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29 October 2013
• Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia, Bergamo
Referee: N. Rizzoli
• Attendance: 16511
G. Denis 25'
R. Álvarez 16'
That's all we have time for from tonight's only Serie A encounter, but I hope that you enjoyed Atalanta's hard-fought 1-1 draw with Inter. I've been Simon Harrison, and I hope to see you again next time.
On the balance of play, the draw was the correct result, given that neither goalkeeper was particularly troubled in the second half, when both teams needed that elusive second goal. Yepes went closest, forcing Carrizo into a decent reflex save, but it wasn't to be.
A breakthrough goal from Ricky Alvarez gave the visitors the lead, after lax defending from Stendardo, before an equaliser via the notorious source of German Denis clawed the home side deservedly level.
FULL TIME! Inter are held in Bergamo, as an impressive first half display from Atalanta earns the hosts a very valuable point. Mazzarri may have expected victory from his players, but a point on the road to one of Serie A's in-form outfits certainly isn't embarrassing.
90' + 3'
PALACIO! Excellent covering defending from Canini! The central defender manages to prevent the in-form Argentine from cutting inside, and that should ensure the hosts a point!
90' + 2'
ALVAREZ! What a strike from the Argentine, if that he gone in the stadium would have erupted! A 35 yard thunderbolt whistles inches past Consigli's top corner, that was an audacious effort, but it nearly worked!
90' + 1'
Three minutes of added time have been awarded by the fourth official, leaving a very small window of opportunity for a winning goal!
MARILUNGO! The Italian gets up above Nagatomo at the back post, but can only nod a looping header out of play for a goal kick. A horrendous effort from the substitute, his only saving grace was that he made the run to challenge for the cross.
Yellow Card Walter Samuel
Only a few minutes remaining, but there doesn't look to be another goal in this game. Atalanta are keen to hold onto their current share of the spoils, with Inter not having looked too dangerous for the majority of the match.
Yellow Card Giulio Migliaccio
A stray arm from Migliaccio! The substitute looks to catch Cambiasso in the face, but the referee calmly strides over to brandish only a yellow card. A red would have been harsh there, but there was no reason for the midfielder to challenge in such a way.
Icardi takes the ball down wonderfully on his chest, to pluck it out of the air on the edge of the penalty area, but his next touch doesn't quite match the previous control. Nagatomo looks to claim the loose ball, but the linesman raises his flag for offside.
A poor ball from Kovacic, and the youngster hasn't had the best game this evening. Inter briefly claim for a penalty, as Stendardo looked to perhaps grab at the shirt of Alvarez, but the referee waves away the decision - there didn't look to be anything in it.
Inter are seeing much more of the ball, with Atalanta now happy to sit deep in their own half and soak up the pressure. Denis is being left alone up front, as the hosts look to take a point from this hard-fought game.
WHAT A SAVE! Yepes is denied by a reflex save from Carrizo, who sticks out a foot by complete instinct to kick the ball clear of danger! The Colombian placed it too close to the goalkeeper, but that was a great stop from the substitute goalkeeper.
Ten minutes left of this game, and it's in danger of petering out. Inter look to more likely to create something in the dying embers of the game, but Atalanta haven't been troubled much and their survivability has been well documented in the build-up to this fixture.
Inter are beginning to step things up a gear, and are taking this game Atalanta a little bit. A slightly negative substitution from Colantuono perhaps suggests that the hosts are prepared to hold onto a point from this game, rather than go for a gung-ho approach.
DENIS! This time, Samuel is nowhere to be seen, with Denis rising fantastically to beat Rolando to a deep cross. It loops towards goal, but Carrizo is able to claim easily from under his crossbar. That's the first time we've seen anything of the Argentine after the break.
Excellent footwork from Nagatomo! He skips away from three players, with a series of intelligent tricks, but his cross is poor. It bounces into the grateful grasp of Consigli, who hasn't had a great deal to do in this second half, it must be said.
MARILUNGO! The Atalanta substitute finds himself on the edge of the box, but fails to get the correct connection on the ball to send it goalwards! It bobbles through to Carrizo. The crack of Icardi's strike hitting the woodwork appears to have sparked both the game and atmosphere into life!
ICARDI! The substitute manages to weave beyond Yepes, turning with agility that the Colombian just doesn't possess anymore! He fires a rocket of a shot towards the near post, but sees his effort crack off the foot of the post! So close for Inter!
Great defensive header from Marilungo! He manages to find himself at the back post, nodding a dangerous ball away from under the crossbar! Inter are finally pressing and look likely to find the next goal!
Good defending from Samuel! He's been much more solid in the second half, preventing Denis from dominating in the air and using his wealth of strength and experience to muscle players off the ball.
