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Stretched To The Limit

There is an old and very well-known saying that goes, “Don’t bite off more than you can chew”.

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.

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Talking Tactics

 
Tactics is a subject that fascinates me.  A subject I am constantly trying to improve my knowledge and understanding off.  I’m always interested in how teams set up and why.  One formation I have never been keen on is any that starts with 3 at the back.  Maybe it was down to lack of understanding, maybe a little ignorance on my part but for me it’s always been simple, 4 at the back at all times.
Over the last 12 months or so anyone who follows Serie A may have noticed that a lot of teams have adopted the three at the back approach, and its slowly being growing on me. At the beginning of the season it was obvious things were not clicking for Inter and all the talk of what formation to adopt was a common subject. When saw Inter line up with three at the back all I could think of was Palermo away, Novara away under Gasperini, I was a worried man.
Several games down the line I find myself trying to use three at the back on football manager, which is obviously a clear mark of approval.
To be fair to Strama he came out and said we can’t find the right balance playing with four at the back an a change was needed for the team to progress. Huge respect for the guy to come and say such a thing.

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

Inter v Sampdoria Preview

Hi guys, this is my first post so I hope you enjoy it!

Inter go into this game on that back of five straight league wins and confidence is sky-high at the Giuseppe Meazza.

Inter recently enjoyed an away win to Bologna which finished 1-3 to the visitors and Inter showed that they are serious about the Champions League spot this season. First of all I would like to point out the recent improvement in Esteban Cambiasso’s performances this season. On Sunday he turned in a magnificent showing with a goal and an assist to help Inter win this game. Cambiasso has always had quality but most of last season he was mediocre and seemed to lack the creative touch we all know he has, much the same story as the rest of the Inter team last season, but he really has stepped up his game this term and is easily one of Inter’s most important players this term, despite his advancing age.

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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

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