Serie A: Inter 0-0 Roma, Draw not good enough for the Nerazzurri
Week 3 of the 2011/12 season saw Inter take on Roma at the Guiseppe Meazza, with both teams having a torrid start to their seasons the coaches both needed a win to ensure their futures but despite chances, drama and a match I couldn’t take my eyes off for a minute it ended goalless, before the match myself and other Interisti predicted that it would end as a draw but going off the results of previous matches we all thought this was going to be a high scoring affair, so how was it that two teams that play offensive football couldn’t score at least once?
The positive thing about this match was that we managed to keep a clean sheet for a change and it also saw our legendary captain, Javier Zanetti, equal Giuseppe Bergomi’s club record of 756 appearances in the Nerazzurri colours, to commemorate this special occasion Zanetti wore a special armband (“Zanetti & Bergomi 756 volte nerazzurri”) which will be auctioned on E-bay with the proceeds going to the PUPI Foundation. These 2 Inter legends appeared together 134 times in the 90’s and won the 1998 UEFA Cup together.
FIRST HALF –
Despite the fact that Inter’s President, Massimo Moratti, had made it clear he wants to see the Nerazzurri playing with its usual 4 man defence, Gian Piero Gasperini decided to defy his boss’s wishes by fielding a 3 man backline once again. I think that he seemed to think that because he fielded a 4 man defence against Trabzonspor and still lost it gives him the justification he wanted to carry on with his obsession for his formation. When the line ups were announced I presumed that he was going to field a 3-4-1-2 formation with Sneijder in his natural position behind the forwards acting as playmaker, but it turned out he was playing a 3-5-2 which as it turned out meant that not only Zanetti and Cambiasso were playing defensively but also for reasons unknown Sneijder spent most of the match in a defensive position in front of our own box meaning that Wesley didn’t get involved in the attack as much as he should have and the only part of the 5 man midfield that was helping out the Strikers was Obi and Nagatomo on the wings.
From the beginning of the match Roma were pressing and the pressure worked in their favour as the first opportunity fell for them as Borini played a ball through to Osvaldo who unleashed a shot which Julio Cesar managed to parry away. The 15th minute saw Inter make a break with defender Lucio chasing hard to catch a long ball in Roma’s penalty area, unfortunately Roma’s keeper, Maarten Stekelenburg, was also chasing the ball and both players reached it at the same time resulting in Lucio who went for a volley kicking Stekelenburg in the head knocking him out cold. subsequently the Roma keeper was stretchered off and Lucio received what I considered to be an unfair yellow card, the incident was obviously an accident with no intent from the Inter defender who to be fair was so intent on reaching the ball and making the shot I don’t even think he saw Stekelenburg until it was too late. The 19th minute saw Roma on the attack again as Borini broke past Ranocchia and crossed to Totti but Lucio managed to intercept and clear for a corner. A minute later Forlan tried to take the lead with a lovely right footed shot that Lobont (Roma’s substitute keeper) managed to get hold of on the second attempt.
The 22nd minute saw Milito find some space for a shot but Lobont managed to keep it out using his legs. Ten minutes before the end of the half saw a fantastic move from the Nerazzurri players that involved Milito, Forlan and Sneijder who then set up the forward running Nagatomo who from 15 meters out fired a beautiful shot that rose just a bit too much and went harmlessly over the bar. The last action of the half was for Roma when from a corner Totti searched out De Rossi at the far post only for Lucio again to get in the way and stop the attack in its tracks. After 3 minutes injury time played out uneventfully the Referee called time on the half at 0-0 with neither side looking like they deserved to win.
SECOND HALF –
The second half started with the same lineups that left the pitch at the interval and just like at the start of the game the Roman wolves came out with their teeth bared making two attempts from Osvaldo and Taddei within the first 5 minutes. The 50th minute saw one of the rare occasions that Sneijder made it up in to the attack third when he made an inch perfect cross for Milito who couldn’t quite get on the end of it properly sending the ball wide. Just short of the hour mark Gasperini decided to mix things up with the introduction of Zarate who came on for Milito and on 62 minutes he made another change with Obi leaving the field and Jonathan coming on to take up the right wing position with Nagatomo switching to the other flank. Zarate didn’t take long to get his first shot off as he took the ball past Totti after ignoring Forlan in space and got a left footed shot on goal that just went wide shaving the near post. One of Sneijder’s best chances of the game came on the 67th minute when Forlan sent him the ball which he blasted goalwards only to see Lobont save well. 5 minutes later at the other end Julio Cesar made a great save from a Totti free kick and shortly afterward back up the Roma end Forlan sent a curling shot at the opponents net only to watch it go wide. Then on the 79th minute came the decision by Gasperini that left Interisti around the world lost for words when he replaced striker Diego Forlan with midfielder Muntari (Who Inter fans all agree is nowhere near good enough for our squad) even though he had the likes of Pazzini and Alvarez on the bench also!
