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France - Ligue 1
Italy - Serie A
October 26, 2013
• Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milano
Referee: D. Celi
• Attendance: 44097
V. Moras 9' (own goal)
R. Palacio 12'
E. Cambiasso 38'
Raphael Martinho 32'
Shots on Target
That's it from me folks, it's been a pleasure. Till next time.
Controversy after the whistle as both Belfodil and Moras are shown red cards, after a coming-together following their little tussle in the box on the last play of the game! A confusing and senseless end to the game from both sides, and I'm still not quite sure what happened to warrant the double booking. Regardless, Inter take the points quite comfortably, and more back into fourth, leapfrogging Verona in the process.
90' + 4'
Red Card Vangelis Moras
90' + 4'
Red Card Ishak Belfodil
90' + 4'
90' + 3'
Still time for Belfodil to run right into Moras inside the area. Not even a blind referee would have awarded a penalty there.
90' + 3'
Iturbe's chip fails to reach Toni, and Rolando heads the ball away from the edge of the box. And that might just be that, Verona plum out of ideas.
90' + 1'
Yellow Card Juan Iturbe
90' + 1'
Guarin gets ambitious out of nowhere with a speculative 35 yards drive that sails miles over the crossbar. Meanwhile, three minutes of added time have been signaled.
Yellow Card Jonathan
Guarin does excellently to orchestrate an Inter break through some sublime technique, and Belfodil is teed up for a shot from the left, but Rafael is on it all the way, though he can't keep a hold of the ball.
Inter pacing their own half very well, as Verona are frustrated on the ball. No openings for the visitors.
Toni catches a volley well on Cacciatore's cross, but stiff marking from Jonathan puts him off the shot in the end and it goes wide. Another one dries up for Verona.
Nagatomo curls another promising shot inches wide of the far post, similar to the effort that led to Inter's third goal of the game.
Time just beginning to slip away from the visitors here. They've held the ball quite well in the last few minutes, but have not created more than half-openings on Carizzo's goal.
Iturbe again forgoes passing options to have a go at goal from long range. It's on target again, but Carizzo once more has the measure of it quite comfortably.
Ball in the net from Toni, but the whistle has gone! The linesman did have his flag up early, but a very harsh decision as the veteran striker seemed to have converted a close range volley from a cross with no infraction!
Verona not out of this just yet, Iturbe advancing down the centre and letting fly from 30 yards! Carizzo spots it all the way though, and saves the effort.
Just reward for a solid spell of Verona pressure, but do Verona have another two goals in them? Still hard to see Inter throwing this lead away.
Assist Luca Toni
Toni the architect again, holding the ball up well before squaring it to Romulo, who drills a fine low finish between the post and Carizzo's outstretched hand.
VERONA PULL ANOTHER BACK!
Chance for number five, as Kuzmanovic has options ahead of him on an Inter break, but cannot beat the first defender with a disappointing through pass.
Yellow Card Marco Donadel
Inter taking the sting out of this game, on the back of an eminently comfortable three goal cushion. The fans enjoying every minute of this as their side are set to move back into the Serie A top four.
Off goes Palacio, on comes Belfodil - such an impressive performer off the bench in Inter's 3-3 epic against Torino last week.
A belated attack from Verona, as Iturbe touches a neat little ball under pressure to Toni, who cannot sort out his feet in time and blasts the ball over.
Nine corners for Inter, which have been parlayed into three goals.
Everyone wants a piece of the action! Jonathan gets forward well on the right, and curls in a delicious effort with his left foot that is bent the wrong side of the post!
This could get ugly for Verona, who have shown absolutely nothing in this second half to suggest that they have even a goal in them. Inter are flying here, and could run away with this.
Nagatomo nearly slides the ball in for what would surely have been number five, but Verona just about manage to get the ball away from danger.
Another corner, another notch on the scoreboard. Yet again it's Cambiasso with the delivery, yet again it's Palacio with the key touch, and this time Rolando is the beneficiary, stabbing the ball him from right on the line.
INTER HAVE NUMBER FOUR!
Yellow Card Rodrigo Palacio
A long ball over the top finds Palacio, the assistant's flag goes up for offside as the ref signals, but the Argentine stabs the ball home anyway. He's claiming that he did no hear the whistle, but the referee is having none of it. Yellow for Palacio but I'll tell you, on replays, he looked to be right in line with the last defender.
Oof. Jonathan whacks an intended crossfield ball right off the face of Guarin, with an dull thud. That one stung, even though Guarin will never show it.
Palacio has been an absolute nuisance all game having a big hand in all three of Inter's goals. Hardly the most pretty play from him today, but my goodness has it been effective on the scoreboard. Huge hustle points.
Rolando rises highest to get on the end of a good set piece, but this time, Inter cannot make a Cambiasso corner count.
Guarin tries to pick out the corner of the goal with a low shot and nearly catches Rafael by surprise, but the keeper read it well in the end and pushes it away.
Verona get the game restarted.
Verona have not been terrible by any stretch, but have fallen victim to the incredibly resourceful Inter, who have, quite literally, bundled home three goals by half time. The Nerazzurri deserve to be in front, and should Verona's defence continue to be reactive rather than proactive, more woe could follow for the visitors in the second half.
45' + 1'
Almost on the stroke of 45 minutes, the referee brings a temporary halt to the game. Half time.
Ricky Alvarez nearly slaloms his way into the box from the left, but Moras and Cacciatore double-tea him out of contention. Palacio tries to whip in the loose ball, but Maietta heads it away. Strong defensive sequence all around from the visitors.
