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12 January 2013
• Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milano
Referee: D. Celi
• Attendance: 39118
R. Palacio 31'
F. Guarín 54'
As for Inter, they end their miserable winless streak and rise to third place in the table, six points behind leaders Juventus. Andrea Stramaccioni's side face Bologna in midweek, looking to join Lazio and Juventus in the semi-finals of the Coppa Italia. That's all from me, Max Bentley on what has been a comfortable 2-0 home win for Inter over Pescara. Until next time, goodbye!
So, Pescara are unable to achieve another giantkilling but coach Cristiano Bergodi knows that any result against a title-chasing side is a bonus. There is no doubt he will be looking to next week's home clash against Torino as an opportunity to get points back on the board.
FULL TIME: INTER 2 - 0 PESCARA. Inter continue their unbeaten run at the Giuseppe Meazza, extending it to eleven league matches. In truth, it was a comprehensive win for Andrea Stramaccioni's side with Samir Handanovic in the Inter goal rarely troubled. Goals either side of the break from Rodrigo Palacio and Fredy Guarin secured the victory and the margin could have been greater had it not been for the Nerazzurri's profligacy in front of goal.
90' + 2'
Inter continue to attack in search of a third but Rocchi's through ball is well cut out by Giuseppe Colucci.
There will be three minutes of stoppage time. No way back for Pescara now.
Tommasso Rocchi plays an early ball over the top of the defence for Diego Milito and the Argentine looks to cut back onto his right foot but is dispossessed by Marco Capuano.
Rodrigo Palacio departs the field to a standing ovation and is replaced by his international compatriot Diego Milito.
Nearly a nervy moment for Inter when Marco Benassi's backpass has Samir Handanovic scrambling but the Slovakian goalkeeper rushes off his goal-line quickly to prevent Jonathas from stealing in on goal.
Five minutes remaining, can Pescara salvage anything from this contest?
Gianluca Caprari looks to make an instant impact with a cross from the left but Matias Silvestre gets across quickly to make a timely interception.
Rodrigo Palacio has caused the Pescara defence problems all day and he looks to add to his tally when he receives the ball on the left-hand side of the box but he loses his footing at the vital moment and strikes into the side-netting.
Inter nearly wrap up the points when Palacio's well-timed through ball is smashed across goal by Pereira, forcing Perin into a superb stop. Moments later, Pereira turns provider, pulling the ball back for Rocchi but the veteran's shot is well blocked by Terlizzi.
GREAT CHANCE FOR PESCARA! A mix-up at the back allows Jonathas to steal in but he cannot take the ball down and slices an effort high over the crossbar when he really should have hit the target.
Javier Zanetti sends Rodrigo Palacio away just inside the Pescara half and the Argentine only has one thing on his mind. He drives towards goal but is put off by a sliding challenge from Christian Terlizzi and runs the ball out of play.
Tommasso Rocchi nearly gets a goal on his home debut when he connects with Alvaro Pereira's low cross from the left, but Marco Capuano manages to get a vital touch on the ball and Mattia Perin comfortably saves.
Did I just watch an action replay? Jonathas produces a series of stepovers and looks to surge past Chivu but he is outmuscled and once again falls to the deck, shouting for a penalty. The referee looks unconcerned; he went down too easily in my eyes.
Jonathas is demanding a penalty when he goes down under a challenge from Cristian Chivu. The referee rightfully waves away the Brazilian's complaints, it was a fair challenge from the Romanian defender.
Yellow Card Mervan Çelik
Mervan Celik is the latest name in the referee's book after he is cautioned for a foul on Cristian Chivu.
Antonio Cassano's day is over and he is replaced by 35-year-old Tommasso Rocchi who is making his debut at the Giuseppe Meazza.
This time the Scandinavian duo manage to link up but Mervan Celik's header from Bjarnason's cross loops over the crossbar.
Yellow Card Antonio Balzano
Antonio Balzano is the first Pescara man in the book for handball.
Birkir Bjarnason looks to play a neat one-two with Mervan Celik on the edge of the box but the Icelandic's flick cannot find the Swede. Not much going right in the final third for Cristiano Bergodi's side.