4 minutes from the end came Inter’s best chance of the entire match which should have seen them 1-0 up, it started with Zarate who pulled the ball back from the dead ball line but only got it as far as Roma’s Kjaer who went to clear but only got it as far as Wesley Sneijder who was just 9 meters out and fired a shot goalwards only to be denied by Kjaer again who was almost on the goal line. Injury time of the second half was full of incident and chances as 3 minutes in to it Nagatomo sent in a great cross from the left which found Jonathan on the right but ex Inter player Burdisso was on hand to make sure nothing came of it, a minute later Sneijder got away from his man and let fly with a long range right footed shot that Lobont parried. And so despite all the promise of a high scoring game it ended 0-0 with Massimo Moratti looking less than impressed and the Interisti in the San Siro and across the world screaming for Gasperini’s head as Inter continue their worst season start for over 25 years.
Inter 0-0 Roma
Referee: Paolo Silvio Mazzoleni (Bergamo).
Bookings: Lucio 16, Kjaer 83,
Added time: 3+4 minutes.
1 Julio Cesar; 6 Lucio, 25 Samuel, 23 Ranocchia; 55 Nagatomo, 4 Zanetti, 19 Cambiasso, 10 Sneijder, 20 Obi (Jonathan 62); 9 Forlan (Muntari 79), 22 Milito (Zarate 58).
Unused subs: 12 Castellazzi, 44 Bianchetti, 7 Pazzini, 30 Castaignos.
Coach: Gian Piero Gasperini.
24 Stekelenburg (Lobont 18); 11 Taddei, 44 Kjaer, 29 Burdisso, 20 Perrotta; 16 De Rossi, 7 Pizarro (Gago 14), 15 Pjanic; 31 Borini (Borriello 78), 10 Totti, 9 Osvaldo.
Unused subs: 5 Heinze, 14 Bojan, 77 Cassetti, 87 Rosi.
Coach: Luis Enrique.
With all fingers pointing at Gasperini as the cause for Inter’s terrible start and nearly everyone calling for him to be removed, Massimo Moratti is left with a tough choice as if he does fire his head coach, who does he get to replace him? This is the problem as none of the coaches of the level required for Inter are available apart from ex Rossoneri gaffer Carlo Ancelotti and I think this is the main thing that is keeping him in his job at the moment but in my opinion the President needs to make his decision soon before Gasperini destroys our season completely.
bizarrely Gasperini seems to think he’s on the right track and that Moratti is happy with him as in his post match press conference he was quoted as saying:
“Criticism? It doesn’t bother me, because it isn’t coming from the president or the club. I think the team is on the right path now. We’re more solid, more compact, more balanced. And the shine will come too once we start hitting form and when a few players have returned. I’m very optimistic. I think the bedding-in period is over.”
And about the fans he had this to say:
“We’re the ones who have to take a step towards the fans with our results. Their disappointment is understandable but we’re confident we’ll soon be at our best.”
Let’s hope that is true because we are rapidly becoming a joke around Europe even with comparisons to Arsenal being used against us. On Gasperini’s side is the fact that a few of the Nerazzurri players have been quoted as believing in his methods but unfortunately i’m not convinced that even the players themselves believe what they’ve said
“Unfortunately things aren’t going for us at the moment; we’re not able to put away the many chances we’re creating. It’s all too easy to point the finger at the coach as everyone seems to be doing. It’s our responsibility and we have to improve as a team.”
“We’re so disappointed we didn’t manage to score. It was a game we really wanted to win. We have complete confidence in our coach and we’re improving our game a lot. We’re on the right track and I’m sure that in the next few games we’ll get the wins that aren’t coming at the moment.”
The next few days are going to be very interesting for Inter and Moratti who needs to make his decision and do what he feels is best for our club, but most importantly no matter what our feelings of Gasperini are as Interisti we need to stand together with Inter and prove that the Inter family stands strong through any crisis.
Posted on September 18, 2011, in Serie A and tagged Football, Forlan, Gasperini, Inter, Lucio, Milito, Moratti, Nagatomo, Nerazzurri, Roma, Serie A, Sneijder, Zanetti. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.