Europa League: Inter 0-2 Hajduk Split, Nerazzurri go through on 3-2 agg win
The second leg of Inter’s Europa League qualifier against Hajduk was played at the Giuseppe Meazza last night and again unfortunately I was unable to watch it. I can’t really pass much comment on the performance but from what I’ve read and heard it wasn’t great (or even good) by any standard for Inter, but we have to remember we haven’t really had much of a preseason this summer and with our new coach and playing style we aren’t going to be perfect straight away.
The result though yet again highlights the problem I’ve been going on about for over a year now, our defence just isn’t up to the job and needs strengthening above all else! Walter Samuel created Hajduk’s first goal last night by giving away a penalty, as I say I didn’t see it but I’m guessing it was a repeat of what happened so many times last season when he was fairly beaten by his opponent and made a silly mistake just purely because that’s all he could do to stop him. Hopefully this will serve as a lesson to Stramaccioni that Samuel should only be considered as a back up for younger defenders.
The other point that seems to have been evident was our lack of fire power up front with having no real alternative to Milito as the striker, this like the defender issue needs addressing in the last few weeks of the mercato or there is no way we can take advantage of the misfortunes facing AC Milan and Juventus if our own issues aren’t fixed. I was hoping that Longo was going to show he was ready to step up to the first team but from what I’ve seen so far the great form he showed for the Primavera is almost non existant in the first team.
There is still a lot of work to do for Stramaccioni and the Inter management in the next few weeks but hopefully these issues can be resolved before we face Pescara on the first match of the Serie A season. As for the Europa league we’ve managed to progress through to the playoff (luckily!) and now face Vaslui on Thursday 24th August in Romania and a week later back at the Giuseppe Meazza. Again this seems like a tie that the Nerazzurri should walk through but when you consider they’ve just knocked Fenerbahce out of the competition and the disgraceful performance we showed last night we have to take them seriously and not presume it’ll be an easy win.
One positive before I finish was that Javier Zanetti was still bossing the pitch on his 799th appearence for the Nerazzurri and the night before his 39th Birthday! The guy is a machine and I’m so proud to have had him in our squad and leading the team for so long! What a legend!
Inter 2-0 Hajduk match report from inter.it
FIRST HALF –
Stramaccioni picked Milito as a lone frontman ahead of Guarin, Sneijder and Coutinho, as Inter wore their home kit of black and blue shirts.
In the sixth minute Milito came off worse in a clash of heads with Maloca as the pair challenged for the ball, causing the Argentine to wear a bandage around his head for the rest of the contest. Inter came to life after that, with Zanetti consistently beating his man on the right flank. On the first such occasion, the captain had the San Siro faithful on their feet as he got to the by-line before crossing, but Inter only managed to win a corner (15 minutes). The second was a low cross towards Coutinho but the away goalkeeper beat him to the ball before the young Brazilian spurned the rebound, only firing against the crossbar (16 minutes).
After 22 minutes Walter Samuel fouled Vukovic in the box and the referee awarded Hajduk a penalty. Vukusic sent Handanovic the wrong way to give the visitors the lead, 1-0. Milic very nearly doubled the lead 3 minutes later, as he toe-poked towards goal but Handanovic was out smartly to deny him. Coutinho was next to go close, as he latched onto Sneijder’s first-time pass, the Brazilian exploiting a hole in the Croatian defence, but his shot went narrowly wide. Guarin earned a free-kick in a dangerous position after being fouled by Andrijasevic on the half-hour mark. Sneijder, however, hammered the resulting set-piece against the wall. The pair combined again in the 36th minute when the Dutchman put the Colombian through on goal. Guarin hit a powerful shot with his right from distance but Blazevic was equal to it. The Nerazzurri then proceeded to bombard the opposition goal as the first half drew to a close, with Coutinho trying his luck three times and Milito also going for goal. The ball just wouldn’t go in though, and the score at the interval wasn’t really a true reflection of the first 45 minutes.
SECOND HALF –
The second half began with the sides unchanged from the first period. Vukusic went close for Hajduk after 50 minutes but Handanovic was able to keep the ball out with his body. The Slovenian keeper could do nothing on 58 minutes, however. Vukovic received the ball from the right, took it down beautifully and then hammered the ball with his laces into the top corner, and the Croats led 2-0 on the night.
Jonathan earned a corner and Ranocchia nearly profited on 69 minutes, but his powerful header was cleared off the line. Blazevic was twice called into action in as many minutes with a quarter of an hour to play, first to deny Nagatomo, then Sneijder. Vukusic very nearly levelled the tie following excellent play from Jozinovic but his shot just went wide. Longo went even closer, as he so nearly scored for the Nerazzurri after combining with Guarin 10 minutes from time. Referee Turpin blew the final whistle following 3 minutes of added time. The Nerazzurri win the tie despite losing the game. Inter will learn their fate in tomorrow’s draw in Nyon, Switzerland.
Inter 0-2 Hajduk Split (HT: 0-1)
Scorers: Vukusic 23, Vukovic 58.
1 Handanovic; 4 Zanetti, 7 Coutinho (Longo 63), 10 Sneijder (Silvestre 84), 14 Guarin, 19 Cambiasso, 22 Milito, 23 Ranocchia, 25 Samuel, 33 Mbaye (Nagatomo 55), 42 Jonathan.
Subs not used: 27 Belec, 16 Mudingayi, 24 Benassi, 88 Livaja.
Coach: Andrea Stramaccioni.
1 Blazevic; 4 Milic, 5 Milovic, 6 Vrsajevic, 7 Andrijasevic (Caktas 59), 11 Oremus, 13 Vukusic, 14 Radosevic, 17 Jozinovic, 22 Maloca (Jonjic 55), 24 Vukovic (Lustica 83).
Subs not used: 19 Vugdelija, 3 Stojanovic, 9 Maglica, 20 Ozobic.
Coach: Miso Krsticevic.
Referee: Clement Turpin (Fra).
Assistants: Gringore and Danos (Fra).
Fourth Official: Varela (Fra).
Bookings: Samuel 6, Radosevic 55, Vukovic 58, Vrsajevic 62.
Added time: 2+3 minutes.
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