Inter wins 2-0 to move 1 point behind leader AC Milan

MILAN (AP) — Defending Serie A champion Inter Milan moved within one point of league leader and city rival AC Milan with a 2-0 win against Hellas Verona on Saturday.

Ivan Perišić set up both first-half goals for Nicolò Barella and Edin Džeko.

Milan visits Torino on Sunday. Both Milan teams have played the same number of games as Inter still has to play a postponed match against Bologna. Napoli, which hosts Fiorentina on Sunday, is level on points with Inter.

Inter was buoyed by a 1-0 win at Juventus last weekend but without its top scorer against Verona as Lautaro Martínez was suspended.

Perišić almost scored in the 18th minute but Verona goalkeeper Lorenzo Montipò pulled off a fantastic save to deny the Inter forward.

However, the Croatia international set up the opener four minutes later as he raced down the left flank from the halfway line and crossed for Barella to fire into the roof of the net.

Inter doubled its lead in the 30th minute when Perišić headed on a corner for Džeko to drive into the bottom left corner.

It was the 36-year-old Džeko’s 17th goal of the season in all competitions.

Verona had chances to get back into the match but was prevented from doing so by a mix of wayward finishing and fine saves from Samir Handanović.

Inter almost scored a third in the 73rd minute but Montipò pushed Danilo D’Ambrosio’s effort onto the post.

RECOVERY

Juventus fought back from conceding an early goal to win 2-1 at relegation-threatened Cagliari and consolidate fourth spot.

Cagliari had lost four straight matches but João Pedro gave it a surprise lead, against the run of play, in the 10th minute.

Juventus defender Luca Pellegrini thought he had equalized but the goal was disallowed as it was deflected in off the elbow of teammate Adrien Rabiot.

Matthijs de Ligt did level on the stroke of halftime as he headed in a cross from Juan Cuadrado.

Giorgio Chiellini had another goal for Juventus ruled out for offside shortly after the interval before Dušan Vlahović scored the winner in the 75th, following Paulo Dybala’s through ball.

Juventus moved eight points ahead of fifth-place Roma. Cagliari remained three points clear of 18th-place Venezia, which has played two matches fewer.

RELEGATION FIGHT

Empoli and Spezia moved further away from the bottom three with a 0-0 draw.

Empoli goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario and his Spezia counterpart, Ivan Provedel, pulled off a number of good saves to keep the scoreline goalless.

Spezia was 11 points ahead of the relegation zone, and one point below Empoli.

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