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10 December 2011
• Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milano
Referee: P. Tagliavento
• Attendance: 55000
G. Pazzini 41'
Y. Nagatomo 49'
90' + 3'
And that's full time! Ranieri's men are back to winning ways thanks to goals from Pazzini and Nagatomo in the second half. It's back to the drawing board for Rossi who needs to figure out some way to fix Fiorentina's away woes. Thanks for joining us here at Goal.com!
90' + 1'
De Silvestri takes a delightful turn to leave Muntari in his dust, and then plays in a great cross right to Behrami. The midfielder cannot aim his header however as it flies off target.
Some confusion in the Inter box- both Samuel and Gilardino looked to have taken a touch on a cross, and as the ball goes out Inter are awarded the goalkick.
All of Fiorentina's late pressing has amounted to nothing as of yet as Inter look to be cruising towards a home victory tonight.
Gilardino fails to test Julio Cesar after diving low to head the ball from the cross.
Julio Cesar dives to his left to catch the ball after Silva did well to rise above the Inter defence and head the ball on target from close range.
PAZZINI FAILS TO BEAT BORUC IN A ONE-ON-ONE! Muntari plays a ball through two defenders to get to Pazzini alone in the box. With only the keeper to beat, the striker cannot lift the ball up over the sliding Boruc. Incredible!
Cambiasso has been quite dominant in the midfield today and intercepts another pass to ensure his side gets possession. Fiorentina have a mountain to climb at this point but refuse to accept the loss and press forward instead.
Lucio continues a rather assured display at the back with a good header to prevent Gilardino from getting the ball in the box, followed by another clearance a few seconds later.
Inter getting a bit too aggressive with their passes, epitomized by Zarate's failure to control a rather tough pass from Nagatomo.
Behrami wants a call on Cambiasso's challenge but in the end, Tagliavento gives the free kick to Inter instead.
Muntari somehow fails to score! After a great spell of possession, Maicon makes a superb cross to Muntari who was unmarked in the box. The midfielder slides in but the ball bounces off his leg and just in front of Pazzini before going out of bounds. He really should've scored there!
Motta goes on a confident run in the midfield but he's stopped before he can get too far forward. Rossi throws on another sub, taking off Lazzari for Kharja, who played for Inter on loan last season.
Fiorentina have their second corner of the night after Cambiasso gets the last touch on a dangerous ball. Natali rises to get it but the ball sails over everyone.
Motta plays the ball wide to Nagatomo, who deliberates for a second before decided to fire the shot instead of passing the ball. Boruc does well to get down and smother the shot, however.
Zarate looking lively in front of the box but fails to truly test Boruc as the keeper now has a goal-kick.
Vargas' attempt bounces off Pazzini in the wall and rolls towards the bottom left corner of the net rather slowly. Nothing that Julio Cesar can't handle with ease, and that's a decent chance gone.
Fiorentina have a free kick in an excellent position after Samuel was adjudged to have brought down Silva just a short way outside of the box.
Motta rifles in a shot from outside that box that just skids wide of Boruc's far post!
It's substitutions galore right now as Silva comes off for Ljajic.
Natali does very well to stop Maicon's run in the box just as the fullback looked to be in a very dangerous position. Another substitution soon after, with Milito coming off for Zarate.
Faraoni tries an audacious shot on goal from the right wing and it's not too far off, though it's hit right at Boruc.
Pazzini's cross nearly finds Milito but it's slightly overhit. Sulley Muntari comes on for Coutinho in a bit of an odd move from Ranieri, given how well the latter has been performing. He isn't called "The Tinkerman" for nothing!
Fiorentina try a variety of passes- short lobs, deft touches, a chip- but simply cannot get past the Inter defence at the moment. The home side are looking quite comfortable.
Vargas tries to play the onrushing Gilardino through the Inter defence but the pass is overhit and Julio Cesar is able to collect.
Fiorentina really trying to push forward now but Inter are doing well to soak up the pressure.
Tagliavento blows the whistle on Natali as the defender went up to head the ball on the corner, and it's Julio Cesar's goalkick now.
