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Italy - Coppa Italia
19 December 2012
• Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milano
• Attendance: 11840
A. Cassano 50'
F. Guarín 54'
So, the Verona fairy tale is over as Inter join Roma, Catania, Juventus and fierce rivals AC Milan in the quarter-finals. Thank you for joining me on this enthralling cup tie, good night!
Inter are now unbeaten in their last 28 home meetings against Verona but Andrea Mandorlini can take a lot of positives from tonight's game. His side had chances to score and they proved a real match for the seven-time Coppa Italia champions, particularly in the first half. Verona will continue their push for promotion when they host Juve Stabia on Tuesday night whilst Inter will look to get back to winning ways in Serie A when they take on Genoa at home on Saturday.
FULL TIME: INTER 2 - 0 VERONA. The Nerazzurri march on to the quarter-finals of the Coppa Italia but they were made to work for it against a well-disciplined and spirited Gialloblu. The introduction of Fredy Guarin turned the game in the second half with the Colombian assisting Cassano's opener before he got himself on the scoresheet with a deflected freekick. Verona huffed and puffed all game long but they couldn't find a way past the Inter rearguard which ended with a Rodrigo Palacio cameo in goal. Inter's 10-year unbeaten home cup run continues.
90' + 5'
Valeri Bojinov looks to snatch a consolation with a left-footed piledriver from distance but he watches the ball fly wide of Palacio's post. Only seconds remaining now.
90' + 3'
Verona are refusing to give up hope of a comeback and they attack down the right with Abbate and his cross is flicked towards goal by the head of Carrozza, forcing Palacio into an impressive save. The home fans cheered that as if it were a goal!
90' + 1'
Fredy Guarin has been the game-changer for Inter today and he nearly snatches a third when he surges past Maietta but he blazes his shot high over the bar.
Duncan has been quietly effective in his first start for Inter and the 19-year-old nearly caps it with a goal when he brings down a long ball but his well-struck effort is well parried by Rafael.
Verona continue to pile on the pressure and this time the cross comes in from the right but Armin Bacinovic's header is comfortably saved by Palacio. Can he hold onto his clean sheet?
GREAT CHANCE FOR VERONA! Inter can only half-clear a corner to the edge of the box where Jorginho delivers a cross to the back post. Maietta is unmarked but he does not make good contact with the ball and sees his effort bounce onto the roof of the net. He should have scored from there.
Yellow Card Domenico Maietta
Heart-in-mouth moment for Palacio as Verona whip in a cross from the left but Valeri Bojinov's well-struck effort goes the wrong side of the post. Seven minutes for Inter to hold on.
A Verona attack breaks down allowing Rodrigo Palacio to claim his first touch as goalkeeper. A huge cheer erupts around the Giuseppe Meazza.
Javier Zanetti uses his experience to prevent Alessandro Carrozza from whipping in a cross down the right. The Nerazzurri will be looking to give as much protection as possible to their makeshift goalkeeper.
Castellazzi is leaving the field of play on a stretcher. It seems that Rodrigo Palacio will now undertake goalkeeping responsibilities for the remainder of this match. Inter effectively down to ten men!
Moments after Bacinovic curls an effort over the bar, Bojinov finds Cacia with a neat layoff on the edge of the box and his dipping drive is brilliantly palmed over the bar by Castellazzi. The Inter goalkeeper is once again in discomfort and having used all three substitutions, it seems that an outfield player may have to go in goal. Extraordinary.
Valeri Bojinov spots the run of Alessandro Carozza who had made an excellent dash into the box, but his through pass lacks conviction and it is easily intercepted by Matias Silvestre.
Yellow Card Fredy Guarín
IT SHOULD BE 2-1!! Alessandro Carrozza whips in a cross for Valeri Bojinov whose first touch takes him past Matias Silvestre, six yards out from goal, but he somehow blasts over the bar. What a miss from the former-Manchester City striker.
Inter lose possession through Guarin's sloppy freekick and Verona counterattack with Hallfredsson but he cannot pick out a yellow shirt in the box and the move breaks down.
Yellow Card Daniele Cacia
Antonio Cassano is really enjoying himself now and he sets up Rodrigo Palacio with a neat backheel in the box, but the Argentine's venomous strike is superbly pushed over the top by Rafael.
Antonio Cassano dances his way past two defenders on the edge of the box before drifting a cross to the back post where Javier Zanetti meets it with a fizzing volley which goes just over the bar. That would have been the icing on the cake for Inter.
Remember that Inter have not lost a Coppa Italia match at the Giuseppe Meazza for over 10 years. It seems that that record is set to continue tonight unless the Gialloblu can stage a major fightback.
