It was the fourth pre-season summer friendly for Inter yesterday against Turkish side Galatasaray played in the neutral venue of the rewirpowerSTADION in Bochum, Dusseldorf, which is a city of the largest Turkish community in Germany. It wasn’t a surprise to see that the stadium had sold out all of it’s 20,000 seats to see the Turkish giants take on the World Champions. The weather conditions were hardly perfect, with a temperature slightly above 10 degrees, heavy rain, a slippery pitch and a bothersome wind. It also proved to be that the Turkish team & fans were hardly perfect either with some nasty tackles & an incident involving the Galatasaray throwing flares in the second half. Both their players & fans were a disgrace considering this was supposedly a friendly, there is no need for fans of any club to be throwing flares on to the pitch & the crunching tackles coming from the Galatasaray players were out of order, if I didn’t know better I would have thought this game was a UCL knock out match not a pre season friendly & I feel that the Turk club should be fined for the behaviour of their fans.
FIRST HALF –
Gasperini started the match with a 3 man defence consisting of Ranocchia, Samuel & Chivu, Sneijder again continued in his deeper midfield role & our attacking trio at the front was Alvarez, Castaignos & Eto’o. The Turks new signing Felipe Melo, who arrived on loan fron Juve, started on the bench.
Inter started very well with our first chance coming after only 20 seconds when Stankovic passed to Sneijder, who just missed out on hitting the target. At the other end in the 5th minute Sabri responded with a right footed shot from distance that Castellazzi managed to parry twice. A minute later the Nerazzurri keeper was unitentionally upended by Colin & landed awkwardly on his head forcing Gasperini to substitute for Orlandoni as he was taken off on a stretcher. After the match Castellazzi went for tests to make sure he was OK and put everyones minds at ease with this statement “Little by little it’s coming back to me. The tests were negative and all the results were fine. I’m ok.”
Anyway back to the match & our 3rd choice keeper was put to the test with an ambitious overhead kick by Arda in the 10th minute. In the 13th minute Samuel forced a rushed clearance by our keeper as he back passed with Galatasaray’s Elmander lurking nearby. Samuel then 3 minutes later caused Orlandoni to work when he fouled Sabri giving the Turks a free kick which was blocked easily. In the 18th minute we got a chance when Eto’o was fouled by Servet, Sneijder stepped up & took the resulting free kick with his right foot that forced a reflex save from Aykut.
Galatasaray convincingly pushed forward, cheered on by a stadium practically full of Turkish fans. The middle part of the match was lifeless and characterised by many aimless back and forth kicks. In the 31st minute Arda woke things up with a vertical pass for Ujfalusi, whose cross went begging but found no one to tap it in. Five minutes later the same type of action took place and Chivu’s intervention was crucial when he cleared for a corner. Then on the ensuing play Servet’s lightning header was punched away by Orlandoni’s reflex response. In the 38th minute Inter constructed a great move when Castaignos touched the ball to Eto’o, whose powerful shot smacked the inside of the post. Shortly afterwards Nagatomo crossed for Castaignos, but his close range header was expertly saved by Aykut.
After 3 minutes of injury time the half ended at 0-0.
SECOND HALF –
The start of the second half saw Caldirola replace Chivu, which was probably the theme of the second half which was full of substitutions on both sides and a lot of stopping & starting due to fouls & crowd trouble. The Turks immediately threatened in spaces through Sabri and Ujfalusi before Obi and Caldirola began to shore things up. In the 57th minute Pandev, Faraoni, Bianchetti and Longo entered the pitch. The play was at a lower pace in the second half, in which Stankovic and Eto’o moved to the bench for Mariga and Pazzini. In the 67th minute a smoke flare was set off in a section of Galatasaray fans, which forced Winkmann to stop the game due to poor visibility; the Galatasaray captain Arda addressed the crowd with a microphone to calm the situation, but about 10 minutes passed before the play could resume. In the 71st minute Ujfalusi earned a corner that was taken by Selcuk; from the middle of the fray Arda headed just wide of Orlandoni’s post. In the 78th minute, after a nice solo effort from Longo, Ceyhun’s foul on Pandev earned a free kick for Inter; Muntari served with his left and Longo leapt to meet it but the ball went into touch. Slightly before the 90-minute mark Winkmann whistled to end the match at 0-0.
