Inter Milan celebrate title before home crowd
Apr 30, 2007 - 3:06:25 PM

Milan, April 30 - Defending champions Inter Milan beat guests Empoli 3-1 as their fans continued celebrations on home turf for the 15th Serie A title secured a week ago.

The late win Sunday at the Giuseppe Meazza pushed Inter onto 87 points with a massive 18-point lead over second-place Roma with four games left. Inter's 27th win from 34 games brought them two wins shy of Torino's record in the 1940s.

The Tuscany hosts Empoli, on pace to secure a UEFA Cup berth, showed little interest for the Inter fans rejoicing in the stands and started off at a brisk pace that almost upset Inter early in the game.

Brazilian keeper Julio Cesar had to make a first miraculous dive after six minutes to deflect a close-range shot from Luca Saudati off an assist from Ighli Vannucchi.

Six minutes later, it was Davide Bassi's turn to save Empoli's goal as Alvaro Recoba aimed a vicious free kick under the bar.

The seldom-fielded Uruguayan striker tried again with a low shot from the distance on 17 minutes and hit the post on 30 minutes when Inter was already one up through a goal from Argentina's Julio Cruz.

Recoba set free on the limit of the area Esteban Cambiasso, who fed a classy heel touch for the precise shot from his compatriot Cruz on 27 minutes.

Vannucchi forced another great save after the break, and Nicola Pozzi had a header saved before Saudati scored an equalizer on 57 minutes, beating Julio Cesar with a low diagonal shot from the area limit.

The inspired Recoba put Inter back in the lead just two minutes later, curling a corner kick directly under the bar for his first goal of the season.

Two more minutes passed, and Bassi was stunned again when Serbian midfielder Dejan Stankovic drilled home a low drive to beef up Inter's top scoring tally on 71 goals.

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