Inter: Convincing against Cagliari but not so much against Trabzonspor

First of all I’d like to apologise for my lack of match reports this week but I’ve been ridiculously busy and unfortunately haven’t had the time to dedicate to my posts, don’t worry though I should be back to my usual standard with a full report of Sunday’s match against Siena.

Inter 2-1 Cagliari – Serie A

To keep you updated though I’m going to combine a look at both of this weeks games in this one article starting with Saturday’s Serie A week 12 fixture against Cagliari, I like most Interisti was excited to see the Nerazzurri back in action after over half the month of November without a game due to the postponement of the Genoa match followed by the International break and I tuned in to the match with eager anticipation that this would be a fresh start for Inter only to be greeted by the news that Wesley Sneijder had been withdrawn from the squad due to a muscle injury picked up in the warm up, I presume this is the same one he picked up in Holland’s first game and it has now been revealed that he will be on the sidelines for three to four weeks, this combined with the fact that we were also missing other players including Maicon, Lucio & Forlan didn’t fill me with any great confidence that this game would go any better than other games this season.

Ranieri’s team that took to the pitch consisted of Julio Cesar back in the goal for us with a back four of Jonathan, in for Maicon, Samuel who was partnered by the returning Ranocchia and Zanetti back in the left back position, the midfield three of Stankovic, Motta and Cambiasso in front of them with Coutinho who was Sneijder’s replacement, sat just behind the strike partnership of Zarate and Pazzini.

Despite Inter going close twice with Pazzini in the 21st minute and Zarate in the 24th minute both hitting the woodwork the first half ended in a goalless stalemate, but the Nerazzurri were looking by far the more confident and dangerous. A minute into the second half Ranieri made his first change and brought on Alvarez in place of Zarate and ten minutes later made an impact when his free kick was met by Thiago Motta who fired it home from close range with the Cagliari players calling for a handball, the ball did touch his arm but it was totally unintentional and unavoidable so the ref was right not to call him on it, though the ref and linesmen did miss the fact that Motta was offside, which Ranieri admitted in an interview after the match but of course we’ll just ignore that fact and take the goal 😉

Just over five minutes later Coutinho showed that Ranieri was right to give him a chance when he scored his first goal of the season with a great shot that went just inside the near post out of the reach of the diving keeper, Obi replaced Coutinho on the 68 minute mark and then the whole team seemed to switch to a more defensive mentality and Cagliari started to see more of the ball and make themselves more chances and shortly after Jonathan was replaced by Faraoni to make his Serie A debut the away side managed to pull one back as Larrivey put the ball past Julio Cesar.

And so the match ended 2-1 but despite Sneijder’s injury and the fact that yet again we conceded there was a lot of positives in the game for us to be happy about, the main one being that our next generation of players like Coutinho, Alvarez and even Ranocchia are starting to make a great impact which has given me hope that we aren’t completely reliant on Sneijder to make things happen for us . The only real disappointment for me in this match was the fact that Poli didn’t play and spent the match on the bench as an unused substitute, hopefully we will soon get to see what he can do for us in the center of midfield.

Trabzonspor 1-1 Inter – Champions League

Last night saw Inter travel to Trabzonspor and even before the kickoff news came in that due to Lille beating CSKA Moscow we had qualified for the next round so all we needed from this game was one point to finish top of group B. This was lucky in my opinion as Ranieri couldn’t resist changing his squad around from the one that did so well against Cagliari and with Nagatomo, Lucio, Chivu and Milito being brought back in it seemed that the ‘Tinkerman’ only ever intended on playing for a draw in this game.

Unfortunately I didn’t see this match but from what I’ve heard and read in true Inter style getting the needed point didn’t come easy and as it turned out both goals would come in the first half, the Nerazzurri broke the deadlock with fellow Agentinians Milito and Alvarez exchanging passes culminating in Ricky netting his first ever goal for Inter, though the jubilation of his goal was short-lived as just five minutes later the Turks got the equalizer thanks to Altinhop who found the net with a little deflection off Samuel. After the break there was to be no more goals although Trabzonspor nearly took the lead when Meirzejweski went close with a header, but either through luck or hard work Inter held on and took the point which secured us the top spot in group B meaning that we now can concentrate fully on the league.

Posted on November 23, 2011, in Serie A, UEFA Champions League and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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