Shalke 2-1 Inter (Agg 7-3) Champions league quarter final match report & reactions

That’s it the reigning champions are out of the competition after an embarrassing 7-3 agg defeat to Shalke, obviously the worst of the damage was done in the 1st leg but even after all the talk from the Inter camp about believing in being able to turn it around on the night only a handful of Inter players looked like they had the passion to win, yes we had the majority of possession and our passing was good but there was no creativity and there was a definite spark missing from our finishing our only goal of the game was more fluke than intention when Motta managed to get a touch that bounced into the net. The most impressive Inter player again for me was Yuto Nagatomo who never gave up and put 110% in to trying to create something for the Nerazzurri. So who’s to blame? …….

My opinion for what it’s worth is that Leonardo should be held responsible due to his inability to change his tactics to suit the game and yet again he put our best central striker out on the left, Eto’o spent most of the game chasing back for the ball and putting in crosses when he should have been in the box ready to finish crosses! As I’ve said to me there was only a handful of players that seemed to be trying and they were Eto’o, Nagatomo & Maicon though Ranocchia & Lucio put in some good defensive work though at times emotions were over running Lucio and a few times i thought he would get sent off. but what of our other players? Stankovic, Sneijder & Zanetti were well below there usual standards and the commentator on Sky sports was even asking why Zanetti was even on the field which as much as i respect our captain i had to agree with as he seemed to have no influence what so ever, maybe it’s time he passed on the captains armband and hung up his boots! Motta got our goal but apart from that all he did was commit some fouls which admittedly save our bacon a couple of times but he wasn’t good. Julio Cesar played OK too but he was a long way off the standard he was last season and looked clumsy far too often, then when Pandev came on he was just his usual bumbling self (why does Leo keep playing him when he quite clearly isn’t up to the job) which just leaves Milito who is the only player that has an excuse for being below par as he’s not had much match practise all season.
That’s my rant about the players over but i do believe that if Inter are to compete next season we really need to shake things up with the squad and get rid of that idiot Leonardo (so what if he’s a nice guy, what use is that if he can’t manage our team properly?)
Match Report

FIRST HALF

To reach the semi-final Inter needed to win by a four-goal margin, and Sneijder, Milito and Eto’o were the attackers chosen for this particular task against Schalke. Leonardo selected Nagatomo as left-back, with Zanetti in midfield and Thiago Motta preferred to Cambiasso in front of the defence, in which Lucio could once again be found.
The first corner of the match was for the Germans, earned by Jurado and taken by Raul at the 3rd minute. However, the Nerazzurri were the first to have a shot on goal when Sneijder’s right-footed effort in the 5th minute was blocked by Neuer. An all-Japanese battle between Nagatomo and Uchida saw the Nerazzurri full-back get the upper hand in the 7th minute on an enterprising manoeuvre with Eto’o. Shortly afterwards Inter won their first corner kick, which was headed over the bar by Thiago Motta. Around the 17th minute Raul began to inspire the Schalke attack, first when he forced a diving save from Julio Cesar from Jurado’s cross, then again when he burst into the box, only to be expertly closed down by Nagatomo. In the 20th minute Edu took a free kick that was cleared from danger by Thiago Motta. In the 23rd minute Inter earned a series of corners but had nothing to show for it, other than a foul by Eto’o on Neuer. The German keeper was called upon in the 28th minute to block Nagatomo’s cross from the left with Milito lurking. The Argentine attacker then latched on to a long vertical pass from Lucio, but Howedes intervened to clear up the threat. Stankovic’s goal from the first leg was chosen by UEFA as the best of the quarter-finals, and it almost looked as if he was going to respond with another long-range gem this evening, but Neuer managed to palm away his vicious shot for a corner. In the 39th minute the Serb released Maicon with a forward ball that left the Brazilian one-on-one with the Schalke keeper, but the controlling touch wasn’t perfect and the ball finished wide of the post. Inter were now dominating at this point, but Schalke were the first get onto the scoreboard; Baumjohann touched a forward pass into space for Raul in the 45th minute and the Spaniard dribbled around Julio Cesar to deposit the ball into the empty net and make it 1-0.
One minute of injury time was added and then both sides entered the dressing rooms; Inter had the better of the possession, but the Germans had the goal.

