP) – Inter Milan kept in touch with leaders Napoli thanks to a 2-1 win at struggling Verona on Monday as they reclaimed second place in Serie A.

Luciano Spalletti’s unbeaten side have 29 points from 11 games — a new club record — and are two points adrift of Napoli.

Champions Juventus and Lazio are joint third on 28 points with Roma sitting four points further back in fifth with a game in hand.

“There’s a new line in the history of the club, then we move on,” said Spalletti of the points record.

“We have to keep going through this tunnel until June before we see the light.

“If we hadn’t won this match, and Roma had played their (postponed) match against Sampdoria and won, we’d be out of the Champions League places.

“All teams are in there fighting, I’m thinking of teams like Milan who will come back and Lazio who have the quality to stay up there. Everything can change in one moment.”

Spanish midfielder Borja Valero opened his account for Inter after 36 minutes as he turned in an Antonio Candreva cross with Ivan Perisic scoring the second from the edge of the area midway through the second half.

Substitute Giampaolo Pazzini had pulled Verona level on 59 minutes with a penalty after the intervention of the video assistant referee.

Spalletti praised inspirational captain Mauro Icardi despite his failure to find the net.

“People consider his games based on goals but when he dropped deep and played with the whole team he offered a big advantage for us,” said the coach.

“He’s crucial even in scrappy games.”

A seventh defeat of the season leaves Verona second from bottom with just six points to show from 11 games.

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