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Inter's perfect 2024 league run ended, Milan win again

EPA PHOTO

Before this week, Inter Milan had been perfect in 2024 - but the runaway Serie A leaders have stumbled again as they failed to rebound from a disappointing Champions League exit.

A 1-1 home draw with defending champions Napoli is hardly the stuff of nightmares, though, and is unlikely to slow Inter's charge to the title.

The result leaves Inter 14 points clear of city rivals Milan in second place, with nine games to play.

Matteo Darmian gave the home side the lead shortly before halftime but former Inter defender Juan Jesus headed in the equaliser for Napoli nine minutes from time.

It was a second straight match without a win for Inter after the Nerazzurri - who reached the Champions League final last year - lost on penalties at Atletico Madrid on Wednesday to exit in the round of 16.

Inter had won their previous 13 matches since the turn of the year.

United States forward Christian Pulisic scored for the fourth straight game to help second-placed Milan to a 3-1 win at relegation-threatened Hellas Verona.

The in-form Pulisic now has 12 goals in 39 appearances across all competitions in his first season with Milan.

Milan moved three points clear of Juventus, who could only draw 0-0 at home to Genoa.

The Rossoneri have endured a difficult week off the field, with the club's offices raided by police on Tuesday as part of an investigation by Italian prosecutors into the sale of the seven-time European champions.

Milan took the lead in stunning fashion on the stroke of halftime.

Theo Hernandez started the move in his own half and played a one-two with Rafael Leao before cutting inside the penalty area. His attempted cross rebounded back to him and he fired home from the tightest of angles.

Milan doubled their lead five minutes after the break when Verona defender Pawel Dawidowicz was caught napping by Noah Okafor, who surged forward and forced a save by Lorenzo Montipo but Pulisic tapped in the rebound.

Tijjani Noslin got Verona back into the match in the 64th minute with a powerful strike but Milan sealed the result 11 minutes from time.

A corner was cleared by Verona but only as far as Samuel Chukwueze, who volleyed into the bottom left corner.

Juventus were booed off as their miserable run stretched to just one win in eight matches.

Juve also had Dusan Vlahovic sent off in stoppage time when the forward, who had been booked for dissent, furiously continued his protests and was shown a second yellow card.

The match between Atalanta and Fiorentina was postponed when Viola general manager Joe Barone was rushed to hospital following a suspected cardiac arrest.

Fifth-place Roma beat relegation-threatened Sassuolo 1-0.