SECOND HALF

The situation was complicated, and so Leonardo sent on Pandev in place of Stankovic, thus fielding a 4-2-3-1. Inter’s equaliser arrived courtesy of Thiago Motta; Sneijder’s corner found the head of Lucio and was then sent on to the Italo-Brazilian who, from the middle of a scrum, put the ball in the net to bring the score to 1-1. In the 54th minute Julio Cesar dived to intercept Baumjohann’s dangerous cross. Five minutes later Howedes scored from Jurado’s cross (flicked on by Edu) but the goal was disallowed for offside. Inter did not give up, and in the 62nd minute Sneijder crossed for Eto’o, but the Cameroonian sent his header high over the crossbar. In the 68th minute Milito volleyed on the turn from Eto’s long pass only to see his shot sail wide, and then seven minutes later Sneijder’s free kick grazed the post. Schalke continued to advance; on a counterattack Raul lobbed a pass forward into space for a rampaging Howedes, and his crisp shot gave Julio Cesar no chance. 2-1. After a minute of injury time referee Skomina whistled to end the match. It was supposed to be an impossible task, and so it was. Yet it is also impossible to forget everything that the exiting European Champions gave us when they reconquered a trophy that had been awaited for so many years.

Schalke 04 2-1 Inter (HT: 1-0; AGG: 7-3)
Scorers: Raul 45, Thiago Motta 49, Howedes 81.
Referee: Damir Skomina (Slovenia).
Booked: Lucio 30, Raul 43, Thiago Motta 58, Papadopoulos 66, Schmitz 87, Ranocchia 90.
Added time: 1 + 1 minutes.

Line ups
Schalke 04:
1 Neuer; 22 Uchida, 21 Metzelder, 4 Howedes, 2 Sarpei; 11 Baumjohann (31 Draxler, 73), 32 Matip, 14 Papadopoulos, 18 Jurado (13 Schmitz, 87); 7 Raul, 9 Edu (15 Charisteas, 77).
Unused subs: 33 Schober, 5 Plestan, 8 Hao, 16 Karimi.
Coach: Ralf Rangnick.

Inter:

1 Julio Cesar; 13 Maicon, 6 Lucio, 15 Ranocchia, 55 Nagatomo; 4 Zanetti, 8 Thiago Motta, 5 Stankovic (27 Pandev, 46); 10 Sneijder (29 Coutinho, 80), 22 Milito, 9 Eto’o.
Unused subs: 12 Castellazzi, 2 Cordoba, 14 Kharja, 19 Cambiasso, 23 Materazzi, 29 Coutinho.
Coach: Leonardo.

Reactions
Leonardo
“We left ourselves open at the end, when it was hard to believe in the result we needed and it was too late to turn it around. In any case this tie was decided in the first leg, though we believed we could do it tonight and we showed that on the pitch. But the moment didn’t come for us, we needed something to spark it off.” That was Leonardo speaking after Inter’s elimination from the Champions League.

“We’re disappointed because we really believed it was possible. We’re disappointed to go out, but this team has given so much, even in difficult situations,” he continued. “Our overall condition as we came into this quarter-final wasn’t the best; we had used up so much energy and that penalised us, starting in the first leg of course. It’s not the same disappointment as after the first-leg, mind; that was a truly bizarre game.
“I had dreamt about us completing the comeback,” he added. “If we had got a goal at the beginning, if we had been as clinical as we wanted, it might have set us on our way, but it wasn’t to be. Certainly we could have done better but we weren’t able to. It’s a shame that Schalke scored from their only decent chance in the first half and that we weren’t incisive enough. They were struggling to cope with the situation but we couldn’t strike the blow that might have turned the tie.” Asked to give his team a mark, the Brazilian replied: “It’s not about giving marks, but this team has undoubtedly had a troubled season. I’ve asked a lot of them and it wasn’t easy with all the players that were returning from injuries. There’s no regret about anything because, as I said, this team has done so much and given me so much. I was and I am enthusiastic, and I wouldn’t regret things even if we lost every game. I’ll maintain my enthusiasm; you know I don’t think about the future but I work the same way as I did the first day. Now we have to make sure we overcome the moment with intelligence. We have to battle on in the league and in the Coppa Italia: we still have a lot to do.”