First change of the game for the Delfini as Emmanuel Cascione replaces Matti Lund Nielsen.
This game is really stretched now with Pescara pushing forward in search of a route back into this match. Inter enjoy a patient build-up on the edge of the box but Antonio Balzano anticipates the play excellently to dispossess Guarin.
Pescara have not given up hope just yet and Mervan Celik produces a smart turn on the edge of the box to evade two Inter defenders but his shot is struck weakly into the gloves of Handanovic.
IT SHOULD BE THREE! Rodrigo Palacio plays an inch-perfect pass behind the Pescara defence for Antonio Cassano and the Italian looks to repay the favour but overhits his pass when he should really have found the Argentine. The ball manages to find its way to Guarin but his shot flashes across goal and out for a goalkick.
Yellow Card Marco Benassi
Marco Benasi receives a yellow card on his Serie A debut for a mistimed challenge on Giuseppe Colucci.
INTER NEARLY MAKE IT THREE! With their tails up, Inter look to inflict more misery on Pescara and Cassano's through ball strikes the heels of Guarin before falling to Palacio but the Argentine is prevented a second goal after a wonderful block from Capuano.
Assist Rodrigo Palacio
Goal F. Guarín
GUARIN EXTENDS INTER'S LEAD!! Rodrigo Palacio is the architect as he collects the ball on the right-hand side of the box, feinting his way past one defender before rolling the ball across goal for his Colombian teammate who had the simple task of converting from close range. Long way back for Pescara now.
Pescara attack down the other end with Matti Lund Nielsen but his looped cross is well caught by Handanovic.
SO CLOSE FROM JONATHAN! Fredy Guarin surges down the right flank before pulling the ball back for the Brazilian right wing-back, and his fizzing drive just goes the wrong side of the post.
Vladimir Weiss looks to add to his three-goal tally in Serie A with a shot from the edge of the box but watches his effort fly harmlessly over Handanovic's goal. The Slovenian goalkeeper has hardly been tested so far.
Pescara look to cause Inter problems with their aerial prowess and bombard a series of crosses into the box, but the Nerazzurri rearguard stands firm to clear.
Alvaro Pereira lays the ball off to Marco Benasi on the edge of the box but the 18-year-old's curling effort strikes the frame of Manuel Capuano. 21 years separate Benasi and his midfield partner Javier Zanetti. The Argentine captain proving a good influence so far.
Yellow Card Rodrigo Palacio
YELLOW CARD: Rodrigo Palacio is shown the first yellow card of the match for kicking the ball into the back of the net after the whistle. The Argentine looked to have sprung the offside trap from Fredy Guarin's neat pass but the linesman had raised his flag for offside. Not too sure about that decision...
The second half is underway at the Giuseppe Meazza.
Here is the half-time analysis of my Goal.com correspondent Daniel Edwards: "So far it's been very straightforward for Inter, although they will be glad to have registered on the scoresheet after squandering several chances in a one-sided half. Palacio has given the Pescara defence serious grief with his tireless running and talent with the ball, but Inter will now be looking for Cassano to come into the game a little more. If the forward can match the level shown by his partner and impose himself on the visitors, we could be looking at a big scoreline today."
Inter fans, which transfer signing could help fire you back up the table and into the Scudetto chase? Pescara fans, who do you feel could help you to stay clear of the drop zone? Let me know your thoughts via Twitter @MaxBentley1.
HALF TIME: INTER 1 - 0 PESCARA. Rodrigo Palacio's well-taken effort on 31 minutes after good work from Cristian Chivu and Antonio Cassano separates the sides at the break. There have not been too many clear-cut chances for either team but Jonathan really should have doubled Inter's lead seconds before the break when he blazed wide when through on goal. Antonio Cassano has looked lively for the home side but as it stands, Pescara could still take something from this match. A big second-half awaits...
45' + 1'
WHAT A CHANCE FOR INTER! Antonio Cassano is the architect as he splits the Pescara defence with a incisive slide pass and with the goal gaping, Jonathan somehow fires wide of the target. That should really have been 2-0!
