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Football

Novara win extends Inter Milan losing streak

ROME: Inter Milan coach Gian Piero Gasperini’s position became increasingly untenable Tuesday as the Serie A giants’ winless run continued with a shock 3-1 defeat at promoted Novara.

Inter have not won away in five games this season, putting increasing pressure on Gasperini as the humiliation against Novara, returning to Serie A after 55 years, follows last week’s home loss to outsiders Trabzonspor in the Champions League.

Inter are languishing in 17th position with just 1 point from three games.

Marco Rigoni’s double lifted Novara to their first win of the season and provisional 5th place.

Inter danger man Giampaolo Pazzini started on the bench but was brought on by Gasperini at half time in place of an uninspiring Diego Forlan after Riccardo Meggiorini had put the hosts ahead after 38 minutes.

With Inter midfielder Cambiasso struggling to keep up, Mazzarani had only Julio Cesar to beat in the 53rd but shot directly at the goalkeeper, while Novara substitute Luigi Giorgi had a shot tipped over the bar in the 72nd.

Pazzini had Inter’s best chance of the night, a shot at goal on 61 minutes, but it went wide.

Inter’s defense were made to work by pairing Meggiorini and Andrea Mazzarini with the latter missing a chance for a second goal after 53 minutes.

Japanese striker Takayuki Morimoto, who caused endless headaches for Inter defender Andrea Ranocchia all evening, finally obtained a penalty for his side which Marco Rigoni transformed four minutes from time.

And in a late scramble for goal Esteban Cambiasso reduced the deficit for the visitors with a minute to go before Rigoni got his second one minute into time added on.

Leaders Napoli travel to Chievo Wednesday as 2nd-placed Juventus host Bologna who are looking for their first points. AC Milan host 3rd-placed Udinese as AS Roma look for their first win under Luis Enrique Thursday against promoted Siena.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on September 21, 2011, on page 15.

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