The away side look to be in real trouble now and need a goal as soon as possible. Gilardino spurns a big chance after substitute Salifu plays a great chipped ball into the box for the striker. Lucio is quick to nip the ball out before the striker can shoot.
Fiorentina now on the attack. De Silvestri gets the ball on the wing and plays in a cross that Samuel heads clear. Inter try to counter but the away team are quick to snatch the ball back.
Munari comes off for Salifu in the first change of the match as Rossi tries something to regain control of the match.
Yellow Card Alessandro Gamberini
Gamberini booked now for taking down Milito near the halfway circle. The captain came in late on the slide and missed the ball entirely.
Goal Yuto Nagatomo
NAGATOMO SCORES! An awful mix up at the back from Fiorentina has led to another inter goal! Pasqual and Behrami try to clear the ball after Nagatomo was sent clear through and the ball luckily bounces off them and into his path. He doesn't fail to score from point blank range! 2-0 to Inter.
The second half is underway and neither side have made a change.
And that's the half. Inter have taken a deserved lead after being in dominant control for most of the first half. Join us in 15 for the second half!
Inter now playing with flair and confidence. Milito tries a flick to get to Coutinho in the box but his pass is cut out.
Assist Philippe Coutinho
Goal Giampaolo Pazzini
PAZZINI SCORES! INTER HAVE TAKEN THE LEAD! And it's no less than they deserve after a great first half display. The striker slipped past Natali to get on the end of a great chip into the box by Coutinho. He puts the deftest of touches on the ball to redirect it past the onrushing Boruc, and Inter are now up 1-0.
Somehow Pazzini fails to make contact with a great cross into the Fiorentina box! The player runs onto the end of it and has to jump to reach the ball but fails to connect and the chance goes begging. Seconds later the player nearly redeems himself after Natali gifts possession away but fails to control it this time.
Ljajic plays in the ball but it only reaches Faraoni, who heads the ball away. It gets to De Silvestri who tries a first time shot from a ways out and fails to hit the target.
Yellow Card Maicon
The first booking of the match has been shown to Maicon for a late challenge on Vargas just outside the Inter box. Free-kick to Fiorentina in a great position.
Vargas and Faraoni tangle in the Inter box and it ends as the ball goes out for a goal-kick.
Faraoni's turn for a long range shot now but he too misses the target.
That was a great play from Inter! Coutinho's fantastic pass leads eventually to Milito sending the ball through for Nagatomo, who forces Boruc out of his net and the goalie does all he can just to nudge the ball out for a corner!
Nagatomo and Cambiasso link up well on the left but the latter's chipped cross is cut out by the Fiorentina defence. Inter once again on the front-foot now but with nothing to show for it.
The corner comes to nothing, however, as Lucio tries to cross but runs out of bounds before releasing the ball.
Coutinho forces a great save from Boruc! The young Brazilian dribbled his way into the box and fired an absolute rifle of a shot that Boruc did well to acrobatically parry out for a corner.
Pazzini tries to dance his way into the box from the left but to no avail. Fiorentina counter and Gilardino tries a cheeky backheel in the box but Lucio clears.
Vargas pulls a Nagatomo and tries a very long range shot but it whizzes far over Julio Cesar's head.
Faraoni earns Inter a corner as his volleyed cross bounces off a defender. The initial corner is too far but Inter regain possession at the back and Maicon crosses right to Boruc.
A great spell of Inter attack ends with a Gamberini intervention. Pazzini is furious and demands a handball call but the referee is simply not having it. The ball hit the captain in the chest, not the arm.
Inter continuing to press here though with less dominance than before as Fiorentina have begun to look much more promising in attack. Neither side has carved out a real chance, however.
Vargas does very well to keep possession near Inter's corner flag, but the subsequent cross is wasted and Inter counter. Maicon plays it to Pazzini in the area, whose first touch is too heavy and the ball rolls out for a goalkick.
The visitors try to play Gilardino into the box but Samuel was watching his run and the ball gets to Julio Cesar without any fuss.
Delio Rossi's men are getting more into the game now, as they're better able to hold possession in the midfield and starting to test Inter at the back.
