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Europa League: Inter Grind Out 1-0 Win Against Partizan

An 89th-minute header by Rodrigo Palacio gave Inter all three points in their 2012/13 UEFA Europa League Matchday 3 clash with Partizan Belgrade. The Argentine striker came off the bench on the half-hour mark to replace Coutinho, a real handful for the Serbians before being forced off injured. Lazar Markovic struck the post on 21 minutes and was denied by a fantastic save from Handanovic, which led to El Trenza scoring from the resulting counter-attack less than a minute later.

The win takes the Nerazzurri up to 7 points in Group H alongside Rubin Kazan, while Neftchi and Partizan Belgrade remain on 1 point. (via inter.it)

Read why this win, despite being uninspiring, is a good omen for Inter in my full article on ESPN FC

Serie A: Derby Della Madonnina AC Milan 0-1 Inter

A lone header from Walter Samuel in the fourth minute was enough to see Inter prevail over AC Milan in the derby. Though it could’ve easily have been 0-2 if Diego Milito had managed to put away the easy shot that he fluffed shortly after.  It finished 0-1 to the Nerazzurri in Week 7 of Serie A 2012/13 at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza. Stramaccioni’s men went down to ten men at the start of the second period as Nagatomo saw red for two bookable offences. The game had several issues with bad refereeing and both sides were victims to some terrible decisions, despite this though Inter go third in the league, joining Lazio on 15 points. (via inter.it)

Read my views on the matches main talking points in my article on ESPN FC

Europa League: Neftchi Baku PFC 1-3 Inter

Inter dominated this Group H Europa League game against Neftchi with their youngsters proving their worth, especially Phillipe Coutinho who once again was fantastic, adding weight to my argument that he should be Wesley Sneijder’s heir and be replacing the Dutch trequartista fairly soon, as I discussed in my article ‘It’s time to offload Sneijder’ on ESPN FC

The youngsters really shone in this game as did Fredy Guarin, the future is looking bright for Inter.

The first half was all Inter and Guarin, looking more like a winger tonight, was at the heart of the first two goals. Ten minutes were on the clock when the Colombian drifted in from the right and played a neat pass for Coutinho, who turned the ball past Stamenkovic with a crafty backheeled flick. Guarin then provided more of the same for Obi to score with an easy finish on the half-hour mark. Inter’s third came in the 42nd minute with a bit of help from Bertucci, the defender wrongfooting his own keeper with a deflected intervention that enabled Livaja to nod home. Canales pulled one back shortly after the restart but the hosts didn’t have enough to trouble the Nerazzurri further.

Inter scored their 500th and 501st goals in European competitions this evening and the win takes them to the top of Group H alongside Rubin Kazan on four points. The next Europa League appointment is in three weeks’ time when Partizan Belgrade visit the Meazza. (via inter.it)

Read my full opinion on Stramaccioni’s choices for this match in my article on ESPN FC

Serie A, Inter 2-1 Fiorentina, Nerazzurri break the ‘curse’

Inter notched up their first victory at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza in 2012/13 as they saw off the challenge of form side Fiorentina to claim a 2-1 win. Diego Milito set the Nerazzurri on their way from the spot on 17 minutes before Antonio Cassano kept a cool head to slot home a second shortly after the half-hour mark. Romulo reduced the deficit for the visitors as the interval approached, but there was still time for Milito to rattle the bar before the half-time whistle. Fernandez was given his marching orders in the 62nd minute after picking up his second yellow for a lunge on Nagatomo. (via inter.it)

Read what I thought of the game in my article on ESPN FC

SerieA: Inter 0-2 Siena, The ‘San Siro Curse’ Continues

Siena have come away from the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza with three points: Serse Cosmi’s men have beaten the Nerazzurri 2-0, who once again – for the fifth time – fail to win at home.

It was goalless at the interval, in spite of missed chances from Sneijder and with Cassano at the top of his game. Siena took the lead on 73 minutes as Vergassola finished a fine counter attack. Inter tried everything to respond, pouring forward at every opportunity but they were denied by a number of good saves from Pegolo.

