UCL: Inter 0-1 Trabzonspor, improved performance still not good enough
What can I say about last night’s Champions League group stage match against Trabzonspor? Well on a positive note Gasperini dropped his 3 man defence and Inter looked a lot better for it, they defended better, they passed the ball better, they looked more dangerous going forward but for some reason unknown they could not get a goal!
This of course means that Gasperini has now made appearances in all three competitions (if you count the Supercup as a Coppa Italia match) and also lost all three games, not a good situation for Inter or Gasperini as Interisti are now calling for him to be replaced, but it has to be said last night saw a marked improvement on previous competitive displays even though we lacked the right rhythm at times and as Massimo Moratti himself said Gasperini can’t be blamed for the goal that lost us the game. He isn’t entirely blameless though his biggest problem is that the squad don’t seem to have any confidence in him or his tactics and the Inter coach must be all too aware that he’s walking on thin ice meaning that if the result doesn’t come on Saturday against the struggling Roma he could have one of the shortest ever coaching careers at Inter.
Now I have to admit I didn’t see the first 20 minutes of the match due to not being able to find a live stream on the internet that actually worked, (Thank you to my Twitter Inter family for helping me out with links), thankfully I didn’t seem to have missed anything.
FIRST HALF –
This of course was Gasperini’s Champions League debut against a team that technically had already been knocked out once in the qualifying round but had been given a reprieve due to Fenerbahçe’s ban for match fixing, so with that in mind and the fact that they were without their coach Gunes, striker Yilmaz and midfielder Mierzejeski who were all sent off during their Europa league play off, this should have been a walk in the park for Inter. But just like last Sunday the Nerazzurri yet again got mugged while on their walk.
One thing I should point out at this point is that for the 1st half the Curva Nord was empty with the Ultras protesting against the players association strike that postponed the first week of the Serie A, but their timing in my opinion was terrible as after Sunday our players needed to see that the fans were still behind them. So the match started with Gasperini fielding a 4-3-1-2 formation and for the first 15 minutes it was fairly quiet (thankfully as I wasn’t watching), Inter were given a free kick in the 2nd minute which Sneijder hit straight in to the wall and then in the 14 th minute the Turks made a counter attack that was stopped dead by a decisive challenge from Lucio.
Our first real chance came on the 18th minute when Zarate took the ball forward with Pazzini in support only for the Argentinian to be closed down by 2 defenders when he decided not to pass to the Italian striker, luckily the ball ended up with Obi whose shot was blocked by the Turkish defence. Ten minutes later Trabzonspor got their first real chance of the game but Cech’s effort went harmlessly high of the target. Another free kick not long after that saw Sneijder hit the wall again, then shortly afterwards Zarate again ignored Pazzini in space and tricked his way past 2 defenders and got a shot on target but Tolga (Trabzonspor’s keeper) managed to steer it around the post. The resulting corner dropped the ball in for Pazzini, who tried an impressive volley on the turn but didn’t manage to connect properly resulting in a wasted chance for the Nerazzurri. At this point Inter seemed to be the only team in the game and Interisti hopes were raised that we could finally get a win here, in the 34th minute another chance came as Zarate latched on to a ball over the top of the Turkish defence but Tolga rushed out off his line to collect the ball and deny us yet again. Inter were now really piling on the pressure as Sneijder took another free kick on the edge of the area, which this time cleared the wall but went straight in to the keepers arms. With half time rapidly approaching ‘Pazzo’ set up Cambiasso who could only strike the ball off target, then just before the whistle was blown to bring an end to the half Sneijder played a lovely ball through to Pazzini who was wrongly judged to be offside, even though he was being kept in play by Trabzonspor’s nearside defender, and so the 1st half ended frustratingly goalless.
