06.03.2016 22:48 h

Inter keep up Champions League pressure

Inter Milan kept pace with the pack in the race for Champions League qualification after easily seeing off flatlining Palermo 3-1 on Sunday to win for just the fourth time in 2016.

Adem Ljajic's low 11th minute strike, Mauro Icardi's deft 12th of the season 12 minutes later and a diving header from Ivan Perisic nine minutes after the break saw Inter stay fifth on 51 points, two behind Fiorentina and five behind third-placed Roma, who walloped Paulo Sousa's Viola 4-1 on Friday.

Palermo reacted well to going two down so early and pulled a goal back through a sliding Franco Vazquez finish on the stroke of half-time.

But Giuseppe Iachini's side haven't won in seven and are now just a point above the relegation zone following Sunday's defeat and third-from-bottom Frosinone's 2-0 win over Udinese earlier in the day.

The win for Inter also sees them extend their lead on AC Milan to four points after their local rivals fell 2-0 at Sassuolo thanks to Alfred Duncan's first half piledriver and Nicola Sansone's well-worked fifth of the season 18 minutes before the end.

However automatic Champions League qualification looks a tall order for Roberto Mancini's team, as second-placed Napoli are 10 points away after an entertaining 3-1 defeat of Chievo Verona on Saturday that saw them move temporarily level with leaders Juventus.

Reigning champions Juve responded by taking their unbeaten run to 17 wins in 18 on Sunday with a 2-0 win at Atalanta.

Gianluigi Buffon reached 836 minutes without conceding a goal, a record in Serie A's three-points-for-a-win era and just 93 minutes away from the all-time total of 929 minutes, which was established in 1993/94 by AC Milan keeper Sebastiano Rossi.