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Injury to Chivu spoils Inter's New Year party

Mario Balotelli's goal gave Inter Milan a winning start to the year but a fractured skull to Cristian Chivu soured their 1-0 victory at Chievo last night.

Balotelli struck in the 12th minute to settle the contest in favour of the Serie A leaders, but Chivu, in a clash of heads with Chievo captain Sergio Pellissier in the opening moments of the second half, was taken to hospital to undergo surgery, which was later said to be successful.

The victory kept Inter eight points clear of second-placed AC Milan, who beat Genoa 5-2 at the San Siro, and nine ahead of Juventus, 2-1 winners at Parma.

A 39th-minute own goal from Paolo Castellini helped 10-man Juventus claim just their second win in seven games at Parma.

Bosnian Hasan Salihamidzic had headed Juve into an early lead before Nicola Amoruso grabbed an equaliser for Parma, but they were unable to find another and slipped to sixth.

Cagliari scored in the 90th minute and again in stoppage time to earn a 2-2 draw and deny Roma the chance of moving up to third place.

Napoli moved up to fourth with a 2-0 victory at Atalanta.

Fiorentina won the Tuscan derby in style with a 5-1 hammering of basement boys Siena.

Bari won 2-0 at home to Udinese thanks to a goal in each half from Riccardo Meggiorini and Vitor Barreto.

Sergio Floccari scored twice on his Lazio debut in a 4-1 victory over Livorno.

Sampdoria came from behind to rescue a 1-1 draw at home to Palermo. The Blucerchiati had won just once in their last eight fixtures coming into this game and found themselves trailing to Edison Cavani's strike five minutes before the interval.

Palermo's lead was short-lived, though, as Antonio Cassano levelled a minute later.

Sinisa Mihajlovic saw his Catania side move up to third from bottom with a 1-0 win over Bologna, Nicolas Spolli with the only goal of the game nine minutes from time.