TIM Trophy 2011: Two mini derby wins and a trophy for Inter
It was Inter’s treble winning hero Diego Milito that showed he was ready for the upcoming season by hitting the crossbar and also scoring the winning goal against Milan to secure the trophy in the second match for Inter in the pre season triangular tournament. The trophy itself doesn’t really mean anything but if your one of the clubs that doesn’t win it you can be sure of some serious criticism. The competition consists of three 45 minute games and the winner is the team with the most points at the end of the night, Inter claimed the trophy with 5 points: 2 for the win against Juventus on penalties and 3 for our 1-0 win against Allegri’s AC Milan. It was by no means a perfect night for the Nerazzurri but it was clear that the team is starting to find it’s shape with the return of south American players that have missed out on the previous pre season games, and even with our new formations and tactics our old character still stood out giving us Interista hope that things are going to come together as the start of the season approaches.
The evening started with the mini derby d’Italia against Juve which ended 1-1 and was decided on penalties
At the Stadio San Nicola there were 50,000 spectators to watch the triangular tournament and they were in for a treat as the three biggest clubs in Italy competed for the TIM trophy. The first match wasn’t in the usual setting for a derby d’Italia but the great rivalry was felt even so with five fouls commited in the first five minutes and it was the Juventus players that looked faster and fitter than Inter’s (though they didn’t have the Supercup in Beijing in the middle of their pre season preperation) and this was shown as Juve new boy Vucinic headed wide from a corner on three minutes and it was the Montenegrin that was rewarded with a goal six minutes later after Pirlo set him up with a through ball as he broke away from Obi and slotted it past Castellazzi in to the near post. The game was end to end action with Obi forcing a save from Storari in the thirteenth minute before Krasic sent his shot wide at the other end almost straight afterwards.
On the sixteenth minute Inter had their second corner of the game, after Zanetti came on to replace Chivu who’d picked up a slight knock, and Ranocchia found his second chance on goal when he beat Bonucci to the ball with a powerful header to even the scores again in what was a thrilling game with plenty of chances for both sides. This continue for the whole forty five minutes, Sneijder hit one of his trademark free kicks that ended up just wide of the post, Del Piero then beat Samuel and hit his shot off target. Inter were working the ball well but Juve were breaking quickly when in possession. Unsurprisingly in a match against Juve the Nerazzurri had two penalty appeals turned down, one on twenty two minutes when Motta was held back in the box and again on twenty eight minutes when he was pushed by Bonucci. Despite what the commentators were saying Inter were getting plenty of chances with Stankovic trying a fine long shot from 25 yards that was put behind by Storari for a corner and on twenty seven minutes Pazzini had another chance stopped by the Juve keeper
Sneijder soon had another but his well-struck free kick finished wide of the post. Del Piero then beat Samuel at pace to get a shot in: off target. Inter were working the ball around more, Juve breaking quickly when in possession. Krasic replied for them by blasting a shot into the stands. In the thirtyforth minute Stankovic got another shot from the edge of the box after a superb Inter move followed shortly by an ambitious effort from distance by Sneijder who just couldn’t get the power needed. Then in the last minute Ranocchia nearly stole the win with his third attempt of the game from a corner but it wasn’t to be and the match was to be decided on penalties. In all there were fourteen penalty kicks and the game came to an end when Barzagli’s shot hit the bar handing victory to the Nerazzurri.
Inter 1-1 Juventus (7-6 after penalties)
Scorers: Vucinic 9, Ranocchia 16.
Penalties: Pazzini (scored, 2-1); Del Piero (scored, 2-2); Thiago Motta (scored, 3-2); Pasquato (hit the bar, 3-2); Pandev (saved, 3-2); Bonucci (scored, 3-3); Sneijder (scored, 4-3); Vucinic (scored, 4-4); Stankovic (scored, 5-4); Pirlo (scored, 5-5); Ranocchia (scored, 6-5); Lichtsteiner (scored, 6-6); Samuel (scored, 7-6); Barzagli (hit the bar, 7-6).
Inter: 12 Castellazzi; 23 Ranocchia, 25 Samuel, 26 Chivu (4 Zanetti, 11); 42 Jonathan, 5 Stankovic, 8 Thiago Motta, 20 Obi; 10 Sneijder; 27 Pandev, 7 Pazzini.
