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Inter survive fightback
Inter Milan survived a second-half fightback from Chievo to remain on course for their fifth successive scudetto.

Jose Mourinho's side headed into the penultimate round of Serie A fixtures holding a two-point lead over Roma and after their rivals came from behind to beat Cagliari 2-1 at home, will take that same advantage into next weekend's final round.

Despite Thiago Motta's own goal after 11 minutes, Inter looked to be coasting to victory after an own goal by Andrea Mantovani (13) and strikes from Esteban Cambiasso (34), Diego Milito (39) and Mario Balotelli (52).

However, Pablo Granoche (60) and Sergio Pellicier (74) pulled the Flying Donkeys back to 4-3 at the San Siro as the visitors threatened to spoil the party. Inter held on, though, and remain in the driving seat as they bid to retain the Serie A title.

Inter, as expected, began at full throttle with Balotelli's long-range free-kick going well over the bar.

In the seventh minute Dejan Stankovic made a more impressive attempt. Fed by Balotelli, the Serb shot from distance but his effort skimmed the crossbar.

In the 12th minute, however, Inter were behind.

Luciano's cross from the right was a real teaser and Motta could only deflect the ball into his own net.

A minute later Inter hit back and again, it was from an own goal. Samuel Eto'o tried his luck with a shot and wheeled away in celebration as Mantovani matched Motta's unwanted feat at the other end.

Maicon forced a save from Chievo goalkeeper Stefano Sorrentino in the 24th minute after more good work from Balotelli.

Chievo had chances of their own, however, and Granoche's header was only denied by typically excellent shot-stopping from Julio Cesar.

In the 32nd minute Balotelli crossed for Motta to lay it on for Stankovic. The midfielder hammered it first time but Sorrentino was impressive in making the save.

Ten minutes before the break it was 2-1 to Inter. Cambiasso robbed Gennaro Sardo and initiated a slick counter-attack which saw Maicon find his team-mate's run before Cambiasso fired home from close range.

The lead was stretched in the 39th minute. Eto'o cleverly fed Milito before the Argentinian produced a superb lob to beat Sorrentino.

The contest looked effectively over in the 51st minute as Inter made it 4-1.

Maicon's long-range pass found Balotelli in space and watched on with delight as the enigmatic striker matched Milito's effort with a wonderful lob of his own.

Eto'o had a 55th-minute chance to extend the lead but Sorrentino denied him and on the hour mark Chievo threatened to make a fight of it.

Michele Marcolini's 25-yard effort looked speculative, only for Granoche to get in the way and watch as the deflection sent the ball into the back of the net.

The plot thickened in the 74th minute when Chievo reduced the deficit to just one. Pellicier timed his run perfectly to beat the offside trap and, bearing down on Julio Cesar, produced a cool finish.

Inter refused to go on the defensive, however. Milito shot wide in the 77th minute and Sorrentino was again called upon to deny Eto'o's low shot. He was in action again soon after to deny the same player before Goran Pandev hit the post with the loose ball.

Five minutes from time Stankovic shot over the bar as Chievo failed to come up with one big push to level.
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