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April 22, 2012
• 6:30 AM
• Stadio Artemio Franchi, Firenze
Referee: P. Valeri
• Attendance: 22000
A game low on quality, could have gone Fiorentina's way, were it not for a missed penalty by Adem Ljajic. I've been Alex Mott, thanks for joining me.
90' + 3'
And that's it! The referee blows for full time, with the scoreline here in Florence: Fiorentina 0-0 Inter.
90' + 1'
Sneijder has it now for Inter, 30 yards from goal. He cuts in from the left-hand touchline on to his right foot, and goes for a speculative effort at goal. It goes a mile over the bar.
There'll be three minutes of added on time here.
Yellow Card Mauro Zárate
It's a corner to Inter, as Zarate's cross from the right is blocked. It's whipped in by Sneijder towards the near post, where Cambiasso tries to flick the ball on. Nastasic defendes superbly though, and stands up well to clear away the ball.
Milito with a great chance! Maicon chips the ball into the path of the Argentinian, and on the turn, he smashes the ball at goal from 12 yards out. Boruc is more than equal to it though, and gets a good hand to the shot.
Nagatomo with a great effort! Surging forward down the left, he gets the ball on the edge of the area, cuts inside on his right foot, and strikes at Boruc's near post. The shot though, goes just wide, as the keeper is left straggling towards his right-hand post.
Yellow Card Alessio Cerci
Zarate has the ball now for Inter. 25 yards out, he brings the ball on to his left foot, and strikes at goal. Boruc gets down to his left, and saves well.
The free kick comes to nothing though, as Chivu hobbles off for Inter to be replaced by Ranocchia.
Yellow Card Lúcio
Cerci, who's been fantastic today, bursts past Lucio on the halfway line, and goes down under a challenge from the Brazilian.
OHHH! Nastasic almost scores for Fiorentina! A corner from the left goes all the way through to Nastasic at the far post. He takes it down, and strikes the ball with his left foot. The shot though, goes agonizingly over the bar.
Yellow Card Manuel Pasqual
Pasqual comes through the back of Alvarez on the halfway line and concedes a free kick. He throws the ball down in anger, and the referee books him for his reaction.
Fiorentina break as Lazzari plays a ball over the top to Cerci, who's all alone as he goes in on goal. The linesman though, has his flag up, and Inter will have a free kick.
Inter have a corner now on the left, as Sneijder plays it short to Nagatomo. The Japanese international whips it in, but the cross is too long, and Fiorentina clear.
Yellow Card Boadu Acosty
Acosty, the man who has just come on for Ljajic, gets a bit keen, and follows through on Lucio when he was trying to clear the ball upfield.
Will that penalty save galvanize Inter? They come forward with Sneijder, who tries to slip a ball through to Milito on the left-hand side of the area. Nastasic though, reads the pass, and intercepts the ball well.
Penalty save Julio César
Missed Penalty Adem Ljajic
Ljajic steps up and......MISSES!! He struck it low towards the bottom left-hand corner, but Julio Cesar got down well to tip it around the post.
Yellow Card Julio César
PENALTY!!! Kharja plays a wonderful ball through the heart of the Inter defence to Pasqual, who goes around Julio Cesar. The Brazilian keeper brings him down though, and Fiorentina have the chance to go one up.
Maicon surges over the halfway line and plays it inside to Alvarez. The youngster comes forward, and from 30 yards, spanks a shot at goal. A shot that Boruc saves easily.
Inter are having a sustained period of ppssession. Poli plays it to Alvarez, who looks up and slips in Zarate down the left. The former Birmingham man keeps the ball in, and from the left-hand byline, puts in a deep cross towards the head of Milito. Again though, Boruc reads it, and comes out to collect the ball with ease.
Maicon comes forward for Inter; bombing down the right-hand side. He comes inside, 30 yards from goal, and plays a brilliant one-two with Milito. The Brazilian full back gets to the byline, but can't quite pull the ball back to Sneijder on the edge of the area, as Fiorentina clear.
This game has suddenly gone end-to-end. Fiorentina had it on the edge of the Inter area. Kharja was dispossessed by Lucio, and the big Brazilian pumped the ball forward towards Sneijder. The substitute played a one-two with Maicon, before surging forward right through the heart of the Fiorentina defence towards the edge of the area. The Dutchman then looks to play in Milito, but the former Genoa man slips, and Fiorentina breathe a sigh of relief.
Fiorentina have a free kick on the left-hand side of the area. Pasqual puts in a fantastic ball right into that zone of uncertainty, but unfortunately for the Viola, Behrami can't quite get on the end of it, as Inter clear.
