Ibrahimovic silences critics as Inter close in on title

Inter Milan took a significant step closer to claiming a fourth consecutive Serie A title by jumping 10 points clear at the top following Saturday's 2-0 win over Lazio at the San Siro.

Ibrahimovic silences critics as Inter close in on title

Sweden forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic responded to critics among the Inter faithful and was the inspiration behind the win, scoring one goal and creating the other.

Inter came into this game without a win in their last three matches and having seen Milan halve a previous deficit of 14 points to their bitter city rivals.

But any thoughts that Jose Mourinho’s team might be cracking under the pressure were dispelled by Ibrahimovic’s magical right boot.

Inter made a bright start and Brazilian winger Mancini, making a rare start, shot wide of the near post from 12 yards inside two minutes.

Ibrahimovic almost opened the scoring on 23 minutes when veteran Portuguese winger Luis Figo picked him out in the box with a pinpoint cross but his header went just wide of the far post with Fernando Muslera well beaten in the Lazio goal.

The Swede then turned provider on 31 minutes as he clipped a cross into the box for Muntari Sulley whose flying header from eight yards sailed wide of the near post, although the Ghana midfielder should at least have hit the target.

Chances were few and far between in a quiet first half and after the break Inter’s frustrated fans started displaying their frustration.

Surprisingly, Ibrahimovic was the target after he tried unsuccessfully to beat two players in the box when a pass to the unmarked Sulley would have been a better option.

Some fans jeered the striker but his reaction was immediate as on 58 minutes he teased two defenders on the edge of the box, shifted the ball onto his right foot and then with minimal backlift thrashed a rocket past Muslera’s despairing dive.

Ibrahimovic celebrated angrily by going to the fans who jeered him and placing a finger over his lips.

And 20 minutes from time he was again decisive, playing a clever pass around the corner as three defenders converged on him, allowing Sulley to gallop free and beat Muslera at his near post with a crisp left foot finish.

Inter now lead second placed Milan by 10 points although they have a game in hand.

In the day’s other match, basement side Reggina boosted their survival hopes with a crucial 2-1 victory at Bologna.

Reggina now sit just three points from safety and only two behind Bologna, who are also in the relegation zone.

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Romanian billionaire and seven others die in Milan plane crash

A light aircraft piloted by Romanian billionaire Dan Petrescu crashed into an empty office building near Milan on Sunday, killing him, his wife and son, and all five others aboard.

Police and rescue teams outside the office building where a small plane crashed in the Milan suburb of San Donato.
Police and rescue teams outside the office building where a small plane crashed in the Milan suburb of San Donato on October 3rd. Photo: Miguel Medina/AFP

The single-engine Pilatus PC-12 had taken off from Milan’s Linate airport shortly after 1pm headed for Olbia in the north of the Italian island of Sardinia.

It crashed just a few minutes later into a building in San Donato Milanese, a town southeast of Milan, according to aviation agency ANSV, which has opened an investigation.

Witnesses said the plane was already in flames before it crashed into an office building undergoing renovations.

Petrescu’s 65-year-old wife, who also had French nationality, and their son Dan Stefano, 30, were killed.

Italian media identified the other passengers as entrepreneur Filippo Nascimbene, a 33-year-old from Lombardy, with his wife, young son and mother-in-law, who have French nationality.

Petrescu, 68, was one of Romania’s richest men. He headed a major construction firm and owned a string of hypermarkets and malls. He also held Germany nationality, the Corriere della Sera newspaper reported.

Flames engulfed the two-storey building, next to the yellow line subway terminus.

“The impact was devastating,” Carlo Cardinali, of the Milan fire brigade, told news agency Ansa.

Deputy prosecutor Tiziana Siciliano was quoted by Corriere as saying that the plane’s black box had been recovered.