The corner is swung in to the back post but Verona stand firm to clear their lines. Inter are in complete control now.
Fredy Guarin, who received a one-match league suspension earlier today for comments he made to the referee in the 1-0 loss to Lazio, has really taken this game by the scruff of the neck and he is dictating the midfield battle. He unleashes another shot from distance which takes a slight deflection and goes behind for a corner.
Concern on Inter faces as Luca Castellazzi clutches his shoulder following a save from Emil Hallfredsson's deflected effort. Vid Belec warms up on the touchline.
Verona are a shambles at the moment and a comedy of errors at the back nearly allows Palacio to score a third but Rafael is fortunate to see his goalkick ricochet off the Argentine striker and inches past the post.
Verona are all over the place now and they nearly concede again when Palacio latches onto Cassano's through ball, but his chip is excellently tipped away by the Brazilian goalkeeper.
Goal Fredy Guarín
Yellow Card Emil Hallfredsson
Inter look to double the lead when Nagatomo marauds down the left wing. His cross finds Alvarez on the back post and his fierce half-volley is palmed away brilliantly by Rafael.
Verona look to respond immediately from a corner but Matteo Abbate's effort is comfortably saved by Castellazzi.
Goal Antonio Cassano
Yellow Card Matías Silvestre
Inter counterattack immediately with Ricardo Alvarez but his strike cannot catch Rafael out at the near post and he turns the ball behind for a corner.
Verona start the second half as they did the first. Armin Bacinovic lofts a ball over the head of Juan Jesus to the substitute Carrozza but his strike forces a brilliant save from Castellazzi.
Andrea Stramaccioni does have top goalscorer Diego Milito on the bench. Will he turn to the 33-year-old Argentinian to make the difference? Exciting prospect Daniel Bessa is also among the substitutes, will he get a chance to shine tonight? The second half is only minutes away.
What did you make of that first half? Let me know your thoughts via Twitter @MaxBentley1.
HALF TIME: INTER 0 -0 VERONA. Thrilling first half here at the Giuseppe Meazza with Verona giving a fantastic account of themselves with a spirited and disciplined display. Daniele Cacia and Antonio Cassano have both gone close for Verona and Inter respectively but Andrea Mandorlini will certainly be the happier of the two managers so far. Can Verona upstage the Nerazzurri in the Giuseppe Meazza for the first time in 28 meetings?
45' + 1'
Alvarez once again looks to jink in from the right but he is halted by a strong challenge from Hallfredsson. Signs of frustration now beginning to creep in from the home support.
Ricardo Alvarez moves out to the right-hand side and looks to cut in onto his preferred left foot on the edge of the box, but sees his low drive well blocked. This Verona defence have been well-organised so far.
The fourth official indicates that there will be four minutes of stoppage time after that pause in play when tear gas was thrown into the stadium.
And just as I say that, Inter have their best chance of the match! Ricardo Alvarez plays a delicate one-two with Rodrigo Palacio in the box before his toe-poked effort forces a smart save from Rafael. Lovely movement from the Argentine duo.
Inter are beginning to come back into this match now and Nagatomo and Cassano are causing the defence problems with their pace. Andrea Stramaccioni will be disappointed with his side's lack of creativity in the final third though. They are really struggling to penetrate this resilient Verona defence.
38 minutes gone and neither goalkeeper has really been tested despite both teams looking to attack with every opportunity. Will we see a goal before the break?
The 19-year-old Ghanaian midfielder Joseph Duncan has been quietly impressive on his first start for Inter today. He has been composed on the ball and is providing a good shield in front of the back three.
Ricardo Alvarez has been lively in this opening period but he is unable to break the deadlock when his ambitious shot from long-range skids out for a goalkick.
Verona attack straight down the other end and Bacinovic tries his luck from distance but sees his low effort fly narrowly past the upright.
SO CLOSE FROM CASSANO. The Inter summer signing nearly puts his side in front with the freekick but watches as his curling effort goes over the wall but inches past the post. Rafael was nowhere near that one!
Antonio Cassano is bundled over on the edge of the box before Rodrigo Palacio blasts an effort past Rafael. The Inter fans want a goal but the referee's whistle had been blown. Freekick in a dangerous position...
Yellow Card Armin Bačinovič
Verona look to try a drill off the training ground when Hallfredsson lays the ball off to Bacinovic on a freekick just outside the box, but Maietta cannot generate enough power on his header when he connects with the cross.
Yuto Nagatomo is finding himself in some promising advanced positions for the Nerazzurri and he once again gets in behind Michelangelo Albertazzi but he cannot pick out a black and blue shirt with his low cross.
