SerieA: Inter 2-0 Fiorentina, Nerazzurri get home win while Viola fall flat
Inter came out on to the pitch at the Guiseppe Meazza on a cold December Saturday night that marked his 90th Birthday and the tenth Anniversary of the death of Inter legend Peppino Prisco and the Curva Nord paid tribute through their banners to the great man who in my opinion was one of the most devoted Interisti to ever live. The squad themselves also paid a fitting tribute by securing the three points with a confident display and two great goals.
This match also marked the first ever Serie A match that our captain has missed in his career due to a red card in the previous match against Udinese, but our defence was bolstered by the return of both Maicon and Lucio. Ranieri decided to line up with a tradition 4-4-2 that consisted of Julio Cesar in goal after being rested midweek against CSKA Moscow, Maicon and Yuto Nagatomo took the wide defensive positions with our two powerful centerbacks Lucio and Walter Samuel in front of the keeper. Marco Faraoni again was chosen to hold the right-wing while Coutinho sat on the left of the defensive midfield duo of Thiago Motta and Esteban Cambiasso who was the stand in captain for the match.
Up front Ranieri had yet again decided to play both Giampaolo Pazzini and Diego Milito side by side even though previous games have shown beyond doubt that they are too similar in styles to work well together. Unsurprisingly throughout the first half this was again evident as both players continued to make the same sort of runs.
Inter were dangerous from the start, our defensive line was looking solid for a change and it was obvious from early on that this was going to be a good game for the Nerazzurri. Despite Inter bombarding the Fiorentina goal with crosses and shots it took until the 41st minute for them to get the breakthrough as Pazzini scored his first league goal since the 24th September and what a goal it was as Coutinho who again was outstanding during this match chipped the ball in to the box where Pazzini ran on to it and clipped it with the outside of his boot past Boruc just before it went out of play, a fantastic trademark poachers goal from our Italian striker who was later criticized for his celebration that some fans saw as a shot at the Interisti for not supporting him as much as they could have, Pazzini himself made a statement on Sunday denying the allegation, I didn’t notice the incident though so I can’t comment but from reading his interview I have to say I believe him. The goal was the last real action of the first half and Inter went in to the changing rooms looking more confident than I’ve seen them for some time.
The main concern amongst the Interisti at half time was that Ranieri would make another one of his baffling half time changes to the lineup so when the same players returned to the pitch for the second half the relief could be felt from everyone watching the match. After the restart it took just four minutes for Inter to double their lead as Pazzini played the ball in from the left it only reached Pasqual in the Fiorentina defence but all he could do was fire it straight in to Nagatomo who was running in at him causing the ball to rebound off our Japanese defender to cross the line making it 2-0 for the home side.
After the second goal the Fiorentina players seemed to lose all their drive to try to get back in to the game and for the rest of the second half Inter were content to just play the ball around the pitch and take pot shots at the Viola goal whenever the chance arose. Throughout the game for me Milito was average at best and from about 30 minutes in to the first half I was hoping Ranieri would see sense and him take off to replace him with Zarate or Castaignos which would add another dimension to our attack, eventually he did just that on the 64th minute when Zarate replaced him but two minutes before he made a change that stunned the Inter faithful when he brought on Sulley Muntari and took off the outstanding Coutinho.
To be honest I’m still gobsmacked as to why he would bring on Muntari at all when he is quite obviously the most useless player on our squad and the only reason I can come up with is that he wanted to give Coutinho a rest ready for the Genoa match and also just to prove to himself how useless Sulley really is so he knows for sure before getting rid of him in January! And so the match ended 2-0 with Inter taking the points to give them 17 points in the season and moved up to 11th with a game in hand.
Inter 2-0 Fiorentina (HT: 1-0)
Scorers: Pazzini 41, Nagatomo 49.
Referee: Paolo Tagliavento (Terni).
Booked: Maicon 38, Gamberini 51.
Added time: 0+3 minutes.
Inter: – 1 Julio Cesar; 13 Maicon, 6 Lucio, 25 Samuel, 55 Nagatomo; 37 Faraoni, 8 Thiago Motta, 19 Cambiasso, 29 Coutinho (Muntari 62); 7 Pazzini, 22 Milito (Zarate 64).
Subs: 12 Castellazzi, 2 Cordoba, 11 Alvarez, 18 Poli, 30 Castaignos.
Coach: Claudio Ranieri.
Fiorentina: – 1 Boruc; 29 De Silvestri, 5 Gamberini, 14 Natali, 23 Pasqual; 85 Behrami, 20 Munari (Salifu 52), 21 Lazzari (Kharja 75), 6 Vargas; 22 Ljajic (Silva 65); 11 Gilardino.
Subs: 89 Neto, 15 Nastasic, 28 Romizi, 92 Romulo.
Coach: Delio Rossi.
For me in this match the only two players that didn’t pull their weight was Muntari and Milito and I also had a little criticism of Zarate who as per usual was waiting too long before passing the ball. Apart from that the rest of the team played a great game and I was glad to see that Zanetti not being on the pitch didn’t have a negative effect because we have to face facts that we are getting closer to a time when our great captain won’t be on the field for every match.
Faraoni again had a great showing and I thought he played excellently in front of Maicon showing his versatility by dropping back to the right back position whenever Maicon made a forward run, which for me is exactly what is needed when we have such an attack minded wingback and for me it’s vital that the man in front can cover the position. In my opinion if we had a left wingback of a high standard too then Nagatomo would be perfect for playing the wing in front on that side then dropping back to cover the way Faraoni has been on the right.
Coutinho too has been an inspiration to us in recent weeks, I know he’s had a couple of off games but he’s still young and in general he has been improving game after game so if we do end up losing Wesley Sneijder, who to be fair is turning in to a liability with his injuries, then I am more than confident that Coutinho and Alvarez can step in to his shoes and do a great job between them.
So with this win we’re moving up the table and this week we make up the game in hand by playing Genoa which if we win has got the potential of propelling us right up to seventh place or even sixth if we can win by a goal difference of three or more, either way things are looking a bit brighter than the relegation battle that was looming a few weeks ago.
Posted on December 12, 2011, in Serie A and tagged Cambiasso, Cesar, Coutinho, Faraoni, Fiorentina, Football, Inter, Lucio, Maicon, Milito, Motta, Muntari, Nagatomo, Nerazzurri, Pazzini, Ranieri, Samuel, Serie A, Zarate. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.