Guarin goes hunting for a fourth Inter goal, and after advancing well through the middle, lets fly from 25 yards, but it's comfortably wide of Rafael's post in the end.
It's been three scrappy goals from the home side, but they've been opportunistic to the fullest, and will take some topping here. Verona have a lot to do to wrest themselves back into contention, but given what they've shown, they're certainly capable.
Assist Rodrigo Palacio
Goal Esteban Cambiasso
Pinball football that goal. Nagatomo bent a lovely shot onto the post, and Palacio seemed to have scuffed the rebound. But it breaks perfectly for Cambiasso, onside at the far post, and he taps in!
Carizzo not the most confident off his line from a corner, but no one in a Verona shirt cam punish him, and Inter are let off the hook.
Toni has gotten a lot of stick throughout his career for being a bit of a donkey at times, but on that play, we saw some of what has made him a success at Palermo, Bayern Munich and Fiorentina in the past. Superb strength and physicality, coupled with an awareness of his fellow striker. A true target man.
Assist Luca Toni
Great play by Toni, who showcases his usual brute strength to hold off a couple of challenges and just about touch a ball into the path of Martinho sprinting through. The forward does not hesitate, striking a fine finish into the corner!
VERONA PULL ONE BACK!
RULED OUT! Excellent pay by Guarin, who parts the Verona defence like the Red Sea, before slipping in Palacio for the finish, but the Argentine was just offside! A late whistle too!
Jonathan very nearly launches in a powerful cross into the path of Palacio, but he gets too much fuel under his fire, drilling the ball too far outside of the danger area.
And the right back is soon booked for complaining to the official. What he was griping about I am not exactly clear.
Yellow Card Fabrizio Cacciatore
CHANCE! Cacciatore does exceptionally well down the right flank to get by Nagatomo and whip in a devilish cross, which Toni meets only to head narrowly over!
Verona need to defend better from these corners, and they mane a positive step in that direction when Maietta gets first to another Cambiasso delivery.
Inter slowing down the play just a tad in the last few minutes, taking advantage of their numbers in the centre to work some efficient passing sequences in midfield.
Confidence is coursing through the veins of the Nerazzurri on every attack. Everyone wants to get involved, even Juan Jesus, who has been spotted on the edge of the area pining for the ball.
The visitors finally get themselves in gear and string together a decent spell of possession, but it's all rather mechanical and harmless. Inter look a class apart whenever they get forward.
The fans inside San Siro are in good spirits, watching their side control matters comfortably on the pitch. I mentioned that Palacio would have a battle against Moras, well, the Argentine has dominated that duel so far. In the buildup to both goals, it was his pressure on the Greek defender that created the key moment of confusion in the area.
Andrea Mandorlini is going insane on the touchline, furiously gesticulating at all an sundry in a yellow jersey. Verona were really lackluster for both goals, which could have easily been prevented with a little less ball-watching. As it stands, the visitors have a long road back with barely a quarter of an hour on the clock.
Goal Rodrigo Palacio
Another scrappy goal from the Nerazzurri, but there's something to be said for creating your own luck. Some more poor Verona defending from a corner, and Guarin strikes it on goal from close range. It may have taken a last touch of Palacio on the goalline, but the end result is the same - goal Inter. 2-0 to the hosts.
INTER HAVE ANOTHER!
Yellow Card Esteban Cambiasso
Not the greatest defending by any stretch from Verona on that corner, and Inter have the wind in their sails now. The hosts keep pushing forward.
Own Goal Vangelis Moras
JONATHAN SLICES IN THE OPENER!
Inter are bossing it in the early goings, but no real chances to speak of so far. It will be a battle for Palacio today against the massive Moras in central defense, the Greek standing at six foot five inches tall.
An important interception by Jonathan, to snuff out Iturbe's pass. Agostini had ghosted in completely unnoticed behind the Brazilian, and would have been clean through on Carizzo had that ball made its way through.
Lovely stuff from Alvarez on the left, cutting onto his left peg to fool Iturbe, but with time to pick out a cross, he sails the ball over the head of a few interested parties in the box.
Inter have held possession consistently since the first whistle, and Cambiasso tries to layer on some pepper at the end of the move with a low drive from 25 yards, but it's rather hopelessly off target.
Off we go then, Inter get the ball rolling.
After some delay, here come the teams from the tunnel. The pre-match formalities are rushed through.
Inter will have to do it without Samir Handanovic this evening, the goalkeeper serving a suspension after his red card against the Granata one week ago. Juan Pablo Carizzo, who saved a penalty with his first touch in that game, will start between the posts, while Ricky Alvarez is also fit enough to play from the beginning.
The Nerazzurri played out a thrilling 3-3 draw against Torino last weekend, and have quite a tricky prospect on hand in last season's Serie B champions. Since winning promotion, Verona have been on a tear, winning five of their first eight games.
Both sides will be keen to come out on top tonight, as they sit a point off each other in the Serie A standings. Verona occupy fourth, with Inter one place behind.
VERONA: Rafael; Cacciatore, Moras, Maietta, Agostini; Romulo, Donati, Jorginho; Iturbe, Toni, Martinho.
INTER: Carrizo; Juan Jesus, Ranocchia, Rolando; Jonathan, Cambiasso, Guarin, Kovacic, Nagatomo; Alvarez; Palacio.
San Siro is the venue, Inter vs Verona is the show. Welcome from me, Keeghann Sinanan, to another evening of Serie A action.
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