Pescara launch one last attack at the end of the half and with numbers in the box, Francesco Modesto wastefully overhits his cross.
Giuseppe Colluci looks to restore parity just before the break but his ambitious long-range piledriver flashes high over the crossbar.
Vladimir Weiss looks to embark on one of his trademark mazy runs but he is stopped in his tracks by a fantastic tackle from Marco Benassi. The Slovakian has yet to get going for Pescara.
Only a few minutes remaining until the break and it is Inter who hold a slender advantage. Andrea Stramaccioni's side have enjoyed 63% possession in this opening period.
CHANCE FOR PESCARA! Cambiasso concedes a freekick 25 yards from goal and Giuseppe Colucci opts to shoot for goal, but his curling effort is collected by Handanovic at the second attempt.
Antonio Cassano is looking to drop deep and feed balls into the path of Palacio. He once again collects the ball on the edge of the box, but his dinked through ball is expertly intercepted by Marco Capuano.
Mervan Celik has not seen too much of the ball in this first half and his first shot on goal from the edge of the box lacks conviction and is easily saved by Handanovic.
Alvaro Pereira looks to send Palacio away with a long ball over the top of the defence, but the pass is slightly overhit and skids clear for a goalkick.
Inter have really taken control of this game now and they look the most likeliest to score again before the break. Cristiano Bergodi must be hoping for a spark of magic from somewhere. Ten minutes until the break.
Inter look to double their lead when Fredy Guarin eyes up goal from distance, but the Colombian's effort is deflected wide of the goal by the outstretched boot of Terlizzi.
Assist Antonio Cassano
Goal Rodrigo Palacio
GOAL INTER!! Rodrigo Palacio breaks the deadlock just after the half-hour mark, collecting Cristian Chivu's pass after a neat dummy by Antonio Cassano, and turning past Christian Terlizzi before firing low into the bottom right corner. Top finish from the Argentine, his sixth league goal of the season.
The Inter fans appeal for a penalty when Palacio goes down under a challenge from Bjarnason but the referee rightfully waves play on. From a resulting corner, Alvaro Pereira blasts over from just inside the box.
Inter continue to press but this Pescara defence has been well-disciplined so far and Giuseppe Colluci is the latest man to break down an attack as he dispossesses Javier Zanetti on the edge of the box.
Inter win a freekick in a dangerous position and it is Fredy Guarin who takes it. The Colombian scored a deflected freekick against Verona in the Coppa Italia but he cannot replicate that effort as his fierce drive rises over the crossbar.
Inter attack down the right with Jonathan and the Brazilian looks to pick out Pereira on the back post, but Antonio Balzano rises highest to make a crucial header. The Pescara defence is yet to be breached.
Esteban Cambiasso requires treatment after a clash of heads. In the stands today is Wesley Sneijder. Will this be his last appearance at the Giuseppe Meazza ahead of a potential move to Galatasaray?
CLOSE FROM INTER! Antonio Cassano is starting to grow into this game and the Italian striker slips a delightful pass into the path of the onrushing Alvaro Pereira on the left-hand side of the box but the Uruguayan is adjudged marginally offside, despite firing wide.
Inter have started to dictate play here at the Giuseppe Meazza but it is Jonathas who attempts to bundle his way through the Inter defence, but Matias Silvestre stands firm to make a crucial interception.
Serie A debutant Marco Benassi has enjoyed a steady start in the opening 17 minutes and he sends an effort towards goal which is deflected over the top for a corner. From the resulting set-piece, Pescara struggle to deal with Cambiasso's header back across goal and Cassano forces Perin into a good save at his near post.
Pescara are looking to hit balls over the top of the Inter defence for Celik and Jonathas to steal in behind but they have not had much luck so far. The Delfini just lacking a bit of quality in the final third.
Cristian Chivu looks to join the Inter attack from deep and he finds Palacio on the edge of the box, but the Argentine's flick cannot find its way to Cassano and Pescara clear their lines.
