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March 3, 2013
• 9:00 AM
• Stadio Angelo Massimino, Catania
Referee: M. Bergonzi
• Attendance: 14000
G. Bergessio 7'
G. Marchese 19'
R. Álvarez 52'
R. Palacio 70', 90'+
I've been Simon Harrison, and I hope that I will see you all next time! For any rejoicing Inter fans, be sure to tweet me @simonhfootball to let me know your thoughts on this afternoon's game!
Well, that's it! I hope that you have enjoyed my coverage of Inter's 3-2 amazing comeback win over Catania. Goals from Palacio and Alvarez win a heroic three points for the Nerazzurri!
That pushes Inter into fourth place, leapfrogging Lazio, leaving Stramaccioni's men only one point behind in-form rivals Milan. Catania will have to wait to see if Roma win in Serie A's evening kick-off, if they do, they'll drop a place to eighth.
Based on the first half performance, Catania deserves to win the game by a considerable margin, but the home side fell apart defensively in the second half, allowing substitute Palacio to run riot!
That's it! Full time! They've done it! Inter have completed the comeback to win 3-2 at Catania, and they're only the third side to do so this season!
90' + 4'
Inter look to keep the ball in the corner and run down the clock. It looks as though the visitors are leaving with 3 points today!
90' + 2'
Assist Esteban Cambiasso
90' + 2'
Goal Rodrigo Palacio
GOAL! PALACIO HAS WON THIS GAME FOR INTER! Cambiasso manages to feed the ball inside to the Argentine, and he passes the ball home! The Catania defence were pedestrian!
There have been four minutes of stoppage time awarded.
OOOOOOH! SO CLOSE FOR INTER! Schelotto controls and flicks on a cross for Cambiasso, and the substitute fires a half volley at goal! It goes literally millimetres wide of the far post! So very, very close for the visitors!
Schelotto fails to get a strike away at goal, after he was set the ball back by Cambiasso. The winger is then forced deeper and deeper by Marchese, and the attack eventually comes to nothing. He's been quite disappointing today.
Yellow Card Edgar Çani
The game has devolved into stop-start football, with plenty of free-kicks being awarded by the referee. I think either side would be happy with a point, so neither set of players appear too frustrated by the delays.
Gustavo Rubén Bergessio
Yellow Card E. Schelotto
CLOSE! SCHELOTTO! Andujar is forced into a double save to deny the Inter winger at his near post, after Ricky Alvarez's miscontrol prevented the goalscorer from having a strike at goal himself!
Ooooh! Castro goes close! He hammers a right-footed effort towards Handanovic's top corner, but he doesn't quite connect with it properly! It whistles over.
Schelotto has returned to the pitch, even though his earlier fall did look quite nasty. We're into the last ten minutes.. I think a draw would be fair perhaps. Inter were poor in the first half, Catania have been second best in the second.
Schelotto is down injured again, landing awkwardly on his back after an aerial challenge. Inter have just made their third sub, so they'll have to hope he's okay to continue!
Both sides have made changes to their midfield, Cambiasso and Almiron coming on respectively. The latter should definitely add some extra bite to the Catania midfield.
End to end stuff now, with both goalkeepers being regularly called into action - which wasn't the case in the first half. Hard to predict which way this match will go, but you would think Inter have the best chance as the momentum is with them.
Palacio attempts to hit a volley on the turn, towards Andujar's front post, but he fails to get the desired contact on the ball! Catania are really disorientated, I don't think they can quite believe what has happened!
After Handanovic received a yellow card for arguing with Bergessio, he will receive a suspension for the next match, as he has collected four yellow cards for the season.
Bergessio will really be ruing his earlier spurned chances, as Inter have clawed their way back into the game! If the visitors can grab another goal, this will be a truly fantastic result for Stramaccioni, after an awful first half.
Assist Á. Pereira
Goal Rodrigo Palacio
GOAL! PALACIO HAS DONE IT! Inter have equalised! Pereira delivers yet another good cross, and the diminutive Argentine nods the ball home!
