Fiorentina wins 5th straight; Inter draws at home

Associated Press Modified: November 18, 2012 at 4:02 pm •  Published: November 18, 2012

ROME (AP) — Surging Fiorentina thrust itself into the race for the Champions League places with a 4-1 win over 10-man Atalanta on Sunday, while second-place Inter Milan needed a late own goal to draw 2-2 at home with Cagliari in the Italian league.

Alberto Aquilani scored twice and set up another goal, and Gonzalo Rodriguez and Luca Toni also found the net as Fiorentina won its fifth straight match and extended its unbeaten run to seven.

In Milan, Rodrigo Palacio put Inter ahead after 10 minutes but homegrown striker Marco Sau scored twice to push Cagliari in front before defender Davide Astori redirected a cross from Inter midfielder Ricardo Alvarez into his own net in the 82nd.

In added time, Inter argued for a penalty on defender Andrea Ranocchia and coach Andrea Stramaccioni was sent off for protests. In a sign of protest, the team did not speak with the media afterward.

Inter is four points behind league leader Juventus, which was held to a 0-0 draw by Lazio on Saturday. Fiorentina is tied with Napoli one point further back.

The top two finishers in Serie A qualify directly for the Champions League, while the third-place finisher enters the final round of playoffs.

"It's great that the fans are dreaming, but we still need to improve," first-year Fiorentina coach Vincenzo Montella said. "We knew Aquilani's worth, but now that he's scoring he's an added value for the club."

In the late match, Sampdoria beat last-place Genoa 3-1 in a derby to end its seven-match losing run. Andrea Poli put Samp ahead in the 16th, an own-goal by Genoa defender Cesare Bovo doubled the lead in the 36th, and Mauro Icari sealed the victory in the 88th after Ciro Immobile had cut the lead to 2-1 in the 73rd.

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