The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Inter keep Serie A lead

Rome: Inter Milan maintained their three-point lead at the top of Serie A with a 4-3 win at Empoli in the rescheduled first round of Serie A matches on Wednesday.

Inter went 2-0 up in the first 11 minutes, with goals by Hernan Crespo and Javier Zanetti, but a determined Empoli battled back into the match.

AC Milan needed a 90th-minute deflection from a Rivaldo free kick to beat Udinese and hold second place, a point ahead of champions Juventus who won 1-0 at Piacenza.

Fourth-placed Lazio beat Reggina 3-0 for their fourth away win this season.

The night belonged to the big teams. Inter were always ahead of Empoli, thanks to goals by Crespo, Zanetti and Alvaro Recoba, but the home side struck back twice, limiting the visitors to a one-goal lead.

An 85th-minute goal by Inter defender Daniele Adani seemed to seal the match at 4-2 but Empoliís striker Francesco Tavano scored in injury time to put the result in doubt right until the final whistle.

It was the same story where AC Milan squeezed past Udinese thanks to Rivaldoís deflected free kick. Milan seemed subdued throughout the match. Striker Filippo Inzaghi missed a penalty and the visitors were unlucky not to take the lead in the 37th minute when midfielder Martin Jorgensenís header came off the bar.

Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti had hoped to rest Rivaldo ahead of his sideís Champions League match next week, but with his team struggling to score Gennaro Gattuso was replaced by the Brazilian ace.

Last season Juventusís Pavel Nedved scored a late winner against Piacenza to keep his side in the title race. On Wednesday he did the same again, coming off the bench to fire in a 70th-minute grasscutter to give the champions a 1-0 victory.

Both Roman teams enjoyed wins over low-ranked opposition.

Lazioís 3-0 victory over Reggina came courtesty of goals by Stefano Fiore, Dejan Stankovic and Bernardo Corradi, while AS Romaís Francesco Totti grabbed his eighth of the season to seal a 2-1 win over Como and make him this seasonís top striker.

Chievoís comfortable 3-0 win over Perugia lifted them to fifth in Serie A, and Parma won a see-saw match with Brescia 4-3, Alberto Gilardino driving home the winner in the 74th minute.

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