Patrick Vieira is England-bound in a bid to keep France World Cup spot.
|Another get out of jail free card for Mourinho [AFP]|
Champions Inter Milan scored two late goals to stun rock-bottom Siena 4-3 at the San Siro to open up an 11-point lead at the top of Italy’s Serie A.
Earlier in the day 10-man AS Roma moved up to fourth and the final Champions League qualification position with a 1-0 home success against woeful Chievo.
Inter looked to be heading for their first home defeat under Jose Mourinho as they trailed 3-2 with just two minutes remaining.
But Dutch playmaker Wesley Sneijder curled home his second free-kick of the game and then three minutes into injury-time substitute Walter Samuel crashed home the winner to send the Inter faithful wild.
It was rough luck on the Serie A basement-sitters who fully deserved something from a thrilling match.
Even without Algeria forward Abdul Kader Ghezzal Siena gave a good account of themselves from the off.
Macedonia forward Goran Pandev, on his home debut for Inter, had the first clear sight of goal on eight minutes and after jinking in from the right side of the box his low left foot shot was tipped around the post by goalkeeper Gianluca Curci.
The visitors then stunned their hosts on 18 minutes as former Middlesbrough forward Massimo Maccarone ran unchallenged from the halfway line before smacking a 30-yard screamer past Julio Cesar’s despairing dive into the top corner.
Inter’s response was rapid as Brazil right-back Maicon stormed forward and shot wide from just outside the area.
Three minutes later, though, Diego Milito equalised after running onto Sneijder’s long ball, cutting inside Sanchez Cribari with embarrassing ease and curling the ball around Curci.
Full normality seemed to have been restored on 36 minutes when Sneijder scored his first free-kick from 20 yards but 60 seconds later Siena equalised.
Reginaldo turned Inter captain Javier Zanetti easily out on the right flank and his cross was missed by all until Swede Albin Ekdal arrived at the back post to slip the ball under Julio Cesar.
A shock was then truly on the cards 20 minutes into the second half as Maccarone bagged his second as he beat Julio Cesar at the near post after arriving unmarked on the edge of the box to meet Reginaldo’s pull back.
But two minutes from the end Sneijder hit a 25-yard special and then Samuel, playing at left-back but thrown forward for the final moments, turned on the edge of the box to shoot left footed in off the far post.
|Results & fixtures|
Saturday January 9
Inter Milan 4-3 Siena
Sunday January 10
Inter’s main rivals Juventus and AC Milan will try to limit their losses as they clash in the big game of the weekend on Sunday in Turin.
Roma survived the 11th-minute sending off of goalkeeper Doni as Daniele De Rossi scored the only goal of the game in the opening minute, with former Italy striker Luca Toni making his debut following his loan move from Bayern Munich.
Coach Claudio Ranieri paid tribute to his new striker, who was only replaced late on due to tiredness.
“I hoped that Toni would be as ready as this for the commitment of a match, he played well and was a great help to us,” he said.
“With 11 against 11 he would have run less but even so he managed to keep us high up the pitch, he created the chance for a penalty, he fought hard and won many battles.”
Toni had a great chance to open his account on five minutes but flicked Rodrigo Taddei’s inch-perfect cross wide of the near post.
Roma seemed to have shot themselves in the foot on 11 minutes when goalkeeper Doni came charging out of his box and blocked Elvis Abbruscato’s chip with his arm, earning a straight red card.
Even so, the visitors created little and things could have been worse but for Stefano Sorrentino saving David Pizarro’s spot-kick after Toni went down in the box.