Yet another free kick to Ranieri's men. Once again it's on the right side and Maicon looks to send it into the box. He plays it very deep and it finds Lucio, whose header sails harmlessly over the crossbar.
Lucio whips in a cross for Pazzini after Inter fail to penetrate the box from the corner, but once again the striker's header is off target.
Great defending from De Silvestri to snatch the ball from Pazzini just as he looked like he was going to turn and shoot.
Lots of free kicks in this so far- another one for Inter now due to Natali's taking down of Pazzini just outside the box on the right. Maicon whips it into the far post and Behrami performs a double clearance to keep Inter from shooting on goal.
Motta's penalized for a sliding tackling on Behrami but the ref avoids taking a card out and limits it to a free-kick.
Poor decision making from Nagatomo there. With numerous players ahead of him in the box, the player goes for a long range shot that ends up off target instead of passing it. He waves his hands in apology afterwards.
Behrami's back defending and nicks the ball off of Pazzini as the striker tried to dribble his way into the box.
Nagatomo plays in a great cross for Pazzini at the far post, but the Italian striker can't get high enough to redirect the ball on target! It bounces off his head and out for a goal-kick.
It's been a bright start by Inter who are playing with a verve and pace often missing this season.
Vargas gets on the end of Boruc's goalkick and immediately lofts the ball through for Gilardino. The striker races down the left channel and nearly gets to the byline before Maicon can catch up. Fiorentina swarm again quickly, however, and Faraoni has to cover for the Brazilian to prevent a cross.
Coutinho once again spearheads the Inter attack and gets the ball to Milito. The striker dances around several defenders and his shot is deflected out for a corner, which comes to little.
Nagatomo capitalizes on a poor clearance from Natali and tries an effort from outside the box but it whizzes wide. This has been quite a bright start from Inter, who have looked very dour at times this season.
Coutinho deftly plays Pazzini right into the middle of the box. The Italian international tries to redirect the ball into the net with his first touch but fails to get past Boruc. The first shot of the game.
Samuel and Cambiasso both go for a header but mix up the hit and the ball falls for a pass to Gilardino. The striker sneaks through the defence but he's offside.
Nagatomo takes Gamberini head-on and wins a throw in deep in Fiorentina's half. Inter use the occasion to try to slip in Pazzini but the pass is overhit and ends up at Boruc.
And we're off! Inter are playing in their traditional black and blue kits whereas Fiorentina are decked all in yellow. The first minute of action ends with a free-kick conceded by Maicon on Vargas on the wing.
Captains Cambiasso and Gamberini exchange flags and handshakes as we're mere moments from kick-off now.
Some more facts to chew over in the minutes before the match begins: Fiorentina have only scored a single goal on the road all season and have yet to win away from home, whereas Inter have only scored five goals in their last five matches in Serie A.
Ranieri can take solace in recent history: the last five matches between these two sides, including the league and Coppa Italia, have resulted in four Inter wins and one draw.
Both teams are looking a little short on bench options at the moment, with Ranieri having slightly more options than Rossi but not by much. Inter subs: Castellazzi, Cordoba, Alvarez, Poli, Zarate, Castaignos, Muntari. Fiorentina subs: Neto, Silva, Kharja, Nastasic, Salifu, Romizi, Romulo.
The visitors on the other hand are missing a number of key players, including Jovetic, Cassani, Montolivo, and Cerci. Boruc; De Silvestri, Gamberini, Natali, Pasqual; Behrami, Munari, Lazzari, Vargas; Ljajic; Gilardino.
The lineups have been announced. Maicon and Lucio return to Inter's defence whereas Faraoni has impressed enough last run out to be given another start today. Julio Cesar; Maicon, Lucio, Samuel, Nagatomo; Faraoni, Thiago Motta, Cambiasso, Coutinho; Pazzini, Milito.
Welcome to Goal.com's match coverage of Inter-Fiorentina! Delio Rossi's men travel to the San Siro, hoping to build on their victory over Roma. Claudio Ranieri are coming off a home loss to Udinese where Pazzini missed a penalty and Javier Zanetti was sensationally sent off.
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