ROME (AFP) Inter Milan, fresh from reaching the Champions League quarter-finals, were held to a 1-1 draw by Palermo on Saturday, a result which paves the way for AC Milan to take charge of the title race. Milan, who have endured a miserable week which saw both David Beckham and Alessandro Nesta limping out of contention, can take top spot for the first time this season if they defeat Napoli on Sunday. Jose Mourinhos Inter once had a comfortable 10-point lead over their city rivals and had led the table since mid-October. But the form they showed in midweek, when Inter knocked Mourinhos former club Chelsea out of the Champions League, deserted them again on Saturday, just as last week when they slumped to a shock 3-1 loss at Catania. They opened the scoring against Palermo when Argentine striker Diego Milito converted an 11th-minute penalty after Lucio had been fouled. But Palermo, who are an impressive fourth place in the table and chasing a Champions League place, levelled when Uruguayan star Edinson Cavani, set up by Fabrizio Miccoli beat Inter keeper Julio Cesar with a smart drive in the 24th minute. Inter pressed hard for the winner but Palermo defended well and in depth to ensure a point. Once again we showed that we can be strong even when we are not winning, said Cesar. We are always looking to score, but we came up against a team who are having a great season and always defend very well. Palermo coach Delio Rossi praised his young team. In the end we were disappointed not to make more of our chances on the counter-attack, as perhaps we were a little too selfish. But this team has a future and can achieve greatness, he said. Roma stay third, four points behind Inter and two back from Milan, after a 4-2 home win against Udinese with Montenegro striker Mirko Vucinic scoring a hat-trick. I dedicate the hat-trick to my girlfriend, who is expecting our baby. I am the happiest man in the world, said Vucinic. In the days other match, Fiorentina beat Genoa 3-0 to keep up their push for a Europa League place. Milan midfielder Clarence Seedorf believes that the loss of Beckhan and Nesta will only serve to increase the teams desire to take spot on Sunday. We hope their absences will give us more strength to repay their efforts with many more wins this season, said the veteran Dutch midfielder. Fifth-placed Juventus, sent crashing out of the Europa League by Fulham on Thursday, travel to Sampdoria hoping to give their fight for fourth-place and Champions League action next term a shot in the arm.