Javier Zanetti

“We did everything we could in this competition. Raul’s goal came from a mistake of ours when we were in control of the game, but the tie was already compromised in the first leg. Of course we’re all disappointed.” That was Javier Zanetti’s comment as he spoke to Rai at the end of the game. He continued: “Now we have to give it everything we’ve got until the end of the season, in the league and the Coppa Italia. We certainly believe we can win them.”

Wesley Sneijder

“We’ll move on now: we want to win the Scudetto and the Coppa Italia,” began Wesley Sneijder as he spoke to Inter Channel. “We thought we could do it tonight but we knew it would be very difficult: we created lots of chances but if you don’t stick them away it’s very hard. Schalke did well in San Siro and again today; we lost the tie at home more than here. The applause from the Nerazzurri fans? We thank every one of them because they are always behind us. Now we have to do our best for them in the league and in the cup. We’ll put this elimination behind us and focus on the targets we have left. We’ll look forward.”
Yuto Nagatomo

“I can’t hide the fact that I’m a little disappointed after this defeat, but we don’t have time to stop and worry about it now: we still have the league and we’ll concentrate on that and on the Coppa Italia, which are our targets from today.” Yuto Nagatomo commented on the defeat at the Veltins-Arena as he spoke to Inter Channel. There was also a match within the match, with Uchida and Nagatomo facing each other in Schalke 04 v Inter: “We lost,” confessed the Nerazzurri full-back, “but Uchida has won with Schalke and the Japanese part of me is a little bit happy because he will go on with his team.”

Andrea Ranocchia

“The first-leg result certainly influenced this game,” explained Andrea Ranocchia at the end of the match. “We came here and went for it. We put everything into it but unfortunately we just couldn’t get the early goal. A team like Inter can look forward now, though. We have the league and the cup and we want to be in them till the end,” the Nerazzurri defender concluded.

Massimo Moratti


The day after Inter’s exit from the 2010/11 Champions League, president Massimo Moratti wished to send out a public message to Inter and all the fans through the club’s official website.

“Today I would like to thank my team, all the players from recent years and the current side who have brought so much joy to all Inter fans, myself included. We are, and always will be, proud of their achievements.

I am sure that the team will dig deep and find the strength and quality that we know they are capable of, so that we can achieve the targets we are aiming for this season too. And I am sure that, with the fans’ support, the coach and the team will bring us yet further joy.”

Conclusion

So that’s it for our European dream this season but we’re still in the chase for the Scudetto & Coppa Italia so all is not lost yet, as a devoted Interista i am obviously disappointed with the result and the lack of emphusiasm shown by some players last night but i also believe in Inter and we will be back to recover our European title even stronger next season because as we all know the Nerazzurri never give up and our love for this great team makes everything possible as they showed the world last season.
I do think though it is time for Inter to evolve again to keep up with the other elite teams of the world, we need a fresh manager and a new approach and some of our older players will need to be sacrificed to acheive that!
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About Don Nerazzurri

Huge fan of FC Internazionale Milano and founder of the Nerazzurri World blog, Inter is in my soul, cut me & I bleed black and blue! 'il Padrino' of the #InterFamily! C'e Solo l'Inter! Follow me on Twitter - @Don_Nerazzurri

Posted on April 14, 2011, in UEFA Champions League and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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