SECOND HALF –
The players returned to the pitch after half time to a much louder Guiseppe Meazza, as the Curva Nord boys had returned and the chants rang around the stadium spurring the Nerazzurri on as they started the second half. After another foul on Pazzini Sneijder lined up his free kick but his effort skimmed the right hand upright of Tolga’s goal. This was followed by an abysmal effort at the other end by Trabzonspor’s Paulo Henrique, before Zanetti started the Inter threat once again but the attack was stopped dead by another dubious offside. The 55 minute mark saw Gasperini make 2 changes with Pazzini coming off for Milito and Alvarez replacing Obi, personally I would have brought Milito on for Zarate and Alvarez for Jonathan, who had little influence during the game but i’m not the coach so I don’t get a say unfortunately. It didn’t take long for Milito to make his presence felt though when he beat his man and whipped in a low cross that was just too far ahead of Alvarez for him to put the finishing touch on. Zarate did well shortly after by making space for himself in the box but his shot went straight to the waiting keeper, then came what should have been the nail in the coffin for Trabzonspor when Milito recieved the ball in front of Tolga only to fire his shot at the keeper who couldn’t get a grip of it leaving it to trickle towards the goal line but managed to grab it before any of Inter’s players could knock it in. Less than a minute later Milito had yet another failed chance as Zanetti sent a cross in that the ‘Prince’ could only head over the bar.
Then the disaster happened, just like in Palermo when it looked like Inter were in control the opposition scored. The blame for the goal in my opinion lies with Lucio who for some unknown reason was playing too deep meaning that Altintop was onside just in front of the goal when the ball came to him, unfortunately for him he could only hit the bar but the rebound was put away by Celutska again played onside by Lucio. Inter immediately went looking for an equalizer with Sneijder setting up Coutinho, who had come on as a substitute for Zarate, running down the center the young Brazilian fired a shot at goal without slowing down only to see it saved by a diving Tolga. After 4 minutes of agonising added time the referee called time on another bitter defeat for the Nerazzurri.
Inter 1-0 Trabzonspor (HT: 0-0)
Scorers: 31′ st Celustka
Inter: 1 Julio Cesar; 42 Jonathan, 6 Lucio, 23 Ranocchia, 55 Nagatomo; 4 Zanetti, 19 Cambiasso, 20 Obi (Alvarez 55); 28 Zarate (Coutinho 77), 7 Pazzini (Milito 55), 10 Sneijder.
Subs: 21 Orlandoni, 25 Samuel, 37 Faraoni, 44 Bianchetti.
Coach: Gian Piero Gasperini.
Trabzonspor: 29 Tolga; 28 Celustka, 23 Giray, 6 Glowacki, 5 Cech; 20 Colman, 15 Zokora; 30 Serkan, 25 Alazinho (Sapara 64), 9 Halil Altintop (Akgun 88); 12 Paulo Henrique (Vittek 74).
Subs: 91 Sevim, 22 Mustafa, 32 Pawel Brozek, 63 Ferhat.
Coach: Senoul Gunes (suspended and replaced by his assistant Unal Karaman).
Referee: Stefan Johannesson (Swe); assistants Wittberg/Sjoblom; fourth man Lerjeus; additional assistants Stalhammar/Johan Hamlin.
Booked: Nagatomo 21, Zarate 41, Alanzinho 54, Halil Altintop 65, Cech 66.
Added time: 1+4 minutes.
With so many fans calling for Gasperini to be dismissed and the players looking like they don’t believe in him or his tactics Inter are far from being out of the crisis that started months ago with Leonardo’s departure. Massimo Moratti though seems content with giving Gasperini more time to prove himself given that this was his first match using a 4 man defence but I also think it has a lot to do with the lack of realistic replacements if he did go too, one thing is certain though if we don’t get a win against struggling Roma on Saturday then Moratti should face the inevitable and carry on the search for a suitable coach that started way back in the summer of 2010. And to all the Interisti keep your faith in this great team of ours as we’ve been through dark times before and returned to glory and we will again.
‘Nella gioia e nel dolore per l’Inter eterno amore’ – ‘In the joy and pain for Inter eternal love’
Posted on September 15, 2011, in UEFA Champions League and tagged Alvarez, Cambiasso, Cesar, Champions League, Coutinho, Football, Gasperini, Inter, Jonathan, Lucio, Milito, Moratti, Nagatomo, Nerazzurri, Obi, Pazzini, Ranocchia, Sneijder, Trabzonspor, Zanetti, Zarate. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.