Yellow Card Gustavo Rubén Bergessio
Yellow Card Samir Handanoviç
OOOH! Catania go close again! Bergessio almost grabs a second goal yet again, after he pounced on the rebound from a Gomez effort! Handanovic is quick off his line however, and smothers the ball!
Oooooh! Guarin was close to equalising! Pereira whips in a good cross, and Guarin meets it in the centre of the six yard box, but the Colombian gets under the ball and nods it over the bar! Unlucky!
Lodi fires a long range effort at goal, but it failed to have sufficient power to worry Handanovic, and the ball trickles past the Inter post. Catania are still dangerous, and that effort there was a sign of it.
Good interplay between Castro and Gomez sets the Argentine winger free, but instead of crossing the ball from a tight angle, Gomez attempts to fire a shot at goal. He gets it all very wrong, blasting his effort way over Handanovic's bar!
Catania are keen to slow the tempo of the game a little, but trying to get some cheap free-kicks, just to disrupt the momentum of Inter a little. This has definitely been a game of two polar opposite halves!
Close! Juan Jesus makes a good interception to deny Bergessio! Catania break yet again, the ball is squared to the goalscorer, but the Brazilian centre-back manages to rob the ball from him.
Guarin is back on the field and moving much more freely, I think Kovacic might have to put his tracksuit back on! It really didn't look good for Guarin, but the fact his team only have one change remaining might have affected his decision to continue.
On second thoughts, Guarin doesn't look very comfortable at all! He's limping heavily and young Kovacic is being brought on instead of Cambiasso, it looks like!
Both Guarin and Marchese have gone down heavily, and it looks as though the Colombian landed a little awkwardly after challenging with the Catania full-back. They should both be okay to continue.
Yellow Card Alexis Rolín
Catania aren't quite looking like the well oiled machine they were in the first half. The impetus is certainly with Inter, and an equaliser is currently looking slightly more likely than a third home goal. That Bergessio miss could well prove to be very costly!
Catania still look very dangerous on the break. Whenever an Inter attack breaks down, there are plenty of red and blue shirts getting forward, and Bergessio is always keen to peel off to the back post.
Inter look like a totally different side now! They look motivated and focused, and Palacio has been a welcome injection for the visitors already! Could this turn into a great comeback?
Assist Rodrigo Palacio
Goal Ricardo Álvarez
GOAL! Alvarez grabs a goal! The youngster manages to turn home a Palacio cross, as the two Argentines combine! Inter are back in this!
OOOH! Guarin now goes close! The Colombian drives into the 18 yard box, aims for the far post, but fires his effort narrowly wide! That was Inter's best chance, by my reckoning!
Ooh! Now Inter go close! Rolin manages to put his head on the line to interfere with a Schelotto header, as the second half starts brightly!
OOH! Catania should be out of sight! The home side break, the ball eventually finds its way to Bergessio at the back post, unmarked, but the Argentine fires the ball straight at Handanovic with the goal at his mercy!
Rocchi really offered very little in the first half, perhaps John Carew would have had more of an effect! Palacio should make Inter a lot more potent in attack, Spolli and Rolin have been thus far untroubled.
And we are back underway! Inter need a goal quickly if they are to have any chance of achieving a comeback!
As I predicted earlier on, Palacio has taken to the field for the visitors, in place of Rocchi - who struggled. Dejan Stankovic also comes on, for Kuzmanovic. Play is delayed slightly, as there was a problem with the Catania net.
So, Inter fans, what did you make of that first 45 minutes.. do you still think that third place is within reaching distance? And for Catania fans, do you deserve Europa League football? Tweet me @simonhfootball, and let me know your thoughts!
Right, Inter need to come out as a different side in the second half, otherwise they could see third place slip from their grasp. Palacio and Cambiasso are waiting in the wings for Stramaccioni, but we shall have to wait and see if he utilises them!
That's it, the referee blows the whistle for the half time break! Catania really have shown why they're in the hunt for Europa League football, with a clinical and organised display. After a horror start for Stramaccioni's side, Inter have picked themselves up a little in the final ten minutes of the half, but Rocchi may aswell not be playing!
45' + 2'
Ooh! Guarin is almost presented with the chance to grab a goal at the back post, but he can't quite stretch to tap it home!