Galatasaray 0-0 Inter
Referee: Winkmann; assistants Borsch and Bandurski.
Booked: Elmander 46 (simulation), Ceyhun 79.
Added time: 3+0 minutes.
: 1 Aykut; 17 Ujfalusi, 5 Gokhan, 76 Servet, 22 Hakan; 55 Sabri (6 Ceyhun, 73), 18 Ayhan (35 Yekta, 64), 8 Selcuk (27 Culio, 87); 80 Colin (28 Stancu, 74), 9 Elmander (15 Baros, 68), 10 Arda (52 Emre, 76).
: 86 Ufuk, 67 Eray, 3 Calgar, 4 Felipe Melo, 7 Aydin, 26 Semih, 66 Anil.
: Faith Terim.
Inter: 12 Castellazzi (21 Orlandoni, 53); 23 Ranocchia, 25 Samuel (44 Bianchetti, 57), 26 Chivu (16 Caldirola, 46); 55 Nagatomo (37 Faraoni, 57), 10 Sneijder (81 Longo, 57), 5 Stankovic (17 Mariga, 63), 20 Obi (48 Crisetig, 77); 11 Alvarez (77 Muntari, 77), 30 Castaignos (27 Pandev, 57), 9 Eto’o (7 Pazzini, 63).
Unused subs: 92 Bardi, 57 Natalino.
Coach: Gian Piero Gasperini.
Gian Piero Gasperini
“This was a real match and away from home, at that. It was a great step forward as regards rhythm and match atmosphere.” Gian Piero Gasperini’s summed up the match between Galatasaray and Inter at the RewirpowerSTADION in Bochum. “We did some things that needed to be done,” continued the Nerazzurri coach, “and we still have others to see to. We did what we had prepared in bursts and we need match practice and experience to put right what was missing.”
When asked about Joel Obi who showed great Running, stamina and determination & has proved to be one of the surprises of Inter’s pre season “He’s a young lad,” said Gasperini, “and he’s very interesting. When he tidies up his game he’ll be even more useful.”
Finally he spoke of Inter’s next opponents: “From tomorrow we’ll rest and then start working towards the Dublin tournament, where everyone should get a game. We mustn’t let ourselves be conditioned by the weather, we know it’ll be hot in Beijing, but we played in hot weather in Pinzolo and in Appiano Gentile.”
“We weren’t really used to these temperatures because it’s much warmer in Italy, but all things considered, it was a good test and an important training match against stiff opposition. It was useful to our preparations for the upcoming matches which will become more and more difficult as we go on.” This was what youngster Luca Caldirola, who played the last 45 minutes of the friendly match between Galatasaray and Inter, had to say on Inter Channel.
Paolo Orlandoni came on in place of Castellazzi after he was carried off injured, and didn’t hide the fact that “it’s always good to get a game, but what’s important is that Luca’s injury isn’t serious because we were all worried after the knock he took.” The captain’s armband, which Dejan Stankovic wore at the beginning of the match, was given to Orlandoni in the second half: “It’s quite an unusual situation for me, but it’s a great thrill.” It must have been strange for him after expecting to spend the game on the bench to then play most of the match & also end up as captain.
The Nerazzurri keeper finished by talking about the match: “It was a very hard and tough game and a good test for us as we managed to keep our opponents at bay without too much difficulty when they attacked.”
So after what proved to be an eventful 0-0 draw in our 1st real test we now look forward to next weeks Dublin Super cup where we face Celtic, Man City & Airtricity XI