- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 28, 2015

ROME (AP) - Antonio Di Natale matched Roberto Baggio with his 205th Serie A goal on Tuesday, as his nine-man Udinese side lost 2-1 to Inter Milan.

Also, Serie B leader Carpi secured its first promotion to the top division.

Mauro Icardi converted a penalty for Inter in the 48th, Di Natale equalized two minutes later and Lukas Podolski scored the winner in the 65th.

Udinese defender Maurizio Domizzi picked up his second yellow card in the 40th and midfielder Emmanuel Badu was sent off in the same manner in the 58th.

The win stretched Inter’s unbeaten run to five matches and moved Roberto Mancini’s club into seventh place, two points from the Europa League places.

“We played much better when it was 11 vs. 11 than when it was 11 vs. 9,” an angry Mancini said. “When their second player was sent off, four or five of our players stopped playing. These are matches that need to be finished off.”

Udinese remained 13th.

The 37-year-old Di Natale moved level with Baggio in sixth place on Serie A’s all-time scoring chart. Silvio Piola holds the record with 274 goals and Roma captain Francesco Totti is second with 241.

“It’s an incredible achievement, and he did it with humility and hard work,” said Udinese manager Andrea Stramaccioni, who began his Serie A coaching career at Inter.

Carpi needed only a point against Bari and got what it needed with a 0-0 draw to celebrate promotion with four matches to spare.

It marks the first time in the Emilia-Romagna club’s 106-year history that it will play in Serie A.

Carpi holds an 11-point lead over Frosinone, with Bologna 12 points back in third. The top two finishers in Serie B are promoted directly, while the third- to eighth-placed clubs go to a playoff to decide the third club promoted. Carpi has a better head-to-head record with Bologna and cannot now be caught.

Udinese beat AC Milan 2-1 on Saturday and had trouble matching Inter’s pace at the start.

Domizzi’s first yellow card was for protesting and his second came for a late tackle on Brazilian midfielder Hernanes.

Hernanes and Icardi each produced chances for Inter in the first half.

Less than 30 seconds into the second half, Inter was awarded a penalty following a sliding tackle by Brazilian defender Danilo on Mateo Kovacic.

After lengthy protests from Udinese, Icardi calmly found the target with his spot kick, matching Carlos Tevez as the league’s top scorer with his 18th goal of the season.

Di Natale’s goal was the work of an expert.

After receiving the ball outside the area, the former Italy forward dribbled between a pair of defenders and wasted no time before launching a shot beyond the reach of goalkeeper Samir Handanovic.

As Inter pressed forward for another, Badu protested when he thought he was pushed down inside his own area - and then took a swipe near the referee’s face, drawing his second yellow.

Less than 10 minutes later, Podolski scored with a curling shot from outside the area seconds after coming on - his first since joining Inter on loan from Arsenal in January.

On Wednesday, Juventus can clinch its fourth straight title with five matches to spare if it beats Fiorentina and Lazio does not defeat Parma.

Juventus would also seal its 31st “scudetto” if it draws against Fiorentina, Lazio loses and Roma does not win at Sassuolo.

Juventus enters with a 14-point lead over Lazio and a 15-point advantage over Roma and holds the tiebreaker edge over both Roman clubs courtesy of better head-to-head records.


Andrew Dampf can be followed at www.twitter.com/asdampf

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide