Palacio brace saves Inter, Totti scores in Roma win

Rodrigo Palacio came off the bench to score a brace including an injury-time winner in a 3-2 win over feisty Catania to push Inter Milan up to fourth in Italy's Serie A today.

As expected, the visitors were given short shrift by the Sicilians and were left playing catch-up inside ten minutes when Gonzalo Bergessio smashed the ball past 'keeper Samir Handanovic after a defensive blunder by Brazilian defender Juan Jesus. Inter were in disarray and went in for the half-time break two goals down after Giovanni Marchese doubled the lead with a header at the back post from Francesco Lodi's free kick.

Seven minutes after the break, later Palacio latched onto Ezequiel Schelotto's through ball, took it to the byline and sent over a cross for Ricky Alvarez to beat Mariano Andujar from close range with a diving header. Catania were left lamenting that missed opportunity moments later when Palacio, who was unmarked in the box, rose above Alexis Rolin to head home Alvaro Pereira's cross from close range.

Catania's defence were found wanting in the second minute of injury time when Palacio was allowed space on the edge of the area and found fellow Argentine Esteban Cambiasso. Cambiasso took the ball to the byline and squeezed it to the unmarked Palacio, who beat Andujar with ease from yards out.

Meanwhile, Roma captain Francesco Totti became the joint second all-time top scorer in Serie A on Sunday with a 225th career goal in the league during a 3-1 win over Genoa at the Olympic Stadium. Totti, 36, stepped up to beat Sebastien Frey in the Genoa goal from the spot in the 16th minute before Marco Borriello made it level at 1-1 with a 42nd minute penalty. Second half goals from Alessio Romagnoli and Simone Perrotta ensured the three points for Roma.

Elsewhere today, Fiorentina held onto sixth place, 14 points behind Juventus but only three shy of third-placed AC Milan, with a 2-1 home win over Chievo thanks to Larrondo's 78th minute header.

Bologna climbed further away from the relegation zone towards mid-table respectability with a 3-0 home rout of Cagliari while Sampdoria had Emanuel Icardi to thank for the 58th minute header which secured a 1-0 win over Parma.

At Siena, Giacomo Bonaventura scored a brace for Atalanta to secure a precious 2-0 away win. Sunday's early match between Torino and Palermo finished scoreless. Pescara's recent woes continued after Antonio Di Natale's 150th Serie A goal was enough to earn the three points for Udinese.

Juventus, who host Celtic in the second leg of their UEFA Champions League last 16 tie on Wednesday, were held to a 1-1 draw away to Napoli on Friday, while AC Milan romped to a 3-0 win over Lazio yesterday.