Rome, Feb 11 - Serie A leaders Inter Milan slowed their pace Wednesday in a 1-1 draw at 10-man newcomers Parma, managing to level an opener from Valeri Bojinov with a goal from substitute Mario Balotelli.
Inter now have a nine-point lead on Roma and 11 on AC Milan, who have a game in hand away to Fiorentina.
Fast drives from Macedonia striker Goran Pandev twice tested Antonio Mirante's saving skills on two and six minutes as Inter began a pressure that held the hosts into their midfield through most of the first half.
Parma managed a couple of breaks through Frenchman Jonathan Bibiany and Bulgarian Valeri Bojinov without however threatening Julio Cesar.
Mirante produced more saves to grab a 21 Thiago Motta header and blocked 33 Diego Milito as he spurted to clinch a deep feed before easier saves on efforts from Brazil defender Lucio and Pandev.
The game's pattern did not change after the break, but Parma took a 55th-minute lead through a corner-kick flick from Bojinov, after Lucio nodded wide just before the Bulgarian managed a surefire header.
Jose Mourinho promptly brought changes to his lineup and replaced Thiago Motta with the young Balotelli, who levelled on 49 minutes with a deft stop-and-fire off a corner kick.
A good chance to regain the lead went begging for Parma on 65 minutes when Biabiany burst past Marco Materazzi but had his tight-angle shot blocked by Julio Cesar.
Former-Parma Kenyan McDonald Mariga came on for Inter and forced a difficult save shortly before Francesco Valiani was dismissed on 71 minutes as a foul on Lucio brought him a second yellow card.
Inter were also weakened in the last 10 minutes as Materazzi pulled a muscle without chances left for a substitution.
Defender Cristian Zaccardo squandered a last chance for Parma, while Douglas Maicon fired high after a break from Balotelli and Chile's former-Inter forward Luis Jimenez also fired high before the whistle. (IANS)