Twenty minutes left on the clock, and a draw looks to be written all over this game. A lack of tempo and creation, with neither side seemingly possessing the endeavour to outdo their opponents. More substitutions needed to change the complexion of the game, perhaps.
CAMBIASSO! The central midfielder proves his worth with a scrappy clearance off the line for Inter! A near post header from a corner caused the problems yet again, with Atalanta looking as though they'd managed their second goal of the game. Good stuff from Cambiasso to deny them.
Denis penalised for a high foot on Samuel, and the referee gives the goalscorer a stern warning not to repeat such actions again. That was a rather ridiculous attempt at controlling the ball, in fairness, he nearly separated Samuel's neck from his head.
No chances for either side, with both managers looking to their respective benches to try and drag this game out of its stupor. Not much in the way of creation for either team.
Atalanta haven't really been in this second half, and the home crowd is getting a little restless, jeering and whistling the performance of their side. Inter haven't been too much better however, with Guarin in particular misplacing a lot of passes.
ALVAREZ! Denied by Consigli! The Argentine worked his way to the byline, selfishly taking the ball on instead of crossing it! He tries his luck from a tight angle, looking to tuck the ball home, but Consigli was equal to it!
Good idea from Guarin! The Inter midfielder looked to slip a ball diagonally across the penalty area, allowing for Palacio to pick up possession and continue his run, but the attempted pass was a little too heavy, allowing for Consigli to collect.
Yellow Card Michele Canini
ALVAREZ! The Argentine thinks that he has scored, but the linesman's flag was already up for the run of Rodrigo Palacio, who had taken the ball around the goalkeeper, allowing for Alvarez to tap home. The Argentinian duo are unhappy, but that was a good decision from the official.
Good block from Rolando! The Portuguese manages to prevent a cross from reaching Denis, but Atalanta retain possession. Livaja manages to pick up the loose ball, but he fires his effort directly at Carrizo, who spills before claiming at the second attempt.
Inter get their foot on the ball, enjoying their first real spell of possession in the second half. Alvarez and Guarin see plenty of the ball, before an incisive ball from the latter is put behind for an Inter corner. The resulting set piece comes to nothing.
A scrappy first ten minutes of the second half have gone by, and we haven't seen too much to be all that excited about. Niggling fouls and poor deliveries have plagued the game after the break, and it's not the free-flowing exciting football from the first half, that's for sure.
Yellow Card Guglielmo Stendardo
The first yellow card of the match goes to Stendardo, who will miss his next Serie A match against Livorno after that. He left a high foot in on Alvarez, who threw himself on the ground holding his face.
ALVAREZ! The Inter goalscorer meets the corner, but fails to turn it towards goal. The referee had already blown his whistle for a tug on Yepes' shirt by Samuel. The two veterans have been fond of the odd tussle in this game.
CAMBIASSO! A good strike from range from the Argentine, but it was at a fantastic height for Consigli to deal with it. The Atalanta goalkeeper is taking no chances however, and beats it away for a corner.
No chances for either side, and the second half seems a little more cagey than the first. Possession is being given away needlessly with no end product, but Inter won't mind allowing the home side to stagnate a little.
Good blocks from Rolando and then Jonathan prevent two deliveries for Atalanta from the left, before the Brazilian looks to turn defence into attack quickly with a lofted ball down the line - which Guarin fails to keep in play.
Miscommunication between Guarin and Jonathan, as the Colombia international played a lovely ball out to the right wing for his teammate, but Jonathan didn't even make the required run. Things haven't quite clicked going forward for Inter, any success has been purely individual.
Cigarini goes down in the penalty area, after the Italian midfielder tried to skip past Jonathan, but the referee rightly spotted that the Atalanta man had merely lost his footing. Guarin tries an outrageous 35 yard strike that goes well wide, causing the home crowd to jeer rather loudly.
We are back underway for the second half, with the hosts presumably looking for a second goal to be rewarded for their excellent efforts thus far. With a change of goalkeeper for their opposition, I'm sure that the likes of Livaja and Denis will be keen to test the replacement early on.
A half time change of goalkeepers looks likely for Inter, after Handanovic seemed to have some kind of hip or rib complaint. Carrizo has been warming up on the field at the break, and the Argentine will be looking to have another good impact on a game for the first team.
Plenty of positives for Atalanta, as Inter have been limited to a few half chances but nothing more. Nagatomo struck the post and a few crosses have skidded dangerously through the penalty area, but Consigli has been a relatively untroubled man.
HALF TIME! The referee calls time on the opening 45 minutes, with the hosts presumably very happy with their first half display. Ricky Alvarez wrongfully grabbed the lead against the run of play for Inter, before an excellent Denis header levelled things up.
