Excessive self-satisfaction: that was really the only flaw of Inter Milan Sunday. With the score up by three, Abbruscato’s goal, a crossbar, and two great saves by Julio Cesar reminded the Nerazzurri matches last for 90 minutes. Other than that, José Mourinho’s really dominated their Torino opponents, and deservedly closed the game with a 3-1 victory.
Speaking of José, the Inter manager will undoubtedly be happy with all the positive things emanating from Sunday’s match. Everyone played their part: Mancini, Maicon, and Ibrahimovic in the role of the “energizer bunny”, Vieira and Cambiasso the “midfield iron wall”, Julio Cesar the “attentive/miraculous keeper”, while a certain Adriano (yes, believe or not) seems to be (almost) back to his usual self. Only thing left to work on for the Portuguese manager: the aforementioned self-complacency aspect. Plenty of time for that.
(From Gazzetta dello Sport): As any host team should, Torino showed the way in this way, leading the early attacking proceedings into the Inter box. The men of Gianni De Biasi has evidently received specific instructions from their coach, pressuring their opponents high up the field and closing down any space that they could. The Inter forwards were left a bit isolated because of this, and Mourinho repeatedly had to instruct Maicon and Chivu to push up the wings in order to support the offensive effort.
The first chances of the game therefore, were all in favor of the home team. First, Alessandro Rosina sent a left-footed long-ranger inches wide, while Rolando Bianchi seemed to be getting the upper hand on Materazzi, as he connected with a few aerial balls first (sending them wide of the mark). The early chances were however an illusion for Granata supporters, because the scoreline changed as soon as Inter came knocking on Sereni’s door. 24 minutes in, Amantino Mancini exploited a good through ball by Adriano, and sent a cross from the right straight into the net. Of course, Pisano’s unfortunate deflection helped fool the Toro keeper, but it was still 1-0 Inter.
Things really went from bad to worse for Torino, because not even two minutes after conceding the first, the home team conceded a second (an absolutely slamming shot by Maicon from 25 yards, straight into the top-left corner) and then lost Rosina to injury. 2-0 Inter, couple with a big slap in the face for De Biasi.
The Torino coach had to resort to desperate measures in the second half, inserting Simone Barone for Eugenio Corini (also picking up an injury) and sending his team forward, attacking with their heads down. Risky business, but necessary when your team is trailing by two goals. Of course there’s always the risk you’re going to concede a third one on a counter-attack, which is exactly what happened in the the 51st. Zlatan Ibrahimovic was there to finish a play that Maicon started and Mancini continued, or in other words 3-0 Inter.
Game over right? Almost. There were still 40 minutes left in this match, which if you were wearing a black & blue shirt seemed almost like a tedious inconvenience at this point. Mourinho even made attacking substitutions at this point (Quaresma & Balotelli on for Mancini & Adriano), and Inter let their guard down in defense for a little while. Elvis Abbruscato was thus sent free to a winning close-range deflection, while Diana and Bianchi were allowed to unload on the Inter keeper (forced to some great saves in the process). Abbruscato even blasted the ball onto the crossbar, which gave the Torino crowd a bit of pride back.
As for the points… those were all Inter’s.
|GOALSCORERS: 24′ Pisano o.g. (I), 26′ Maicon (I), 51’ Ibrahimovic (I), 76’ Abbruscato (T)
| TORINO (4-3-2-1): Sereni – Diana, Di Loreto, Pratali, Pisano – P.Zanetti (65’ Ogbonna), Corini (46’ Barone), Saumel, Rosina (29′ Abbruscato), Amoruso, Bianchi. (bench: Calderoni, Colombo, Rubin, Ventola). Coach: De Biasi.
| INTER (4-3-3): Julio Cesar – Maicon, Burdisso, Materazzi, Chivu – Vieira, Cambiasso, J.Zanetti, Ibrahimovic (87’ Cruz), Adriano (67’ Balotelli), Mancini (64’ Quaresima). (bench: Toldo, Córdoba, Rivas, Cruz, Crespo, Balotelli). Coach: Mourinho.