We’ve all heard it before, and even sometimes with a nice porterhouse steak in front of us it’s been realised in the literal sense. However, in football terms, this particular fan is starting to see the a moral to the story unfold for Inter.
Now, I’m probably writing an article right now that won’t sit well with a lot of Interisti, and well, who could blame them. You yourself are probably sitting there right now and can see where this is going… please don’t exit your browser, patience, let me explain everything first.
Before I move forward with this article, let’s take a look back to last season, undoubtedly one of Inter’s worst. We finished in 6th spot, only barely qualifying for any European competition and with only 17 wins and a massive 14 losses. Compare that to the prior season where we finished runners-up and with 23 wins and 8 losses. I also don’t need to remind anyone here of the treble form the season before.
Inter sealed their place in the UEFA Europa League round of 32 with two games to spare. Rodrigo Palacio grabbed himself a double after coming off the bench before Fredy Guarin made it three late on: Partizan were beaten 1-3. It was the Nerazzurri’s tenth victory on the spin in all games and also their tenth consecutive away win – a new club record.
The first half finished goalless thanks to Handanovic, who kept the scores level with two top-class saves from Ivanov in the space of a minute, proving once again how important he is for this team. After the restart, having rode their luck a little with Juan Jesus almost inadvertently succeeding where Ivanov failed, Inter took the lead thanks to Palacio, the Argentine well placed to chest home Guarin’s powerful cross. Partizan intensified their efforts and sought an equaliser but Handanovic kept the door shut. With 75 minutes on the clock Palacio made it 0-2, latching onto Guarin’s through ball and sprinting towards goal before beating Petrovic with a neat angled finish. Guarin twice the provider, Palacio twice the finisher. Inter weren’t in the mood for sitting on the lead though, and with three minutes to go Guaro added his own name to the score sheet after collecting Cassano’s through ball, with Palacio involved in the build-up. Tomic scored a consolation goal for Partizan in the last minute of normal time.
Stramaccioni’s side now sit on 10 points, level with Rubin Kazan and their place in the knockout stage is certain. All that remains to be decided is who will qualify as group winners: Rubin Kazan v Inter in two weeks’ time may well settle the matter. (via inter.it)
Read my full article on the match on ESPN FC
The fixtures and results from October
Goals from Coutinho, Obi and Livja gave Inter a more than comfortable victory in Azerbaijan . A completion I find hard to get excited for but it’s good to see other players get a chance to play. I miss the Champions League and hope it returns soon. Inter’s 500th and 501st goals in Europe came in the first game Inter played in Azerbaijan.
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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
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
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!
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
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.
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.