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
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!
Under the fiery gaze of a huge angry looking bull, created by the Torino Ultras, and a packed Stadio Olympico stadium the Inter squad lined up. The atmosphere was electrifying, but if the fans’ efforts were meant to unnerve the travelling Nerazzurri I think it’s fair to say it failed miserably.
Inter went on to win 0-2 with two fantastic goals from Diego Milito and Antonio Cassano.
Read the full article on ESPN FC
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
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.
From January the 1st rumours were flying all over the world about who was linked with Inter and who was leaving Inter but the whole of the month seemed to revolve around the Tevez transfer saga in which it seemed Inter were half heartedly chasing Manchester City’s want away striker just to drive the price up for rivals AC Milan, I have no doubt that there was no real desire in the management of the Nerazzurri to sign him at all, but regardless this worldwide story dragged on for nearly the entire month.
This meant that the one transfer that we acknowledged as being lined up, which was Juan Jesus, still hadn’t been completed by the 30th of the month and with just one day left of the transfer window it was looking very likely that Inter’s mercato was going to be a complete disaster. Then on deadline day itself Branca & co did what they do best and pulled some great deals out of the bag.
INTERNAZIONALE MONTHLY REVIEW: Gennaro/January
This is the first of what I hope is a regular monthly review of everything that has happened in the month just passed. Month by month I will look at all things Nerazzurri, the players, the goals, news and all things good, bad and little of the ugly from Inter this month.
First of all I’d like to apologise for my lack of match reports this week but I’ve been ridiculously busy and unfortunately haven’t had the time to dedicate to my posts, don’t worry though I should be back to my usual standard with a full report of Sunday’s match against Siena.
Inter 2-1 Cagliari – Serie A
To keep you updated though I’m going to combine a look at both of this weeks games in this one article starting with Saturday’s Serie A week 12 fixture against Cagliari, I like most Interisti was excited to see the Nerazzurri back in action after over half the month of November without a game due to the postponement of the Genoa match followed by the International break and I tuned in to the match with eager anticipation that this would be a fresh start for Inter only to be greeted by the news that Wesley Sneijder had been withdrawn from the squad due to a muscle injury picked up in the warm up, I presume this is the same one he picked up in Holland’s first game and it has now been revealed that he will be on the sidelines for three to four weeks, this combined with the fact that we were also missing other players including Maicon, Lucio & Forlan didn’t fill me with any great confidence that this game would go any better than other games this season.