45' + 1'
Pablo Alvarez might have to be careful. He's played well and has really imposed himself physically, however he's already received a yellow card. He needs to be careful.
Ooh! Andujar is saved by his defenders once again! Guarin flashes a pacey ball across the six yard box, and I think it was Pablo Alvarez who managed to clear the ball from the danger zone! Inter are gaining a bit of momentum, but they still look a bit toothless, Rocchi has been non-existent.
Zanetti manages to wriggle past the challenge of Marchese, and cross the ball from the byline. His delivery is deflected however, and lands in the grateful arms of Andujar.
Alvarez cuts in from the right, and blasts an effort straight at Marchese. Andujar hasn't really had to do much so far, his defenders have formed a red and blue wall at times. Two goals look beyond Inter.
Stramaccioni will need to deliver some inspiring words at the half time break, that's for sure. Inter have improved slightly since the opening 20 minutes, but the damage has already been done. Catania look extremely comfortable at the moment.
Schelotto has just put in an entry for 'Worst Cross of the Season'. Under no real pressure, the Inter right-winger balloons the ball WAY over the bar. That was truly terrible!
Yellow Card Pablo Álvarez
Inter pick up a free-kick in a dangerous area, after Pablo Alvarez handles the ball. Guarin whips the ball to the back post, but Juan Jesus fails to attack the ball. Lodi then picks up the scraps.
This has been an extremely one-sided match so far. Catania's game plan has worked to perfection, although the weakened side which Stramacionni has been forced into fielding is a contributing factor too. I could see Palacio being introduced before long, they're lacking a forward spark.
Catania are first to every ball, tenacious off the ball, and generally look more interested. P. Alvarez looks prepared to run through walls to get the three points this afternoon!
Ricky Alvarez attempts an audacious and extremely powerful drive from 30 yards out, perhaps out of frustration more than anything else. Inter need to grab a goal before half time, if they are to overturn this deficit. They don't look like scoring at the moment though!
Only Schelotto has looked lively for Inter going forward, but he's being mercilessly dealt with by Rolin and Marchese. The visitors are limited to long, searching balls for Rocchi, who is being dominated by the physical presence of Spolli and Rolin.
Ooooh! It was nearly THREE! Bergessio finds himself with the ball bobbling towards him, eight yards out from goal, but he strikes the ball all wrong! Inter were very nearly out of the game there!
Pereira whips a ball into the box looking for Rocchi, and the veteran throws the outside of his right foot at the ball! That went well wide, yet its probably among the best opportunities Inter have had so far!
Catania's pressing has been relentless, and the home side are forcing a torrent of Inter errors. Firstly Juan Jesus, then Gargano. They're being forced to play backwards with every pass, resulting in Handanovic kicking long. Fruitless.
Chivu leads the field for treatment, after seemingly being caught sharply in the face, a little bit of blood might have been drawn. Perhaps that knock might wake him up a little!
Frustrations are already rising for Inter, as their players complain on mass about the referee's decision to award a free-kick for Catania for a niggly foul. The visitors really haven't been in this game at all, Rocchi is isolated and the defence is like a sieve.
Ooh, Inter manage to whip a ball into Rocchi, and he manages to fire a volley at goal, which Andujar deals with easily! Meanwhile, Rolin has been fantastic so far for Catania. The central defender has made several fantastic interceptions.
Castro delivers from the right, and Juan manages to half-clear the ball. The young Brazilian has had a nightmare so far, he's not managed to clear a ball comprehensively, and has given away the ball several times in dangerous areas!
Assist Francesco Lodi
Goal Giovanni Marchese
GOAL! Marchese doubles the home side's lead! IT'S TWO within the first twenty minutes. The defender manages to get up to meet a Lodi free-kick delivery, and loops the ball beyond Handanovic!
Ooooh! Guarin hammers a strike at goal, after beating his man well in midfield, but Biagianti throws himself infront of the effort. Moments later, Kuzmanovic unleashes from similar 25 yard territory, and the ball flashes past Andujar's post! Close!