Saved by Consigli! Cambiasso whipped in a devilish corner delivery, which actually tested the Italian goalkeeper direct from the set piece! Consigli beats it out of the six yard box, and Inter are unable to capitalise on the presence of the loose ball.
Good ball from Jonathan! The Brazilian ghosts past his marker with a turn of pace, before clipping a low delivery towards Palacio! It skids off the turf and behind for a goal kick, but the idea was there from the wing-back.
POST! NAGATOMO! The Japanese international strikes the top of the post, after lovely footwork from Jonathan allowed for Inter to retain the ball and shift it wide to Guarin. The Colombian's ball invited Nagatomo on, but Consigli will have been glad to hear it thwack off the woodwork!
DENIS! Excellent patient build up play from Atalanta! The ball is worked from defence to the right flank, allowing for Moralez to deliver yet another cross in search of their Argentine goalscorer. He beats Samuel to the ball, but Rolando is able to clear the loose ball. Denis is a handful tonight!
Just under ten minutes to go until the end of the first half, and we've had a rather action packed first 45 minutes here! The scores are level, but Atalanta could easily be ahead tonight, with Ricky's converted chance being the only real opportunity that Mazzarri's men have created.
Good defending from Yepes! A nice first time ball from Kovacic finds Jonathan free on the right flank, who stands up a ball to the back post. The delivery invites Palacio to attack it, but Yepes manages to reach the ball first, half-clearing before a teammate hoofs it further clear.
BRIVIO! The marauding wing-back steams in at the back post, hoping to connect with a Raimondi delivery, but he jumps too earlier and agonizingly sees the ball pass over his head.
While Guarin receives a little bit of treatment in the centre of midfield, Handanovic asks for a physio to liberally apply some spray to his midriff, seemingly. It looks as though the goalkeeper may have some rib complaints, although it's not entirely clear as to what is bothering him.
DENIS! CARMONA! The Atalanta goalscorer rises well to beat Samuel to yet another aerial duel, but can't direct the ball towards goal! Carmona manages to pick up the rebound, but can only divert it comfortably into the sprawling grasp of Handanovic!
Moralez manages to weave his way into the penalty area, inside of Alvarez, before the Argentine goes down, claiming for a penalty. The referee waves it away, but it did look as though Ricky has his arms on the Atalanta playmaker.
Canini goes down under a challenge from Rolando, and Jonathan is incensed that the free-kick was given, as the diminutive Brazilian looked to race into the space left by the injured Atalanta defender. The surface is rather slippery this evening, players need to be careful with their challenges.
ALVAREZ! Nagatomo and the Inter goalscorer exchange passes quickly, allowing for the latter to get a bit of space to deliver from deep on the left. He arrows a ball to the near post, but Consigli gets there ahead of Palacio!
Unfortunate for Kovacic! The Croat, who has been a little anonymous thus far, managed to loop a ball over the Atalanta defence in search of his strike partner Palacio, but he puts a little too much on it. Good idea, but Consigli collects.
It's all square now, and deservedly so! Atalanta have had much the better of the opening stages, and it was a travesty that the hosts were behind! Confidence is coursing through the home side, and Mazzarri would be right to be worried!
Assist Maximiliano Moralez
Goal Germán Denis
GOOOOOOAL! DENIS CONVERTS! The crowd go wild! The hosts have levelled, and it's no surprise that it is Denis! He loves scoring against Inter! Moralez whipped in a ball from the right hand side, and a pinpoint header from Denis loops into the far corner past the helpless goalkeeper!
YEPES! The Colombian goes close yet again! Handanovic is forced to palm over his crossbar, after a powerful header from the ex-Rossoneri defender looked to be nestling in the top corner! Good save.
Smoke is obscuring Handanovic's goal slightly, following the use of pyrotechnics by some of the fans in the stadium. The atmosphere is certainly intimidating for either side, but there shouldn't be any issue with play continuing. Atalanta continue to have their tails up.
Handanovic claims a cross from Brivio, as the wide midfielder managed to whip in a delivery amidst explosions from the away end! The Inter number one does seem a little troubled, however, he may have picked up a niggling injury there.
Although the breakthrough goal may have looked to motivate Inter into improvement, Atalanta have reacted well to conceding early on. The hosts have managed plenty of corners, with Yepes now going close! He'd have loved to score, having played for Milan in seasons gone by!
Well, Inter managed to drag themselves out of a rather slow and sloppy start, courtesy of a flicked header from Rodrigo Palacio and a rather neat finish from Ricky. Poor defending from Stendardo, however, the Argentine shouldn't have had enough time and space to convert there.
Assist Rodrigo Palacio
Goal Ricardo Álvarez
GOOOOAL! RICKY ALVAREZ OPENS THE SCORING! It's against the run of play, but the away side have the lead! The chance looked to have disappeared for the Argentine, but a lack of pressure from his marker allowed for the midfielder to control and then wriggle the ball home between the legs of Stendardo! 1-0 INTER!
