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Inter goes 8 clear as Milan held

INTER Milan stretched its Serie A lead to eight points after the champion won 3-0 at Lecce and AC Milan could only draw 1-1 at home to bottom side Reggina on Saturday.

Inter leads with 53 points, Milan is second on 45, and Juventus third on 43.

The Milan derby takes place on February 15 and Inter will be licking its lips at the thought of going 11 points clear of its city rival, which won the first encounter this term 1-0.

Second-placed Milan will struggle to repeat that performance if it plays like it did against Reggina, who deservedly went ahead on 33 minutes when Davide Di Gennaro fired in after Bernardo Corradi's assist.

Kaka equalized with a 67th-minute penalty but soon went off with an injured foot and is a doubt for the derby after being taken to hospital for tests.

The Brazilian also hit the post and Clarence Seedorf had a goal ruled out for hand ball.

Milan, fifth last season because of its shaky home form, had the majority of the play but a raft of David Beckham crosses went begging with the team lacking height in the box.

"It was a difficult and nervous match for all," Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti told Sky television. "Maybe we thought the goal would come sooner or later. Reggina had very tall defenders and we had little presence in the box."

Inter was ahead on 12 minutes when Swedish talisman Zlatan Ibrahimovic slammed his 14th league goal of the campaign after Esteban Cambiasso laid the ball off having pretended to shoot.

Maicon missed from close range after the break but Luis Figo, 36, made sure they would not regret it when he headed in a cross from teenage left back Davide Santon in the 71st.

Former Portugal captain Figo, used little this term having put off retirement at the end of last season, had not scored a league goal since a 3-0 win over Sampdoria in September 2007.

Dejan Stankovic nodded in Maicon's free kick late on having again been a driving force for Inter, which operated with the Serbian and Figo behind lone frontman Ibrahimovic.


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