Stankovic treble earns Inter respite
Inter Milan moved back into the top five of Serie A thanks to dramatic 5-2 win over luckless Parma today.
Crespo reduced the arrears again before half-time and Parma hit the post twice as they searched for a way back into the game. Thiago Motta and Stankovic's third goal sealed the win for I Nerazzurri and ended Parma's spirited efforts.
"It was a crazy match and we showed that we were a bit crazier," joked Rafael Benitez. "The team played very well and proved its character. I'm happy. We still believe in the title. The season is still long."
"Now, Lazio [in the league next Friday], Werder Bremen [in the UEFA Champions League on 7 December] and the Club World Cup [on 15-18 December]. This match against Parma needs to be our springboard."
The drama began in the fourth minute when former Inter striker Crespo rolled back the years with a fine backheeled goal to put the visitors in front. Parma carried on taking the game to their hosts with Antonio Candreva, Crespo and Sebastian Giovinco all testing Luca Castellazzi in the Inter goal.
But three goals in the space of five minutes turned the game on its head. Stankovic, who had not scored in Serie A all season, got lucky with two goals in a minute, both taking deflections to leave Antonio Mirante no chance.
His first hit the back of Alessandro Lucarelli to divert wickedly into the opposite corner while, less than 60 seconds later, the Serbian's shot clipped off the heel of Luca Antonelli to again wrong-foot the Parma goalkeeper. Cambiasso then completed the turnaround in the 23rd minute with a simple tap-in at the far post after Jonathan Biabiany flicked a corner on.
The game was not over, though, at least not with Crespo in such blistering form. He reduced the arrears in the 36th minute with an instinctive shot into the bottom corner after Marco Materazzi's clearance rebounded to the Argentinian off Massimo Gobbi. Crespo almost levelled two minutes later, but Castellazzi tipped his header over the crossbar.
Angelo hit the inside of the post early in the second half as Parma continued to threaten an equaliser until Thiago Motta's 72nd-minute volley gave the home side a two-goal cushion again. Crespo hit the post with a header within 60 seconds, going close to completing his hat-trick.
But that honour was reserved for Stankovic, who this time did not need any deflection to score his third, and Inter's fifth, in the 75th minute.