Colantuono is vastly the more demonstrative of the two managers, with the balding coach a constant vocal and physical presence on the sideline. His barking instructions will be vital for Atalanta maintaining this good start, Inter have been restricted to two crosses into the area.
Unfortunate for Raimondi! The right sided player managed to get beyond Nagatomo with a rather heavy touch, but with such force that it rolls out of play. His embarrassment is spared, however, as the linesman had his flag raised for offside.
Plenty of Inter's threats come from down either flank, with wing-backs Jonathan and Nagatomo giving plenty of width, but the away side are yet to really use their most lethal outlets. Atalanta look comfortable, and will be pleased with how this game has started.
Mazzarri looks furious with the start that the visitors have made, as Atalanta enjoy plenty of possession deep in the Inter half. Palacio has seen barely any of the ball, as the hosts looked to continue their recent good form.
GREAT BLOCK! Guarin nods the ball off of the line, after Handanovic came but got nowhere near a flicked near post header! Canini thought he'd been gifted a goal, but the Colombian made the important goal line clearance!
Another free-kick in a dangerous area for Atalanta, which Moralez will be happy to take. Alvarez was the aggressor, but the youngster certainly isn't happy with the decision and has to be calmed down by Cambiasso.
Excellent defending from Samuel! The Argentine denies his fellow countryman Denis, stepping out of the six yard line to make a vital interception, as Raimondi looked to supply the Atalanta dangerman with a good ball.
PALACIO! Nagatomo is fed behind the lines, before the Japan international reaches the byline and cuts the ball back in search of a teammate. Palacio reaches the delivery, but Consigli manages to make the save again.
GUARIN! The Colombian is teed up for a strike on the edge of the box after good work from Jonathan, and Consigli spills what is an easy save, to give Inter their first corner of the game!
Atalanta win the first corner of the game, but Rolando heads away with ease. Just to mention, the hosts are wearing their customary Nerrazzurri colours of black and blue, with Inter donning a white away strip.
Livaja automatically causes a few problems, picking up a free-kick around 30 yards from goal, as Cambiasso brings down the Croatian. It seems that he's motivated to perform well against his former club.
And we are underway in the only Serie A match-up of the evening! Things got off to a scrappy start, however, as Rolando immediately is penalised for a foul.
The players have taken to the field, and we are literally moments from kick off now! The fans sound as though they are in reasonable voice, and Mazzarri sits patiently in his dugout, waiting for the referee's whistle.
We're now under ten minutes until kick-off, and Inter would be very wrong to underestimate Atalanta this evening. Many top sides struggle whilst on their travels to Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia, and Mazzarri's men should be no different whatsoever!
The dangermen for either side can be located up top, with the compatriots of Rodrigo Palacio and German Denis set to be the most likely source of goals in this fixture. Walter Samuel certainly has his work cut out, in something of an Argentine duel.
There is no Hugo Campagnaro for the visitiors, nor Ishak Belfodil following his red card against Hellas Verona. Giacomo Bonaventura and Gianpaolo Bellini are the major absentees for Atalanta, who will be relying on the offensive efforts of Livaja to fill the considerable void.
Inter substitutes: Andreolli, Icardi, Castellazzi, Mudingayi, Kuzmanovic, Wallace, Taider, Ranocchia, Carrizo, Pereira, Donkor, Olsen.
Inter starting line-up: Handanovic; Rolando, Samuel, Juan Jesus; Jonathan, Guarin, Cambiasso, Alvarez, Nagatomo; Kovacic, Palacio.
Atalanta substitutes: Scaloni, Migliaccio, Polito, Baselli, Del Grosso, Cazzola, Gagliardini, Marilungo, Kone, De Luca, Frezzolini.
Atalanta starting line-up: Consiglo; Stendardo, Yepes, Canini; Raimondi, Carmona, Cigarini, Brivio; Moralez; Livaja, Denis.
TEAM NEWS: Walter Samuel returns for the away side, with 20-year-old Marko Livaja facing his former club with the presumable intention of grabbing a goal. As can usually be expected, no Italians are to be seen in Inter's starting eleven!
I'm Simon Harrison, and I will be leading you through the action tonight, as Atalanta face a rather stern test. The hosts have managed three victories in their last five games, a run that has propelled them into ninth. Inter have only lost once in the same time period, however.
Hello and welcome to this evening's solitary Serie A clash, as Inter travel to Bergamo to face Atalanta, who are one of the high flyers in the embryonic stages of this year's league table. Walter Mazzarri's side are sitting in fourth place heading into this game, but will want to stay in touch with the top trio with a win!
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