Nagatomo helps keep Inter in hunt

Kyodo

Japan defender Yuto Nagatomo made a winning return to the club that gave him his Serie A break on Saturday as Inter Milan broke Cesena’s hearts with a stoppage-time double from Giampaolo Pazzini to win 2-1 and keep alive its Scudetto hopes.

Relegation-haunted Cesena, which loaned Nagatomo out to Inter in January for the rest of the season, took a deserved lead in the 56th minute through Igor Budan and looked to have done enough to collect three vital points.

But Pazzini struck in the 91st and 95th minutes to stun the home side and trim AC Milan’s lead at the top of the table to five points. Milan was at home to Bologna on Sunday.

Nagatomo, who played the full 90 minutes, was pleased with the three points but admitted defeat was tough on Cesena, which is just two points above the drop zone.

“Obviously we definitely wanted to win this match but for Cesena that it a really tough way to lose. For us winning is everything,” said Nagatomo.