Parma 2-0 Inter: Defending champions' title hopes hanging by a thread after disappointing display
It proved to be a week to forget for the Inter faithful, after a goal in each half for the hosts condemns Leonardo's men to a fourth defeat in five matches.
By Livio Caferoglu
Inter's bad week ended in the same vein, after goals from ex-Juventus duo Sebastian Giovinco and Amauri condemned Leonardo to a 2-0 defeat, with the pressure continuing to pile on the Brazilian tactician.
The match started in favor of the hosts, with Giovinco and Antonio Candreva seeing a lot of the ball. The same couldn’t be said however, for Leonardo’s men, still visibly bruised from the outset after their Champions League elimination against Schalke mid-week.
Blerim Dzemaili was expertly teed up by Stefano Morrone, but his volley went over the bar to signal the first chance of the match for Parma. Soon after, Inter almost took the lead through a magnificent free kick by Dejan Stankovic, who rattled the crossbar with Antonio Mirante well-beaten.
Stankovic continued his recent renaissance while also being Inter’s most likely source of inspiration with yet another fantastic attempt at goal. This time, he stung Mirante’s hands again with a powerful drive from around 20 yards out.
However, it was Franco Colomba’s men who deservedly broke the deadlock first on 35 minutes through Giovinco, who received Francesco Modesto’s finely whipped-in cross and hit a low crisp drive from a lay-off into the Nerazzurri net.
Wesley Sneijder was once again brought on by Leonardo in their second consecutive Serie A match to try and provide his side with a creative spark. Andrea Ranocchia had the first major chance of the second half on 59 minutes after a dangerous ball had fizzed into the middle, and the former Bari man was somehow dispossessed by Mirante at the last minute, who punched the ball away.
Morrone should have done a lot better with his volleyed effort on 65 minutes, after the ball fell to him in the Inter penalty area, but his left-footed strike scuffed wide of the near post.
Amauri almost produced a moment of brilliance just 10 minutes later after being found with a delicate pass in bundles of space, with two Inter defenders facing him, and his superb curling effort on the edge of the box hit the crossbar.
Giovinco created another great opening on 75 minutes, which also coincided with a worthy penalty shout. Lucio lunged into the ex-Empoli man to dispossess him, but replays showed there may have been contact. Despite the contentious nature of the challenge, the Parma appeals were subsequently waved off, with just a corner being awarded.
Parma continued to pile the pressure with chances for the likes of Francesco Valiani and Valeri Bojinov, but it was Amauri who capped off a fine striker's performance with a neat finish to make it 2-0, after being picked out beautifully by the substitute Bojinov in the box.
Inter were close to coming back after Mirante had to pull off saves from Samuel Eto'o and Diego Milito, but the result now leaves the visitors with a mountain to climb if they are to retain the Scudetto, after Milan's emphatic 3-0 victory against Sampdoria.Follow Goal.com on to get the latest soccer news directly. Check out Goal.com's page; be part of the best soccer fan community in the world!
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