15 minutes gone, and Inter have finally managed to get their foot on the ball and have a spell of possession. It's all to no avail however, as they don't really have many options available in the final third. Rocchi is looking very isolated.
Andujar is yet to be troubled in the Catania net, and Stramacionni is rightfully looking very concerned. He has several big name options on the bench however, should things become too embarrassing for the visitors.
Ooh! Gomez tests Handanovic! Juan makes another mistake, giving the ball to the Catania forward! Inter don't look comfortable at all! Catania are in control.
Bergessio, the goalscorer, is currently off the pitch receiving treatment. Unsure what the problem is with the striker, but Inter could look to take advantage of the home side only having ten men.
This has been a disastrous opening ten minutes for Inter, they're yet to get into the game, any balls forward have been overhit or innaccurate. Catania on the other hand, look more assured in possession and genuinely dangerous with every attack.
Inter haven't really had any possession in advanced areas so far. The away side are keen to clear their lines rather than play their way out of danger, but Juan's mistake may force Stramaccioni's men to change their gameplan!
Goal Gustavo Rubén Bergessio
GOAL! CATANIA! Bergessio capitalises on a Juan Jesus error, and curls the ball into the far corner! The Brazilian defender attempted to shepherd the ball out of play, but he was pickpocketed!
Oooh! First attempt on goal for Catania! Bergessio attempts to swivel and hit a half volley at Handanovic's near post, but Juan manages to get a block in!
Inter look happy to sit deep, with the infrequently-used Rocchi not in any rush to press the Catania back four. The home side have started with the greater confidence.
Catania break quickly down the flanks in the opening two minutes, with Castro and Gomez, and their pace could be fundamental to a home victory today. Gomez especially, he is rather pacey.
And we're underway! Blue and red smoke unfurls over the home fans, and I hope we're in for a tightly contested Serie A affair!
Plumes of blue and red smoke unfurl over the home supporters, Inter certainly face an intimidating task this afternoon! Catania could be considered the dark horses for the European qualification spot, and their home form has been mightily impressive this term.
Nerazzurri fans - what do you think about Stramaccioni's decision to drop Cassano? Can your ailing side recover to mount a Champions League qualification bid? Tweet me @Simonhfootball.
STATS: Catania have lost just once in 2013 — a stretch of eight matches whilst Inter have won just two of their last 11 Serie A matches - against 15th-place Chievo and second-from-bottom Pescara.
TEAM NEWS: Stramaccioni opts for Pereira at left-back following suspensions of Ranocchia and Nagatomo as Chivu reverts to the centre. No Cassano following the altercation with Stramaccioni on Friday, as Rocchi makes first start.
CATANIA: Andujar; Alvarez, Spolli, Rolin, Marchese; Biagianti, Lodi; Izco, Castro, Gomez: Bergessio
INTERNAZIONALE: Handanovic; Zanetti, Chivu, Juan Jesus, Pereira; Guarin, Kuzmanovic, Gargano; Schelotto, Rocchi, Alvarez. (4-3-3)
CONFIRMED TEAM NEWS:
Meanwhile, Catania themselves can leapfrog Inter with victory this afternoon. They're unbeaten at home in Serie A since the end of November, a run of five games. Only Milan and Juventus have achieved maximum points at the Stade Angelo Massimino this term.
Coach Andrea Stramaccioni has a handful of injuries and suspensions to worry about ahead of kick off as well as a reported bust-up with attacker Antonio Cassano. It means Tommasso Rocchi is in line for his first start for the Nerazzurri.
Struggling Inter require a win this afternoon if they are to maintain their quest for a top three finish. The Nerazzurri have won just twice since the turn of the year in the league, and are in need of points.
First of all, let me introduce myself. I'm Simon Harrison, and I'll be guiding you through today's events for the next two hours. Don't forget to use Twitter to send us your predictions, musings and comments and tell me what you think throughout the 90 minutes - the handle is @simonhfootball. Also, don't forget to interact with the Goal.com MatchCentre, on the box to your right.
Good afternoon and welcome to Goal.com's LIVE! text commentary from Serie A. This afternoon sees Inter Milan travel to Stadio Angelo Massimino to face Catania. Confirmed team news shortly.
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