Both sides looking to get an early advantage here and Jonathas is the latest player to try his luck on goal, but the Brazilian skews his shot wide of Handanovic's left post.
Alvaro Pereira embarks on a lung-busting run down the left, flying past two defenders, but the Uruguayan fails to pick out Rodrigo Palacio in the middle.
Esteban Cambiasso has been excellent in the opening minutes of this match and he is in the right place once again to intercept Vladimir Weiss' dangerous pass. The Argentine does not look out of place at all in the back three.
SO CLOSE FROM INTER! When Birkir Bjarnason's freekick is headed clear, the Nerazzuri launch a counter-attack through Javier Zanetti. The veteran finds Antonio Cassano with a neat pass who in turn chips a pass into Rodrigo Palacio who does well to surge past a defender but his shot from an acute angle runs across the face of goal.
Pescara win two corners after a good spell of pressure. However, the deliveries fail to beat the first man and Inter safely clear.
Pescara launch their first attack of the match and Mervan Celik looks to steal in behind Esteban Cambiasso, but the Argentine midfielder does well to clear.
Inter are very comfortable in possession in the opening moments and they nearly threaten Mattia Perin's goal when Palacio looks to latch onto Marco Capuano's feeble header, but the goalkeeper is off his line quickly to collect.
Quick start from the home side who look to attack down the right with Rodrigo Palacio but there is no blue and black shirt to meet the Argentine's cross at the back post.
Slight delay as the referee waits for Jonathan to tie up his boots...
The teams have emerged from the tunnels and Inter are set to get this contest underway.
In the reverse fixture earlier this season, Inter collected a 3-0 victory courtesy of goals from Wesley Sneijder, Diego Milito and Philippe Coutinho. With the Dutch midfielder seemingly headed for the exit door, who do you feel would be a suitable signing for this Inter side?
As for Pescara, top goalscorers Vladimir Weiss and Mervan Celik (3 goals) both start but there is no starting berth for Juan Fernando Quintero who is on international duty with Colombia at the Under-20 South American Championships. Uros Cosic is injured and captain Emmanuel Cascione is only fit enough for the bench after suffering from toothache.
Esteban Cambiasso once again takes his place in an unconventional central defensive role due to the suspensions to Andrea Ranocchia and Juan Jesus. With injury problems mounting up in the Inter midfield, 18-year-old Marco Benassi is handed his first league start while top goalscorer Diego Milito has not quite reached match fitness, meaning that Rodrigo Palacio partners Antonio Cassano up front.
Pescara (4-3-1-2): Perin; Balzano, Capuano, Terlizzi, Modesto; Nielsen, Colucci, Bjarnason; Weiss; Jonathas, Celik Subs: Pelizzoli, Falso, Zanon, Cascione, Romagnoli, Abbruscato, Bocchetti, Vukusic, Blasi, Caprari
Inter (3-4-1-2): Handanovic; Silvestre, Cambiasso, Chivu; Jonathan, Zanetti, Benassi, Pereira; Guarin; Cassano, Palacio Subs: Belec, Di Gennaro, Coutinho, Mudingayi, Mariga, Rocchi, Obi, Gargano, Milito, Duncan, Bianchetti, Livaja
Here is tonight's team news, starting with the Nerazzurri...
Pescara have enjoyed a change in fortunes recently, winning three of their last four Serie A matches and the Delfini sit four points above the drop zone in 16th place. Inter, on the other hand, have only taken one point from their last three league matches. You feel that three points are imperative tonight if Andrea Stramaccioni's side want to stay in the hunt for the league title.
Good evening folks. Tonight's Serie A match-up features an Inter side who are still hurting from that 3-0 away defeat to Udinese last weekend and they look to get their Scudetto charge back on course when they take on Cristiano Bergodi's resurgent Pescara side, who produced one of the shock results last weekend when they ended Fiorentina's unbeaten home record by triumphing 2-0. Bringing you up-to-date with all the action from the Giuseppe Meazza, my name is Max Bentley. Feel free to get in touch and let me know your thoughts and predictions on the match via Twitter @MaxBentley1.
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