Inter rally against Verona to go top of Serie A
ROME - Inter Milan bounced back for a hard-fought 2-1 win against Verona Saturday, with a textbook drive from Nicolo Barella helping them go top in the Italian Serie A.
The Nerazzurri are now two points clear of Juventus, who have 29 points and can claw back the lead if they beat AC Milan late Sunday in the closing encounter of matchday 12.
The Milanese hosts fell behind on 19 minutes to a penalty taken by Valerio Verre after goalkeeping captain Samir Handanovic floored Mattia Zaccagni and pressed until the 65th to level from Matias Vecino's header.
Home striker Romelu Lukaku had three chances in the first half as Marcelo Brozovic and Stefan de Vrij also threatened, with the guests only managing a couple of harmless counter-attacks.
The newcomers' keeper Marco Silvestri was stunned when Vecino soared on a cross from Valentino Lazaro and stood no chance when Barella's drive swerved into the top right corner on 83 minutes.
Verona, who with 11 goals conceded boast the league's third best defences, remained ninth on 15 points.
The day's opener saw Andrea Belotti and Alejandro Berenguer strike braces for Torino in a 4-0 away win at 10-man Brescia.
The newcomers suffered their eighth defeat under new coach Fabio Grosso, a 2006 world champion with Italy hired this week to replace Eugenio Corini.
Belotti converted two penalties awarded for handball in the first half and Berenguer scored twice after home defender Ales Mateju was sent off on 41 minutes with a second booking.
Torino, who had clinched two points from the past six games, are now 11th on 14 points from 12 games.
Brescia are in the drop zone on seven with a game in hand they will play on December 18 against Sassuolo, who beat Bologna 3-1 on Friday.
Napoli play a late home game against Genoa late Saturday.DPA