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SerieA: Atalanta 3-2 Inter

Inter’s winning streak came to a halt in Bergamo, where Atalanta beat the Nerazzurri 3-2 in Week 12 of the 2012/13 Serie A.

There were no three points today but plenty of character shown by Andrea Stramaccioni’s side to battle back after going behind. Despite starting on the front foot, the Nerazzurri found themselves a goal down after 9 minutes of play as Bonaventura rose well to connect with Peluso’s inch-perfect cross. Denis had a great chance to make it two in the 36th minute but skied his effort from the edge of the six-yard box.

Fredy Guarin made no mistake with his 56th-minute free kick, blasting an absolute rocket past a helpless Consigli. Inter’s joy was short-lived though, because four minutes later Atalanta restored their lead as Denis slotted home Maxi Moralez’s low delivery. The Argentine midfielder caused more problems in the 67th minute when he ran into the box, seemingly from an offside position; Silvestre’s challenge made contact with the ball but the Atalanta man fell over and Mr Damato had no doubt it was a foul. Denis converted from the spot to take the score to 3-1. It wasn’t over there. As the game entered the last five minutes of normal time, Gargano picked out Palacio in the box and the Argentine finished clinically. 3-2 and all out attack for Inter in the final minutes, but it wasn’t to be. Atalanta were reduced to ten men in stoppage time when Parra saw red for a push on Guarin. (via inter.it)

Find out who I think is responsible for this defeat in my article on ESPN FC

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Europa league: Partizan Belgrade 1-3 Inter

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

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

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

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!

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: 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.

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Celtic V Inter Review

It’s that time of year again and the upcoming season is fast approaching, the mercato is heating up and the team is starting to shape up ahead of the upcoming season. This year I was lucky enough for Inter to come to my home city of Glasgow for a friendly against Celtic to commemorate their 125th anniversary as a football club.

I was sitting in the away end just to the left of the goals with around 25 other Inter fans (more than I thought). Strama made five changes to the starting line up which faced Como midweek and again used the 4-2-3-1 with Handanovic, Silvestre at right back, Chivu and Ranocchia at centre back, il capitano at left back. The two holding midfielders were Guarin and Cambiasso. Then the three behind the striker were Sneijder directly behind Milito as striker and Jonathan on the right with Coutinho on the left of the three.

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Inter’s January Mercato Roundup

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.

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