Soccer

Icardi scores twice to help Inter Milan beat Sampdoria

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The Canadian Press
4/13/2014 4:06:07 PM
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MILAN, Italy -- Mauro Icardi scored twice to help Inter Milan beat 10-man Sampdoria 4-0 in Serie A on Sunday and boost its hopes of qualifying for the Europa League.

Icardi is living with the ex-wife of former teammate Maxi Lopez, and the Sampdoria forward refused to shake Icardi's hand before kickoff.

"Icardi shouldn't have done that gesture with his ear, but for the rest he showed a really cool head to deal with the environment that had been created around him," Inter coach Walter Mazzarri said. "We shouldn't forget that he is young and he has this exuberance which lets him be clinical and cool. He can become a great player, as he has that in his DNA."

Walter Samuel and Rodrigo Palacio also scored for Inter while Lopez had a penalty saved. Sampdoria played most of the match with 10 men after Eder was shown a second yellow card for his part in a brawl.

Inter remained fifth but will be boosted by Parma's 1-1 draw at Bologna and Lazio's 4-2 defeat at Napoli.

AC Milan is firmly back in the race for a Europa League place as picked up a fourth successive victory with a 1-0 home win against bottom club Catania.

Hellas Verona's slim European hopes diminished as it lost 5-3 at home to Fiorentina.

Also, Chievo Verona beat Livorno 4-2 in a relegation battle, while Torino snatched a dramatic 2-1 win against Genoa.

Icardi was booed every time he touched the ball by Sampdoria fans but that seemed to spur him on and he fired Inter in front in the 13th minute.

Deafening jeers rang out but Icardi celebrated by cupping a hand to his ear and urging the fans on.

Sampdoria could have immediately levelled when it was awarded a penalty after Andrea Ranocchia went into the back of Daniele Gastaldello, but Samir Handanovic denied Lopez.

Sampdoria was down to 10 men after a brawl boke out in the 20th minute and Eder, who had been booked for diving, was shown a second yellow and dismissed.

Inter doubled its lead on the hour mark when Samuel headed in Hernanes' corner and Icardi sealed the result minutes later with his second of the match, driving across from a tight angle.

"Icardi lost today," said Sampdoria assistant Nenad Sakic, who was standing in for suspended coach Sinisa Mihajlovic. "That gesture towards his ex-fans and against his ex-club, which made him grow, shows what kind of person he is."

Parma is two points behind Inter after rescuing a draw in the lunchtime kickoff.

Bologna had only won one of its past nine games but looked to have secured a vital three points thanks to Niccolo Cherubin's 44th-minute strike.

However, Parma levelled 11 minutes from time when Raffaele Palladino volleyed home Jonathan Biabiany's cross.

Bologna moved three points clear of the relegation zone, while Parma remained in the Europa League spots -- three points above Milan, Lazio and Torino.

Riccardo Montolivo scored the winning goal for Milan, a 30-meter snapshot into the bottom left corner, in the 23rd minute.

Catania midfielder Fabian Rinaudo was sent off 12 minutes from time following two yellow cards.

It was Maurizio Pellegrino's first match in charge of Catania, after replacing the sacked Rolando Maran.

Catania is eight points off safety.

Gonazalo Higuain scored a hat trick for Napoli, ending his five-game goal drought.

Senad Lulic had given Lazio a surprise lead when he forced his way past Raul Albiol and drilled across into the bottom left corner.

Dries Mertens levelled with a swerving shot into the top right of goal shortly before halftime.

Lazio was reduced to 10 men at the start of the second period as Lorik Cana was dismissed for a second booking after fouling Mertens. Higuain converted the resulting penalty.

The former Real Madrid forward scored twice more, either side of Ogenyi Onazi's consolation for Lazio.

Torino appeared to be heading for defeat after substitute Alberto Gilardino's late goal.

But Ciro Immobile and Alessio Cerci scored stunning strikes into the top right corner within 30 seconds of each other in stoppage time.

Fiorentina had beaten Verona 4-3 earlier in the season and the fans were treated to another high-scoring game.

Alberto Aquilani scored twice for Fiorentina, and there were also goals for Juan Cuadrado and Borja Valero and a penalty for Alessandro Matri.

Jacopo Sala and Juan Iturbe scored for Verona, while former Fiorentina forward Luca Toni converted a penalty.

Battling for the ball (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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