UPDATE 1-Soccer-Inter boost title bid with victory over Pescara

Reuters Middle East

(Recasts with Inter Milan, adds byline)

* Palacio and Guarin deliver 2-0 win

* Gilardino double lifts Bologna

ROME, Jan 12 (Reuters) - Inter Milan invigorated their Serie A title challenge by beating Pescara 2-0 at the San Siro on Saturday to move within six points of leaders Juventus.

Goals in either half from Rodrigo Palacio and Fredy Guarin gave Andrea Stramaccioni's side their first win in four games and moved them up to third in the table on 38 points.

Pescara remain in 16th place on 20 points, four points above the relegation zone.

In Saturday's earlier kickoff, Alberto Gilardino scored twice as Bologna hammered Chievo 4-0 at home.

Inter's victory gave them hope they might be able to catch Antonio Conte's champions, who on Sunday face Parma (1400 GMT), the only side yet to lose at home this season.

It took Inter half an hour of toil to open the scoring against a well-organised Pescara defence, with first Palacio going close on seven minutes and then Antonio Cassano forcing a save from Mattia Perin 10 minutes later.

It was a superb Cassano flick that led to his strike partner Palacio giving the hosts the lead, the Argentine taking advantage of his team mate's vision to roll his sixth goal of the season past Perin.

Palacio had a goal ruled out for the most marginal of offside calls less than a minute after the break, and Esteban Cambiasso was lucky not to give away a penalty a minute later when he handled in the box.

Inter doubled their lead on 54 minutes through Guarin, who was on hand to tap into an empty net after excellent work on the right from Palacio.

Pescara gave up the ghost after that, and Inter could have added to their lead on more than one occasion.

It was Palacio who forced Perin into his best save of the match on 82 minutes with a powerful left-foot strike after being fed by Marco Benassi, but Stramaccioni's team wasted a host of promising positions.

Despite their profligacy, Inter can take heart from a dominant performance.

Earlier, Bologna eased their relegation worries as two goals from Gilardino, his first in nearly two months, led them to a comfortable victory over Chievo.

Panagiotis Kone and Manolo Gabbiadini also found the net to lift Stefano Pioli's side to 13th in the table on 21 points, five clear of the relegation zone. Chievo stay in 11th spot.

(Editing by Stephen Wood)

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