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Simeone forces Inter to settle for draw in Florence

Florence (Italy) (AFP) – Giovanni Simeone grabbed a late equaliser as Inter Milan saw their third place in Serie A threatened before the winter break with a frustrating 1-1 draw against Fiorentina on Friday.

Both goals on the night were scored by Argentinians with Inter skipper Mauro Icardi opening after 55 minutes on a rebound after Marco Sportiello saved his initial header.

But Simeone blasted in the equaliser in injury time to leave Luciano Spalletti’s side winless in five Serie A games.

Inter have 42 points from 20 games, six points behind Napoli who could pull nine points ahead of Spalletti’s side with a win at home against lowly Verona on Saturday.

Champions Juventus are also five points ahead of Inter before their trip to Cagliari, while Roma are just three points behind Inter before they host Atalanta.

“We lacked a bit of spirit, strength in the duels,” said Spalletti.

“There were several situations that went against us this week, as Yuto Nagatomo had flu and Andrea Ranocchia played through pain in his ribs, giving his best in the circumstances.

“Although Fiorentina deserved the equaliser, we had the chances to make it 2-0. They were off balance and we didn’t take advantage.”

Ranocchia limped off and Spalletti moved Davide Santon to centre-back. 

“We have to make do with what we have and in my view we put in a good performance at times.”

Fiorentina extended their unbeaten run to eight games in Serie A and are eighth in the league.

The Tuscany side had dominated for long periods as French striker Cyril Thereau missed two chances, with Federico Chiesa and Simeone also failing to finish off as Samir Handanovic proved solid in the Inter goal.

“A defeat would have been unfair,” said Simeone, son of former Inter Milan star Diego Simeone after his close range effort sealed a point.

“We tried to score for the entire match and maybe deserved more than a point, but this can help us learn and grow.”

Earlier Chievo ended Udinese’s five-match winning streak with a 1-1 draw in Verona.

Rolando Maran’s side took an early lead through Ivan Radovanovic, and Fabrizio Cacciatore had a second  disallowed as offside before Nenad Tomovic gifted the visitors an own goal just before the break.

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