JULIO CRUZ DECISIVE IN PARMA

PARMA - Inter remain on top of the Serie A table with Palermo after a dramatic 2-1 victory over Parma in Sunday's late game at the Ennio Tardini.

Julio Cruz, who captained the Nerazzurri to victory against Messina in the cup last Thursday after scoring in both Champions League matches against Spartak Moscow, was Inter's saviour once again. The Argentine forward hit an injury-time winner after Zlatan Ibrahimovic's first-half stunner was cancelled out by an Igor Budan strike.

Fabio Grosso shaved the crossbar with a rising shot after thirteen minutes of the hard-fought clash. Inter were a goal to the good two minutes later when Zlatan Ibrahimovic received with his back to goal, turned and crashed a right-foot shot into the bottom left corner.

The Nerazzurri's lead was shortlived as Parma hit back on 26 minutes through the impressive Croatian striker Budan, who hooked a Bocchetti assist past Julio Cesar.

Zlatan Muslimovic wasted an incredible chance to put Parma in front in the 75th minute. With just Julio Cesar to beat the Bosnian forward mis-timed his shot from Contini's headed pass into the area.

Cruz, on for Crespo in the second half, forced a terrific one-handed save from Parma substitute De Lucia with a bullet header from Ibrahimovic's cross before sealing a famous victory in stoppage time, hooking home after his initial header from Mariano Gonzalez's deflected cross was parried.

Ibrahimovic was dismissed after being shown a second yellow for timewasting in the fourth minute of added time and will now miss next Sunday's visit of Reggina.

PARMA 1-2 INTER (HT: 1-1)

Scorers: Ibrahimovic 15, Budan 26, Cruz 90+2

PARMA: 5 Bucci (23 De Lucia 68); 33 Coly, 28 Paci, 80 Bocchetti, 14 Contini; 41 Ciaramitaro, 13 Grella; 9 Muslimovic, 10 Morfeo, 19 Pisanu (18 Gasbarroni 83); 20 Budan (24 Fernando Couto 78)
Subs not used: 7 Castellini, 26 Ferronetti, 6 Bolano, 21 Cigarini
Coach: Stefano Pioli

INTER: 12 Julio Cesar; 13 Maicon, 2 Cordoba, 23 Materazzi, 11 Grosso (91 Mariano Gonzalez ); 7 Figo (21 Solari 75), 15 Dacourt, 14 Vieira, 4 Zanetti; 8 Ibrahimovic, 18 Crespo (9 Cruz 64)
Subs not used: 1 Toldo, 16 Burdisso, 25 Samuel, 6 Maxwell
Coach: Roberto Mancini

Referee: Massimiliano Saccani (Mantua)

Booked: Contini 36, Vieira 38, Dacourt 85, Couto 86, Coly 89, Ibrahimovic 89
Sent off: Ibrahimovic 90+4


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