Serie A: Bologna 1-3 Inter, ‘il Biscione’ strikes back
Finally Inter get their first win of the season and I couldn’t be happier, ok so Bologna are hardly the hardest team is Serie A to beat but after recent results under the guidance of Gian Piero Gasperini this win means so much more than three points, not only to Interisti but also to the players and everyone involved with the Nerazzurri. Before the game I was hoping for a win but as Claudio Ranieri had only been in charge of the club for three days I was expecting for Inter to still be looking a bit rough around the edges, especially when it was announced that Wesley Sneijder was out with an injury picked up in training. It has to be said though that already under Ranieri the Nerazzurri are looking like their old selves again and for me it just proves the point that our recent bad form was completely down to Gasperini and his stubbornness about his 3-4-3 tactic. After passing his acid test for Inter ‘The Tinkerman’ was pleased with not only the win but also with our players mentality
“It was important to get off on the right foot. The lads needed a confidence boost. I said it didn’t matter whether we played well or badly; what mattered was that we fought for every ball to get the result. And that’s what we did. These lads are hungry and they showed that. I was pleased with the self-sacrifice I saw in all of them. This is the right spirit.”
First Half –
The game at the Stadio Dall’Aria was not only Ranieri’s first as Inter’s head coach but also Lucio’s 100th appearance for the Nerazzurri. The Nerazzurri in their white away kit started the game in what looked like a 4-3-1-2 formation with Obi, Cambiasso and Zanetti in the midfield and Coutinho filling the attacking midfield position that would normally be filled with Sneijder, this made my day as when it was announced that Wesley wouldn’t be playing I was hoping that Coutinho, who this week received his first call up for the senior Brazil squad, would be given the chance to start in his natural attacking midfield position.
From the start both sides came out looking for goals, Bologna spurred on by Inter’s shocking recent defeat to Novara and Inter out to prove they are still contenders for the Scudetto, this resulted in a heavy pressing midfield struggle with both side finding it difficult to find the right offensive outlet. This all changed after eight minutes when Forlan took a deep free kick that was picked up by Samuel who had the first chance to open the scoring only to be denied by Bologna keeper Gillet’s great positioning.
Just a minute later at the other end Julio Cesar had to leave his line to intercept a dangerous pass from Konè that was searching out Di Vaio, minutes later Konè again played another ball to Di Vaio who lurking on the edge of Inter’s defensive line took his chance seeing the ball hit the upper angle of the goalframe. Just two minutes later it was the Nerazzurri that was on the offensive again as Forlan’s powerful long distance shot rattled off Gillet’s left post.
Inter’s next chance came five minutes later when Forlan took a corner kick which only found Bologna’s Portanova who made the clearance but he only got it as far as Coutinho who took his chance with his left foot and saw it go just wide of the post. Just before the half hour mark Forlan sent in a cross for Pazzini who just couldn’t get the right contact on the ball with his head seeing it fly off target.
Soon after Di Viao and Konè continued to link up and cause trouble for the Inter defence but this time Samuel closed him down to put an end to the threat, then ten minutes before the end of the half referee Tagliavento showed Coutinho a yellow card for his challenge on Morleo. The resulting free kick was taken by Konè and the venomous shot was stopped well by Julio Cesar.
The 39th minute saw the first goal as Forlan escaped Mudingayi in midfield with a lovely feint before searching out Cambiasso upfield who immediately played it perfectly into the path of Pazzini who smashed it home with his right foot past the helpless Gillet, making it 0-1 to the visitors. After the goal Bologna went on the attack but the Nerazzurri refused to give them the space needed by closing them down, after two minutes of added time referee Tagliavento called an end to a great 45 minutes of football with Inter looking more confident than I’ve seen them all season so far.
SECOND HALF –
The second half kicked off with Bologna in possession but it didn’t take long for Inter to look dangerous again when in the 50th minute the young Brazilian Coutinho ran through the middle of Bologna’s defense only to be blocked by Antonson, but he managed to get back on the ball to pass it back to Cambiasso in space who unleashed a shot that crashed into the crossbar.
Three minutes later Bologna got their first chance of the second half when Diamanti’s cross found the head of Di Vaio only for Julio Cesar to push it away for a corner. The 56th minute saw Ranieri’s first change of the game when Jonathan came on in place of Coutinho also changing Inter’s formation to a traditional 4-4-2 with Jonathan taking up the right-wing position ahead of Nagatomo. Just ten minutes later the Inter coach made another change, this time adjusting his left wing position with the removal of Obi who was replaced with Muntari, much to the disgust of Interisti worldwide.
