Eto'o scores winner as 10-man Inter beat Lazio

AP , Saturday 23 Apr 2011

Inter Milan overcame the sending off of goalkeeper Julio Cesar to beat Lazio 2-1 on Saturday and move second in Serie A.

Inter Milan Cameroonian striker Samuel Eto'o

Cesar was sent off for bringing down Lazio striker Mauro Zarate midway through the first half. The Argentine then opened the scoring with a penalty before Wesley Sneijder and Samuel Eto'o scored to give Inter the win.

Lazio also finished the game with 10 men after captain Stefano Mauri received a straight red card for tripping Yuto Nagatomo in the 66th.

Inter moves above Napoli, which lost 2-1 to Palermo.

League leader AC Milan was playing Brescia later.

Edinson Cavani gave Napoli an early lead with a penalty, but Federico Balzaretti equalized for Palermo. Cesare Bovo then hit the winning penalty on the stroke of halftime.

Inter's Cesar was sent off when he brought down Zarate in a one-on-one situation. Reserve goalkeeper Luca Castelazzi came on for Diego Milito and his first job was to pick the ball out of the net after Zarate scored.

Zarate continued to cause problems for Inter's defense with his pace and Javier Zanetti had to react quickly to block his shot in the 33rd.

Inter was level in the 40th when Sneijder whipped a free kick over Lazio's wall. Eto'o then gave the defending champion the lead in the 53rd, when he linked with Zanetti to score on the counterattack.

Lazio kept attacking and Zarate fired a volley into the side netting, while at the other end Lazio goalkeeper Fernando Muslera had to react quickly to keep out Maicon's curling shot.

"Considering we were ahead against Inter, which had 10 men, we should have handled the situation better," Lazio coach Edy Reja said. "We had good chances, but we couldn't take them."

Napoli took the lead in the second minute when Mattia Cassani handled Andrea Dossena's cross. Cavani missed a penalty kick in the previous round of matches but this time he sent Palermo 'keeper Salvatore Sirigu the wrong way and scored.

Bovo had a chance to equalize in the 13th but scooped the ball over the bar from close range, while at the other end Cavani shot high with a speculative volley.

Balzaretti drew Palermo level in spectacular fashion, firing in Cassani's cross with a low halfvolley.

Just before the break a slick move between Javier Pastore and Giulio Migliaccio finished with Antonio Nocerino scoring. However, referee Antonio Damato had already blown for a penalty, leading Palermo coach Delio Rossi to be sent off for excessive protests.

It made no difference as Bovo dispatched the penalty for a halftime lead.

"I was sent off for trying to talk to Pastore," Rossi said. "I wasn't arguing with the referee or his assistant."

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