MILAN – Inter beat Chievo in a seven-goal show at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza and for 75 minutes the Scudetto was on its way to Milan, but the title race will go down to the wire as Roma came from behind to beat Cagliari 2-1.
Esteban Cambiasso, Diego Milito and Mario Balotelli scored after a pair of own goals to maintain Inter’s two-point advantage over the Giallorossi going into the final day of the season.
Granoche reduced the arrears for Chievo and Pellissier struck with sixteen minutes left as the Nerazzurri were made to work hard for the points.
It was all Inter from the word go and Stankovic fired an early warning when his splendid long-range effort bounced off the top of the crossbar.
But Chievo edged in front against the run of play on 12 minutes when Luciano’s free kick from the right went in off Thiago Motta.
The visitors’ lead lasted all of sixty seconds and the equaliser was another own goal with Mantovani inadvertently back-heeling Eto’o’s shot into his own net.
The 75,000 spectators were treated to display of relentless attacking for the rest of the first half.
On 35 minutes Cambiasso robbed Sardo and set up a counter-attack, finishing it off with a angled shot from Maicon’s cross at the far post.
Four minutes later Milito added his 21st of the Serie A season with an effort to savour. Eto’o played in his strike partner and the Prince caught Sorrentino on the hop with a sublime lob.
Inter opened up a three-goal cushion seven minutes after the restart and it was a case of anything you can do, I can do too as Balotelli latched on to Maicon’s beautifully-timed long-range pass and emulated Milito by lifting the ball over Sorrentino.
To their credit, Chievo never stopped fighting and the Flying Donkeys pulled a goal back on 60 minutes when Granoche diverted Marcolini’s shot beyond Julio Cesar.
Inter suddenly had a game on their hands when Chievo captain Pellissier went through on goal and fired past Julio Cesar to make it 4-3 with just over a quarter of an hour remaining.
Sorrentino made a fine save from Eto’o and substitute Pandev crashed a shot against the post as Inter created plenty of chances to build on their lead.
Inter 4-3 Chievo (HT: 3-1)
Scorers: Thiago Motta (og) 12, Mantovani (og) 13, Cambiasso 35, Milito 39, Balotelli 52, Granoche 60, Pellissier 74.
Inter: 12 Julio Cesar; 13 Maicon, 23 Materazzi, 25 Samuel, 4 Zanetti; 5 Stankovic, 19 Cambiasso, 8 Thiago Motta (11 Muntari 56); 9 Eto’o, 22 Milito (17 Mariga 90+2), 45 Balotelli (27 Pandev 64).
Subs not used: 1 Toldo, 7 Quaresma, 26 Chivu, 89 Arnautovic.
Coach: José Mourinho.
Chievo Verona: 28 Sorrentino; 20 Sardo, 21 Frey, 3 Scardina (19 Ariatti 75), 4 Mantovani, 17 Jokic; 10 Luciano, 16 Rigoni (9 Bentivoglio 46), 7 Marcolini; 31 Pellissier, 11 Granoche (22 Abbruscato 62).
Subs not used: 18 Squizzi, 15 Iori, 27 Moro, 83 De Paula.
Coach: Domenico Di Carlo.
Referee: Luca Banti (Livorno).
Booked: Sardo 25.