FANTASTIC FOOTBALL FROM VERONA! Paolo Rossi is at the heart of it once again as he plays a pass into Daniele Cacia, who with his back to goal, evades Cristian Chivu with a brilliant swivel and unleashes a curling effort which shades the outside of the post. So unlucky!
Rodrigo Palacio is yet to get going in this match and his sloppy pass is intercepted well by Vangelis Moras, spoiling a decent attacking opportunity for the hosts. Things not quite going Inter's way at present.
Verona pose a threat down the left once again and Paolo Grossi's low cross requires a wonderful interception from Juan Jesus to prevent Daniel Cacia from converting from close range. The ball finds its way back to Grossi again on the left corner of the box but his cheeky chip goes narrowly wide. Andrea Mandorlini will be delighted with his side's performance so far.
Ricardo Alvarez produces some tidy footwork to dance past two Verona midfielders but his slide pass, intended for Cassano, runs just too far and Rafael collects.
Gianluca Rocchi feels that the game is now safe to continue and we are back underway.
It appears that tear gas has been thrown on the pitch hence the stoppage in play. Let's hope that the game will get back underway soon after what has been a lively start.
Strange scenes here as the referee calls a break in play to have a drink but he is certainly in no rush to continue this game. He is deep discussion with both coaches on the sidelines.
End-to-end entertainment here at the Giuseppe Meazza with both sides looking to score the opener. Verona launch a counterattack when they clear Nagatomo's cross but Bacinovic cannot find Cacia with a neat reverse pass.
Rodrigo Palacio has the chance to shoot when he receives the ball on the edge of the box but he opts to cut back and the ball eventually finds its way to McDonald Mariga but the Kenyan's shot skews wide of the left post.
Verona continue to come forward and they are really up for this cup tie tonight. Bacinovic, on loan from Palermo, whips in a dangerous cross from the right but there is no yellow shirt gambling at the back post.
First chance of the match for Inter as Antonio Cassano releases Yuto Nagatomo down the left, but his shot from an acute angle hits the side netting.
Paolo Grossi whips in another corner from the left but Luca Castellazzi is off his line to claim. The 37-year-old is enjoying a rare start tonight.
Paolo Grossi whips in a dangerous cross to the back post but Juan Jesus rises highest to head behind for a corner. From the resulting set-piece, Armin Bacinovic's delivery fails to beat the first man. Great start from the away side.
Verona looking to attack down Inter's right-hand side. Potentially an area Andrea Mandorlini feels they can achieve some success.
Chance for Verona as Emil Hallfredsson lofts the ball to the back post where Daniele Cacia nods in from close range, but the linesman's flag had been raised for offside.
Positive start for Verona with Armin Bacinovic seeing a lot of the ball early on. Andrea Mandorlini will be hoping his side can keep things tight for the first twenty minutes or so.
Verona get the ball rolling in their yellow strip.
The winners of tonight's match will face Napoli or Bologna in the quarter-finals. Fingers crossed it will be a thriller!
A cold and misty atmosphere here at the Giuseppe Meazza tonight as the teams make their way onto the field led by captains Cristian Chivu and Domenico Maietta. Tonight's official is Gianluca Rocchi,
Verona haven't scored against the Nerazzurri at the Giuseppe Meazza since 23 March 1997, when they lost 2-1 in Serie A.
Verona (4-3-3): Rafael; Albertazzi, Maietta, Moras, Abbate; Hallfredsson, Bacinovic, Jorginho; Grossi, Cacia, Gomez.
Inter (3-4-3): Castellazzi; Silvestre, Chivu, Juan Jesus; Jonathan, Duncan, Mariga, Nagatomo; Alvarez, Palacio, Cassano.
Without any further ado, here are tonight's lineups...
Verona currently sit third in Serie B, chasing promotion after narrowly missing out last campaign. Daniele Cacia is their leading goalscorer with ten league goals and the former-Fiorentina striker will be looking to get amongst the goals once again today.
Inter are unbeaten in their last 27 Coppa Italia home ties, winning 21 and drawing six. The Nerazzurri are also unbeaten in 27 home matches against Verona, triumphing on 17 occasions and drawing the other ten. It would take something truly special for Andrea Mandorlini's side to win tonight but in the cup, anything is possible.
Verona are the last Serie B side remaining in this year's Coppa Italia and they will hope to continue their fairytale cup run when they travel to the Giuseppe Meazza tonight to take on Inter. They have already dispatched of Serie A sides Genoa and Palermo but tonight they face a Nerazzurri side who have not lost a Coppa Italia home match since December 2002. Can they pull off another upset tonight? Bringing you live updates from the Coppa Italia round of 16 match between Inter and Verona, my name is Max Bentley. Feel free to let me know your thoughts and predictions on the game via Twitter @MaxBentley1.
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