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   Monday, 23 December, 2002, 11:02 GMT
Martins completes Serie A debut
Obafemi Martins watches as Luigi di Biagio scores Inter's first
Martins (left) was a key to Inter's whole team effort
Young Nigeria striker Obafemi Martins played for a full 90 minutes as he made his Serie A debut for Inter Milan in their 2-1 win over Parma on Sunday.

The win restored Inter to the top of the table thanks to a Di Biagio header and an Alvaro Recoba penalty.

But Martins played an important role too, looking constantly sharp and allowing Recoba to get into lethal positions.

Indeed, as early as the second minute the Nigerian was in the thick of the action, gathering the ball on the left wing and helping set up Emre for a shot well held by Parma goalkeeper Sebastian Frey.

It was the first time Inter had ever won against Parma.

After the match, coach Hector Cuper praised the efforts of his whole team.

"Despite the numerous absences, we played with intelligence and with our hearts, and by believing right to the end," Cuper said.

However, it is doubtful whether Martins will remain part of the line-up by the time Inter's next game comes around.

The Italian league has a three-week winter break, and by the time the next Serie A match - against Empoli - comes around, the likes of Vieri, Crespo and Sierra Leone's Mohamed Kallon are all likely to back challenging for places.

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