Subs: 21 Orlandoni, 31 Cincilla, 6 Lucio, 11 Alvarez, 16 Caldirola, 19 Cambiasso, 22 Milito, 30 Castaignos, 37 Faraoni, 39 Santon, 44 Bianchetti, 48 Crisetig, 77 Muntari.
Coach: Gian Piero Gasperini.
Juventus: 30 Storari; 26 Lichtsteiner, 15 Barzagli, 19 Bonucci, 29 De Ceglie; 21 Pirlo, 8 Marchisio; 27 Krasic, 10 Del Piero, 14 Vucinic, 36 Pasquato.
Subs: 1 Buffon, 13 Manninger, 2 Motta, 5 Pazienza, 16 Ziegler, 23 Vidal, 32 Matri, 33 Sorensen, 34 Marrone, 38 Ruggiero, 39 Libertazzi, 40 Spinazzola.
Coach: Antonio Conte.
Referee: Damato (Barletta).
Corners: Inter 7-4 Juventus.
Booked: Del Piero and Obi.
After a short break the tounament moved on to the second match which saw Juventus take on the other Milanese club with Allegri playing De Sciglio, Rodrigo and Comi from the start, while three ex Rossoneri appeared in the black and white of Juventus, Pirlo, Storari and Matri whose goal punished his ex employers on forty seven minutes to take the win. Cassano and Boateng combined well to produce the opening goal for Milan on the twelfth minute and came very close to getting a second not long after. Vidal got the equaliser for Juve but soon after for reasons unknown missed the chance to score again into an open goal!?! After forty five minutes it was looking like this game too would end in penalties when Matri managed to seal the win for Juve on the forty seventh minute.
GOALS: Cassano (M) on 13′, Vidal (J) on 21′, Matri (J) on 47′
MILAN (4-3-1-2): Roma; De Sciglio, Nesta, Rodrigo Ely, Taiwo; Gattuso, Van Bommel, Antonini;Boateng; Comi (replaced by Ganz on ‘33), Cassano. Coach: Allegri
JUVENTUS (4-4-2): Storari; Motta, Bonucci (replaced by Sorensen on ‘30), Barzagli, Ziegler; Krasic (replaced by Ruggiero on ì10, and by Vucinic on ‘31), Pirlo (replaced by Marrone on ‘22), Pazienza, Vidal; Pasquato (replaced by Spinazzola on ‘25), Matri. Coach: Conte
Then finally came the mini derby dellaMadonnina which saw Inter face their cross town rivals for the last time in 2011. This final match of the tourament gave the Interista a chance to see Cambiasso, Lucio and Milito return to the pitch for Inter for the first time in this pre season. Faraoni replaced Obi on the left as he had to pull out of the match with an ankle problem just before kick off and Jonathan who is in deperate need of match practice in his attempt to return to full fitness started the second match of the day. After their defeat to Juventus earlier Milan decided to field a stronger side than they did earlier.
The game started quite slowly and it took until the ninth minute for the Rossoneri to get the first chance on goal as Cassano set up Emanuelson, who fired a low angled shot only to see it saved superbly by Castellazzi. Three minutes later our treble winning marksman showed why he is loved by Interista so much after winning a free kick on the edge of the box for a foul by Oddo, striking a beautiful shot that should have hit the back of the net instead of the bar.
Birthday boy Cambiasso was the heart of the Inter engine room, improving our pressing which in turn help the team be more compact and to react better to breaks than we saw against Juve, but even so Milan managed to break with Abate supplying a cross to produce a close range header from Boateng that Castellazzi somehow managed to keep out. Gasperini then decided it was time to mix things up a bit with Castaignos and Alvarez switching sides while Zanetti featured on the left of the central defence as he had against Juve earlier. The breakthrough finally came for Inter in the twenty eighth minute when Milito read Cambiasso’s mind after he played the ball forward, Bonera messed up defending it and the prince got a perfect touch on the ball to knock it past Amelia. Sneijder came on for the last fifteen minutes and in the thirty seventh minute played a beautiful ball for Castaignos whose inexperience caused him to miss the chance. Inter were playing a high four man defensive line and five minutes before the end Rossoneri youngster Ganz (son of Maurizo, who played for both Inter and AC Milan during his career) won a free kick on the edge of the area, which Oddo then messed up by firing into the Inter wall also in the last minute Ambrosini had one last attempt from a ridiculous distance just before the ref brought an end to the game and the competition meaning that Inter take the trophy yet again. There were some calls from the Rossoneri camp saying that they had players missing and were playing youngsters but funnily enough that didn’t seem to be an issue when Inter had players missing in the Supercup though.