Soon after the change Bologna nearly got the equalizer when Ramirez took a free kick towards the upper corner of the net but Julio Cesar tipped the ball wide for a corner kick. As the corner kick was taken Tagliavento awarded a penalty to Bologna when Portanova went down in the box, allegedly due to a foul from Samuel but to me it just looked like he got caught up in the crowded box and tripped, but hey what do I know? Diamanti took the spot kick well and although Julio Cesar managed to get his finger tips to it he couldn’t quite deflect it enough to stop the equalizer.
In the 70th minute Muntari continued what is starting to be a habit for Inter as he collided with Bologna’s keeper Gillet, injuring his shoulder and forcing the home side to bring on their second choice shot stopper. Four minutes later Ranieri made his last adjustment to the team when he removed Forlan and replaced him with Milito. Shortly after which Bologna were unlucky not to take the lead when Ramirez’s vicious shot grazed the Inter post before going out.
Ten minutes from the end of the game the match took a decisive turn when Morleo was sent off for a foul on Milito as he surged forward in to the box after a wonderful combination play between Cambiasso and Pazzini. ‘El Principe’ converted the resulting penalty with ease in to the top corner putting the Nerazzurri in front once again.
Krhin gained himself a caution in the 86th minute when he challenge a forward running Zanetti from behind. The resulting free kick went a long way to returning Muntari to favour with the Interisti as he took it well dropping it perfectly in to the box where Lucio guided it in to the back of the net with his head. The match ended after five minutes of added time with Ranieri’s Inter taking a convincing 1-3 win and making the first step of taking the recently struggling Nerazzurri back towards the top of the table.
BOLOGNA 1-3 INTER (HT: 0-1)
Scorers: Pazzini 39, Diamanti 66 (pen), Milito 81 (pen), Lucio 87.
Referee: Paolo Tagliavento (Terni).
Booked: Coutinho 35, Perez 61, Khrin 86.
Sent off: Morleo 80.
Added time: 2+5 minutes.
1 Gillet (Agliardi 25); 16 Casarini, 90 Portanova, 5 Antonsson, 3 Morleo; 15 Perez, 26 Mudingayi, 33 Konè; 10 Ramirez (Krhin 79), 23 Diamanti; 9 Di Vaio (Acquafresca 19).
Unused subs: 13 Pulzetti, 19 Vitale, 35 Paponi, 51 Loria.
Coach: Pierpaolo Bisoli.
1 Julio Cesar; 55 Nagatomo, 6 Lucio, 25 Samuel, 26 Chivu; 29 Coutinho (Jonathan 56), 4 Zanetti, 19 Cambiasso, 20 Obi (Muntari 64); 7 Pazzini, 9 Forlan (Milito 74).
Unused subs: 12 Castellazzi, 11 Alvarez, 28 Zarate, 30 Castaignos.
Coach: Claudio Ranieri.
I cannot get across how happy I am with this weekends result for Inter as it has proved definitively that the Nerazzurri have got a fantastic squad and that we aren’t entirely reliant on Wesley Sneijder to get us the results. There has been a lot of talk before the game as to whether Pazzini and Milito can play together and in his post match press conference Ranieri didn’t seem entirely convinced by this combination as he said
“I said they can co-exist but I don’t know how much time they will spend on the pitch together; we’ll see.”
Aside from this, the win against Bologna will go a long way to returning the confidence back to the World Champions and even though we have only seen one game with Ranieri in charge I am feeling very confident that Moratti’s decision to bring him in will pay off by the end of the season and who knows with this Inter squad Mr ‘Nearly’ could finally get the honours that he’s worked so hard over the years to get. Don’t get me wrong we weren’t perfect in this game and there is still a bit of work to be done but all in all a good display. The next step now for ‘il Biscione’ is to take on the Russians in our Champions League game against CSKA Moscow on Tuesday and prove we are still a major force in Europe as well as Italy.
Posted on September 25, 2011, in Serie A and tagged Bologna, Cambiasso, Cesar, Chivu, Coutinho, Football, Forlan, Inter, Jonathan, Lucio, Milito, Muntari, Nagatomo, Nerazzurri, Obi, Pazzini, Ranieri, Samuel, Serie A, Zanetti. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.