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Monday November 24, 2014 MYT 8:32:10 AM
Monday November 24, 2014 MYT 8:32:14 AM
MILAN (Reuters) - Roberto Mancini’s return to the Inter Milan bench after a six-year gap ended in a 1-1 draw against old rivals AC Milan in Serie A on Sunday. Napoli coach Rafael Benitez was fuming after his side squandered a 2-0 lead in a 3-3 draw with Cagliari while Torino missed their fifth consecutive penalty on their way to a 1-0 home defeat by Sassuolo.
Thirty-seven-year-old Udinese forward Antonio Di Natale scored his 200th Serie A goal in his 400th appearance and hapless Parma lost again. Milan scored with their first shot on target when Jeremy Menez sidefooted the ball past Samir Handanovic on the volley in the 23rd minute.
Joel Obi levelled with a low shot from the edge of the area in the 61st minute following a poor clearance by Cristian Zapata before Stephan El Shaarawy hit the bar for Milan and Mauro Icardi for Inter in a frantic final 20 minutes between the two fallen giants.
Gonzalo Higuain, with his seventh goal in the last five league games, and Gokhan Inler put third-placed Napoli 2-0 ahead in less than half an hour but Victor Ibarbo pulled one back with some delightful footwork and Diego Farias equalised two minutes after halftime.
In an open second half, with Cagliari coach Zdenek Zeman throwing caution to the wind in his inimitable style, Jonathan De Guzman put Napoli back in front with a looping header but the Sardinians grabbed a deserved point when Farias turned in Ibarbo’s cross.
"I’m certainly not happy to see these presents after so much work. We had the game in our hands and we gave it away," Benitez told reporters after his side lost ground on leading pair Juventus and AS Roma, who both won on Saturday.
Di Natale became only the seventh player to reach the 200 goal mark although it was not enough for Udinese who were held 1-1 by Chievo.
Hapless Cesena substitute Constantin Nica came off the bench and scored an own goal with his first touch of the game as he diverted a cross into the net to gift fourth-placed Sampdoria a 1-1 draw.
The Sea Horses had taken the lead when Stefano Lucchini scrambled home against his former club from Franco Brienza’s free kick.
Bottom club Parma, beaten 7-0 by Juventus in their last game, went down 2-0 at home to Empoli.
Torino were jeered off after Juan Sanchez Mino saw his penalty saved by Andrea Consigli on the half hour and Antonio Floro Flores headed Sassuolo’s late winner from a corner.
(Reporting by Brian Homewood; Editing by Mark Meadows; firstname.lastname@example.org; +44 20 7542 7933; Reuters Messaging:; email@example.com)
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