Lecce hold Inter with late goal
© AFP

Lecce held reigning Serie A champions Inter Milan to a 1-1 draw tonight. Diego Milito broke the deadlock with 14 minutes remaining only to see Ruben Olivera bring the sides level three minutes later.

The draw was Inter's third game without a win in all competitions following their UEFA Champions League defeat to Tottenham and 1-1 Serie A draw with Brescia. Visiting boss Rafael Benitez was without a host of key players - Wesley Sneijder, Walter Samuel, Julio Cesar, Esteban Cambiasso were all absent through illness or injury - but his team still had enough chances to put the game to bed, hitting the post twice in the second half.

If we were lacking intensity it's everyone's responsibility, those on the pitch and those who work off it.
Rafa Benitez, Inter coach

Samuel Eto'o had a sight of goal in the sixth minute but sent his half-volley over the top, and was then too high with another effort after Philippe Coutinho had headed down Davide Santon's cross. Goran Pandev, played in by a clever cross from the left by Jonathan Biabiany, was then denied by a glorious point-blank range save from goalkeeper Antonio Rosati as Inter kept creating chances.

But as the half wore on it was Lecce who started to look more likely to break the deadlock as Jeda rose highest to meet Olivera's cross only to direct his header over, while Djamel Mesbah crossed for Andrea Rispoli, who, unmarked, shot inexplicably wide from six yards. Inter seized the initiative again after the break, Rosati tipping Eto'o's first-time effort round the post.

Milito, a half-time substitute, then controlled a long ball into the area, turned and fired a shot which came back off the post. The Argentinian found the net in the 76th minute, though, stealing in between defenders to convert Eto'o's cross from the left. But the lead lasted just three minutes as Olivera headed in David Di Michele's corner. Inter might have snatched the points in the 88th minute, but Dejan Stankovic's header hit the outside of the post.

"If we were lacking intensity it's everyone's responsibility, those on the pitch and those who work off it," said Benitez. "We lacked luck and I hope we'll get that at other times. Last season we were scoring from certain chances. But we'll do well in the derby and rebound from there."