Blog Archives

Rodrigo Palacio: A surprise package

 
In the summer after over 12 months of rumours Palacio arrived at Inter for around 12 million euros, odd pony tail and all. After netting 19 goals for Genoa in 33 appearances which was his best season since his time at Boca in Argentina he made the move further North to Milano.

This move was met with much criticism by most Inter fans saying that’s he’s not good enough and some were only bothered by the price tag. Me, I doubted the price tag. It’s a lot of money for a player I saw as a squad player when we are short on cash trying to re build. As I said many times in the summer, we have got some good youngsters, decent experienced players but not a lot in between. That issue was addressed quite well by Branca in the summer, with signings like Garagno, Mudingayi, Pereira and Palacio.  I just thought the money spent on Palacio, a player in his 30’s was perhaps a little too much.  Palacio goal return is not bad at all prior to his arrival.  At a club that is often struggling he often carried them.  At Genoa he always seemed a handful for opposition.  Always seemed to find space and time on the ball, happy to sacrifice himself on occasions and drop deeper and work for the team and go out wide and work the flanks. Palacio just seemed to always be apart of the goals at Genoa, scoring, assists or just a key pass or move that changed the game.

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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

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

Inter beat Juventus 3-1 ‘sul campo’

Inter emerged victorious from a throbbing, packed Juventus Stadium. 3-1 the final score with two from Milito and one from Palacio, after the Bianconeri had taken an early lead with a goal that should have been disallowed for offside and Lichtsteiner was inexplicably spared a second yellow.

The first half was just 18 seconds old when Vidal put the Old Lady in front. However, the Chilean was set up by Asamoah, who received the ball in an offside position that went unnoticed by the match officials. After Cambiasso had twice taken aim without success, Palacio thought he had headed Inter level in the 12th minute, only for the linesman’s offside flag to deny him. Cassano then curled an effort inches wide as the Nerazzurri probed for an equaliser. Meanwhile Handanovic was doing his job well down the other end and the teams went in at the break with the score at 1-0.

Inter came out from the dressing rooms with renewed vigour as they set out on the hunt for the goal they deserved. It came just before the hour mark: Marchisio held Milito back inside the box, the Prince dusted himself off and buried the spot kick past Buffon. The comeback was complete after 75 minutes when newly entered substitute Guarin drew a save out of the Bianconeri No.1 with a stinging drive and Milito was on hand to tuck home the rebound. The third came on the counter with Nagatomo doing superbly to maintain possession under pressure before threading through for Palacio to finish.

The Nerazzurri remain in second but move up to 27 points, one less than the Bianconeri, whose 49-game unbeaten run is now over. (via inter.it)

Read my opinion on this historic victory for the Nerazzurri in my article on ESPN FC – Inter show real charater to stop Juve in their tracks

SerieA: Inter 3-2 Sampdoria

Inter have beaten Sampdoria 3-2 at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza in driving rain, and move to 24 points in the table.

The hosts created chances in the first period yet it was the visitors who took the lead on 20 minutes. Samuel and Ranocchia got in a tangle from Tissone’s free-kick and Munari was there to pounce. The Nerazzurri equalised after the interval though, as Milito scored from the spot on 53 minutes. Costa brought the Argentine down from behind, and the referee rightly awarded Inter a penalty and gave the Sampdoria defender his marching orders. ‘El Principe’ then dispatched the spot-kick and punished the visitors who were now a man light.

Inter then made use of their powerful front line, first through Milito who hit the post, before Palacio scored the Nerazzurri’s second after 68 minutes, after Cassano had broken well. Fant’Antonio then struck the crossbar from a free-kick. Inter’s third goal arrived ten minutes from time: Nagatomo broke forward, waited for Cassano to arrive and then fed his team-mate. The man from Bari then rolled the ball to his right where Guarin skipped past Estigarribia before lashing a shot past Romero. Eder grabbed an injury time consolation for the visitors but it was Inter who emerged with all three points. (via inter.it)

Read my views on this Halloween fright fest in my full article on ESPN FC

SerieA: Bologna 1-3 Inter

Inter made it seven wins in a row with a convincing 3-1 victory at Bologna’s Stadio Dall’Ara in Week 9 of the 2012/13 Serie A.

Cambiasso’s 27th-minute free kick found Ranocchia well placed to nod home at the far post, the defender becoming the ninth different Nerazzuri player on the score sheet this season. Milito celebrated his 100th league appearance for the club by scoring the second after the break: an easy finish wrapping up a lethal counter-attack that passed from Handanovic through Gargano and Palacio. Bologna halved the deficit when Cherubin headed in Diamanti’s corner but Inter quickly restored their two-goal cushion as Cambiasso dinked over Agliardi following a neatly worked move involving Milito and Palacio. (via inter.it)

Read my views on the game in my full article 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

SerieA: Inter 2-0 Catania

Inter have beaten Catania 2-0 thanks to goals from Antonio Cassano and Rodrigo Palacio at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza. 

The home side were solid in the first period and the excellent Cassano opened the scoring just before the half-hour mark, Cambiasso curling in a beautiful cross which saw Fant’Antonio sneak in round the back to head home and claim his fifth league goal of the season. 

The Nerazzurri took the sting out of the contest after the break but, despite numerous chances, only secured the three points at the death. Palacio scored an absolute peach as he expertly controlled Milito’s cross before drilling a left-foot volley past Andujar. That sealed the win for Inter and they move onto 18 points in the league. (via inter.it)

Read my article on this match – Cassano Shines as Inter beats Catania 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

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

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