The Nerazzurri were punished at the death as substitute Valiani headed in a second in stoppage time.

Find out why I was still happy with this performance despite the disappointing result in my article on ESPN FC

Last minute Nagatomo goal prevents defeat in Europa League

In the first game of the Europa League group stage, Inter hosted Russian side Rubin Kazan but were unable to stamp their authority on home turf with the game ending 2-2.
Rubin were the stronger side throughout the game and took the lead in the 16th minute when Jonathan made a silly mistake in the box. Handanovic managed to make a great save of the spot kick but unfortunately couldn’t hold on to the ball leaving the on rushing Rubin attackers to put into the roof of the net.
Livaja managed to even up the score just before half time when Cassano sent a lovely ball in to the box for Cambiasso who then took the ball past the keeper before dropping it nicely for Livaja to head in to the open net.
In the 2nd half Rubin beat the offside trap by exploiting Inter’s high defensive line and once again went ahead as Walter Samuel couldn’t catch Rondon and the Rubin attacker put the ball past Handanovic.
After Rubin’s 2nd goal Inter pretty much fell apart and only just managed to scrape a point from the game when Nagatomo put away Milito’s through ball two minutes in to stoppage time.

Read my Article on ESPN FC to find out my thoughts on what went wrong for Inter!

Zeman Gives Stramaccioni’s Inter a Masterclass in Attacking Football

One of the most anticipated games of the 2012/13 season came in just the second game week with two of the most attack minded teams in Italy going head to head. It really was a battle of the tacticians with new boy Andrea Stramaccioni taking on the coach who at 65 years old is nearly twice his age, Zdeněk Zeman.
The game ended Inter 1-3 Roma and if you didn’t see the game you would think from that score line that the Roman side ran rings around Inter in front of their home crowd. This however wasn’t strictly true, if you take a look at the match stats (provided by whoscored.com) you can see that Inter was actually the more dominant of the two sides in terms of possession and shots on goal. Over the ninety minutes Inter held on to the ball for 53% of the match and managed a respectable 21 shots on goal, of which only six were on target though, finishing is obviously an area that needs work for Inter. Where Inter really lost out in this match was in aerial balls but when you consider how short the majority of the Nerazzurri players are that isn’t really any great surprise.
So how did Roma manage such a convincing win against Inter?

Read the full article on ESPN FC

Inter Dig Deep To Qualify for Europa League Group Stage

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The final aggregate score of Inter 4-2 Vaslui fails to really show how hard the Nerazzurri made this win look, but if you look at the second leg stats alone it becomes more clear, down to ten men after just 33 minutes and only just managing a draw in front of their home crowd, this was by no means the easy game that most people had anticipated.

The game started with Andrea Stramaccioni taking for granted that the two goals Inter brought into this match would be easy to defend and qualification for the group stage seemed a certainty, so he decided to rest several key players including Diego Milito and Wesley Sneijder ready for the Serie A clash against Roma on Sunday.

Read the full article on ESPN FC

SerieA: Pescara 0-3 Inter, ‘El Principe’ shines in season opener

The first game of the 2012-13 Serie A season for Inter was a 3-0 victory away from home at the Stadio Adriatico, home of newly promoted Pescara. Inter boss Andrea Stramaccioni decided to line up his squad in a 4-3-2-1 to try to counter the home side’s attacking 4-3-3 formation that they persist with, despite no longer having Zdenek Zeman as coach, who used the tactic to get them promoted from Serie B last season.

Luca Castellazzi in goal was excellent throughout the game making several crucial saves as the Pescara attack tested him all through the first half…………………………………………

Read the full article on ESPN FC

Europa League: FC Vaslui 0-2 Inter

In the Europa league play off first leg the Romanian side Fc Vaslui played host to Inter at their temporary home of Stadionul Ceahlaul as their home ground, Municipal only houses just over 9000 fans which isn’t big enough to play European games.

The game marked a very important landmark for Inter as the legendary captain Javier Zanetti marked his 800th appearance with the Nerazzurri……………………..

Read the full article on ESPN FC

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