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Inter and Juve win, Roma draws 1-1 with Udinese

Inter Milan warmed up for its Champions League matchup against Manchester United with a 2-0 win at Genoa yesterday, maintaining a seven-point lead over Juventus, which beat Torino 1-0 in a derby.

Also, 10-man AS Roma was held to a 1-1 draw with Udinese before resuming its matchup with Arsenal.

After sitting out a draw with Roma last weekend and a 3-0 loss to Sampdoria in the Italian Cup, Zlatan Ibrahimovic returned and put Inter in front two minutes in. Teenage striker Mario Balotelli doubled Inter's lead in the 61st.

"The team responded positively. We scored right away, but it still wasn't easy against this opponent," Inter coach Jose Mourinho said. "We did well to control the game."

Juventus, which faces Chelsea on Tuesday, won with an 81st-minute goal from defender Giorgio Chiellini, who headed in a free kick from Pavel Nedved.

In Rome, Brazilian defender Felipe gave Udinese the lead in the 55th, heading in a cross from Antonio Di Natale. Mirko Vucinic equalized for Roma with a diagonal shot in the 61st, three minutes after coming on.

Roma was reduced to 10 men in the 68th when midfielder Daniele De Rossi was sent off for protests.

Inter leads with 63 points, Juventus is next with 56 and AC Milan is third with 48. Roma moved into a tie for fifth with Genoa with 45 points each.

Milan hosts Atalanta today.

Ibrahimovic lobbed a shot over charging goalkeeper Rubinho for his 15th goal of the season.

After Inter goalkeeper Julio Cesar made several tough saves, Balotelli took advantage of a hole in Genoa's defense and scored with Rubinho down on the ground and a defender unable to clear the ball off the line even though it was right at his feet.

It was unclear if the ball crossed the goal line.

"I didn't see it well from my position," Mourinho said. "But I don't want to talk about referees anymore. I'm a coach and I want to do my job."

It was Genoa's first loss at home this season.

Inter drew the first leg 0-0 with United and plays in Manchester on Wednesday. Juventus lost the opening leg 1-0 to Chelsea.

Perhaps with the Chelsea game in mind, Juventus coach Claudio Ranieri rested captain Alessandro Del Piero and David Trezeguet, but Vincenzo Iaquinta nearly put the Bianconeri ahead twice in the first half, with Torino goalkeeper Matteo Sereni negating the striker both times.

Torino also threatened in the first half with Roberto Stellone and Simone Barone.

Juventus midfielder Sebastian Giovinco just missed the target with a free kick in the 65th, then was replaced by Nedved.

Roma hosts Arsenal on Wednesday after dropping the first leg 1-0 in London.

At the Stadio Olimpico, Udinese protested for a penalty in the 45th following an evident hand ball by defender Philippe Mexes.

Aching Roma captain Francesco Totti sat out, and coach Luciano Spalletti was suspended for the game for insulting the fourth referee after last weekend's 3-3 draw with Inter.

Roma midfielder David Pizarro exited with an apparent injury or cramp in the 44th and was replaced by veteran forward Vincenzo Montella, who skimmed a shot just wide of the post in the 48th.

Vucinic replaced Jeremy Menez in the 58th and took a pass from Montella before scoring three minutes later. With 15 goals in all competitions, Vucinic is Roma's leading scorer.

After De Rossi was sent off, Udinese's Colombian defender Cristian Zapata had a clear look at the target but headed wide.

Montella also had a chance at the winner but was negated by Udinese goalkeeper Samir Handanovic in a 1-on-1 situation.


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