Europa League: Hajduk Split 0-3 Inter
Unfortunately I was unable to watch Inter’s first competitive match of the season, but I did follow the game via all the tweets from my fantastic followers on Twitter. From what I read it was a great showing from the Nerazzurri with them looking confident and strong throughout the match. With Stramaccioni playing a 4-3-2-1 formation we seemed able to react quickly and easily to all situations we were faced with by adapting this setup with the minimum disruption to the balance of the squad.
The players that really stood out in the Inter squad were Sneijder, Guarin, Palacio, Milito and of course Inter’s very own superstar south American Coutinho and a mention for our new number 1, Handanovic too as he kept a clean sheet and when called upon he showed safe hands. If last nights performance is anything to go by we are in for a very exciting and entertaining season from Inter this time round.
As I say I didn’t see the game so the following match report is courtesy of inter.it:
FIRST HALF – As expected, a red-hot reception awaited Inter at the Stadion Poljud as the Nerazzurri began their latest European adventure wearing the new red away kit. Stramaccioni went with Silvestre and Chivu in front of Handanovic, Jonathan and Nagatomo as full-backs, Zanetti, Cambiasso and Guarin in midfield and Palacio, Milito and Sneijder in attack.
Captain Zanetti – just two games away from reaching the incredible milestone of 800 club appearances – was featuring in a European fixture for the 150th time.
Meanwhile Hajduk Split and Inter were locking horns for the first time. Hajduk means ‘fighter’ and the Croatians lived up to their name from the opening salvos. Inter were game for a fight though and took the lead in the 18th minute. Milito did well to thread the ball through to Sneijder and the Dutchman showed great close control to dribble past a couple of Hajduk defenders and smash his finish into the top corner.
Inter cranked up their passing game after the goal but the hosts kept looking for a way through. The Nerazzurri doubled their lead on 44 minutes thanks to a right-footed curler from Nagatomo – picked out by Sneijder – and a helpful deflection off Maloca which left Blazevic stranded.
One minute’s added time was played before Stramaccioni’s side went in at half time leading Hajduk Split by two goals to nil.
SECOND HALF – Samuel replaced Chivu at half time as Inter came out after the break and continued to stamp their authority on the game, Hajduk apparently lacking the strength to fight their way back. They had a go but failed to keep their wits about them in the danger area.
The Nerazzurri dished out more punishment in the 73rd minute when Coutinho, having replaced Sneijder shortly before, scored a beauty: a couple of neat exchanges on the left flank saw Palacio free the young Brazilian, who entered the box and tucked his shot just inside the far post.
With ten minutes to go Handanovic was called into action, the big Slovene standing his ground to deny Maglica.
So, after two minutes of added time, Inter emerged as 3-0 victors and already have one foot in the Europa League play-offs. Meanwhile Hajduk left the pitch to a long, affectionate applause from their fans. Isn’t European football great?
Hajduk Split 0-3 Inter (HT: 0-2)
Scorers: Snejder 18, Nagatomo 44, Coutinho 73.
Hajduk Split: 1 Blazevic; 6 Vrsajevic, 22 Maloca, 5 Milovic, 17 Jozinovic; 7 Andrijasevic (4 Milic, 54), 14 Radosevic; 11 Oremus (29 Tomas, 77), 18 Caktas, 20 Ozobic (9 Maglica, 46); 13 Vukusic.
Subs: 19 Vugdelida, 16 Lustica, 24 Vukovic, 27 Jonjic.
Coach: Miso Krsticevic.
Inter: 1 Handanovic; 42 Jonathan, 6 Silvestre, 26 Chivu (25 Samuel, 46), 55 Nagatomo; 4 Zanetti, 19 Cambiasso, 14 Guarin; 8 Palacio, 22 Milito (88 Livaja, 76), 10 Sneijder (7 Coutinho, 65).
Subs: 12 Castellazzi, 16 Mudingayi, 24 Benassi, 33 Mbaye.
Coach: Andrea Stramaccioni.
Referee: Hüseyin Göcek.
Booked: Maloca 18.
Added time: 1+2 minutes.
After watching the goals I have to say Sneijders control in the box was fantastic and he did well to stay calm and wait for the right time to take his shot. It was good to see Nagatomo get a goal too but to be honest it wasn’t that great and it looked to me as though the Hajduk keeper should have saved it but I’ll take any kind of goal for Inter! Then there’s Coutinho’s beautiful curling shot, what can I say? If he keeps this up he is going to be Serie A’s player of the season, not only was the goal fantastic but also the build up play was of a class that was missing last season! All in all I’m very happy with this result and it should give Inter a boost in confidence for the start of the season later in the month.
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Posted on August 3, 2012, in Europa League and tagged Cambiasso, Chivu, Coutinho, Europa League, Football, Guarin, Handanovic, Inter, Jonathan, Livaja, Milito, Nagatomo, Nerazzurri, Palacio, Samuel, Silvestre, Sneijder, Stramaccioni, Zanetti. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.