AC Milan 0-1 Inter
Scorer: Milito 28.
AC Milan: 1 Amelia; 20 Abate, 25 Bonera, 17 Oddo, 19 Zambrotta; 4 Van Bommel (16 Flamini, 20), 23 Ambrosini, 54 Fossati (62 Sampirsi, 34); 28 Emanuelson, 59 Ki Boateng, 99 Cassano (61 Ganz, 25).
Subs: 30 Roma, 51 Piscitelli, 52 De Sciglio, 27 P. Boateng, 13 Nesta, 53 Ely, 2 Taiwo, 8 Gattuso, 58 Comi, 77 Antonini.
Inter: 12 Castellazzi; 6 Lucio, 23 Ranocchia, 4 Zanetti; 42 Jonathan, 8 Thiago Motta (10 Sneijder, 30), 19 Cambiasso, 37 Faraoni; 11 Alvarez, 22 Milito, 30 Castaignos.
Subs: 21 Orlandoni, 31 Cincilla, 16 Caldirola, 25 Samuel, 39 Santon, 44 Bianchetti, 5 Stankovic, 20 Obi, 48 Crisetig, 77 Muntari, 7 Pazzini, 27 Pandev.
Referee: Damato (Barletta).
Booked: Bonera and Ranocchia.
After the match Gian Piero Gasperini and Javier Zanetti spoke to the press
“They were the first two micro games played with the whole squad back together and we knew it would be hard for them to gel immediately. However, over the two matches I saw good things – sometimes great things – and other things we still have to work on. In fact, many things are still to be done, but that’s a good thing, I think, because it means we have a lot of room for improvement. In two days we put together the two groups: those who began at Pinzolo and those who came after Beijing. This is the first positive step. There are still a few days before the beginning of the season and still a lot of work to be done, but time is on our side. We need to try things, make mistakes and then try again. We need to understand a bit of those situations that can occur during a match and, therefore, mistakes can be useful at this point in time.”
“I’m looking at work for the team. I’m focused on this. I know one thing for certain: Inter know what to do. And it’s not something they know as of today or yesterday, but from the beginning of this project. We know what to do if one thing or another happens. We all work together, on and off the pitch. Inter is composed of many important elements that together can give something more. Inter have the characteristics to be a solid team, regardless of who comes or goes. And all summer I’ve been hearing, in newspapers and on TV, Eto’o and Sneijder, Sneijder and Eto’o… I repeat: we have clear ideas.”
“It’s not revenge over AC Milan after Beijing. These games only serve to improve our condition and tonight, against both Juventus and AC Milan, I saw a good Inter.” Words from Javier Zanetti, who in the 2011 edition saw action in the left centre of a 3-man defence (the last time we saw him there was in Kiev, in the comeback against Dynamo, which opened the way to Madrid and the Champions League).
The captain added: “It’s too early to make definitive judgments. The real season, meaning the Serie A, has yet to begin, and it looks very balanced. There’s the usual AC Milan, with Juventus who looked very good and enthusiastic here in Bari, along with Napoli, Roma and Lazio. The possible departure of Samuel Eto’o? He’s a great champion, but the club always know what to do to have a competitive team. There are no worries.”
This tournament may not mean anything but at least now we have got our first piece of silverware under Gasperini and finally we have got our squad back together so we can start to get things more settled and work on adding more success to this. Now we must look forward to our last pre season test against Olympiakos on Sunday then the following week is the time we are all waiting for – The start of the Serie A season which we start at home against Lecce and I feel that by then things will have come together enough with the squad for us to make a good start to our 2011/12 campaign.