Inter come forward again with Forlan. The Uruguayan puts in a low cross from the right-hand side of the area, but he can't find any of the four Inter players inside the box and Fiorentina clear.
Maicon surges forward for the first time in this half. He gets to the byline, and puts in a cross towards Milito. Boruc reads it though, and comes out to collect the cross.
Oh, that was poor from the Viola. Cassani attacked down the left, and had Cerci, Kharja and Pasqual free on the edge of the area. He took too long to release the ball though, and by the time the ball had gone across the box, Inter had regrouped and got themselevs in position to block the shot from Pasqual.
Fiorentina have a free kick now on the right-hand touchline, parallel to the 18 yard box. Pasqual whips it in, but Julio Cesar comes out and punches the cross clear.
Zarate has it now on the left-hand side. He cuts in on his right foot, and from 25 yards out, strikes at goal only for his shot to skim the top of the crossbar.
Nagatomo has come on for Zanetti, and the Japanese international gets his first touch of the ball as he looks to play in Miltio down the left flank. The pass is overhit though, and the ball goes out for a goal kick.
We're back underway. And Fiorentina start us off, kicking from left-to-right.
And Tom Woods makes a very valid point: "I honestly don't know why Inter aren't using the youth more, particularly give Stram's record with the Primavera side."
Dominic Cernaz is a disgruntled Inter fan on Twitter: "Inter are shocking, in such a vital match we have shown nothing." I don't think I could have put it better myself.
That, was rubbish. There's been very little in the way of chances, and the only player showing any sort of class is Alessio Cerci. I'll be back in 15 minutes, but in the meantime, please do get involved @alexjmott on Twitter. I need something to take my mind off this.
Yellow Card Matija Nastasic
Yellow Card Diego Milito
And that's it. The referee blows for half time here in Florence, with the scoreline Fiorentina 0-0 Inter.
On the halfway line, Nastasic comes through the back of Milito. And Miltio is not happy about it!
Inter are coming forward now. And for some reason, it's Lucio who's playing a one-two with Milito on the edge of the area. The Argentine plays in the Brazilian on the edge of the area, but Nastasic comes across and blocks the former Leverkusen man.
Cerci is attacking now, down the right-hand touchline. He goes past one...two...three Inter players, before being shut out 25 yards from goal. Cerci has been excellent so far in this half.
Cambiasso has it now in the centre circle. He looks up, and plays a beautiful ball through to Miltio who's clean in on goal. The linesman though, ruins the party, and puts his flag up for offside.
We're back. Zanetti plays a ball down the left to Milito, who turns, and tries to cross into the box, for, well no one.
A 50-50 in the centre circle has Poli and Behrami squaring up to each other. And we'll stop whilst they sort this out.
Behrami has it now in the centre circle, he play it forward to Cerci, who looks for the run of Ljajic, but the young Serbian has wondered off out to the left-hand touchline. Cerci meanwhile, gets caught in possession, and Inter come away with it.
Fiorentina keep coming forward, and this time they have a corner on the right. Ljajic whips it in, but Maicon reads the flight of the ball, and clears away the danger.
It's Cassani coming forward now for Fiorentina. On the right-hand touchline, he moves past the halfway line, and beats Zanetti on the outside. With his next touch, he takes the ball inside, and tries to play in Cerci, who's making a diagonal run from right-to-left. Unfortunately for the Viola, they're not quite on the same wavelength, and the ball runs out for a goal kick.
OOOFFFF. That was wonderful stuff from Cerci. On the edge of the Inter area, he used his burst of pace to get past Maicon and Lucio, before shooting from 12 yards out. Unfortunately though, his effort was absolutely pants.
Forlan has the ball now for Inter on the halfway line. He looks up, and plays a delightful long ball over the top to Zarate on the left-hand touchline. The former Lazio man comes forward, cuts inside on his right foot, and from the edge of the 18 yard box, shoots at Boruc's goal. It's a weak effort though, and Boruc sees it wide comfortably.
Fiorentina are on the attack again, as Cerci tries to play a one-two with Ljajic on the edge of the area. The Serbian's touch is poor though, and Inter come away with the ball.
Cerci comes bombing forward now for Fiorentina. On the right-hand side of the area, he takes it past Milito and goes down under a challenge. The referee waves play on though, much to Cerci's disgust.
Inter are really dominating the middle of the park here. Poli and Cambiasso are having the ball all to themselves at times, but the Viola don't seem to be too worried at present. They might be though now, as Cambiasso has it on the edge of the area, with the goal in his sights. The Argentine decides to play the ball to Zanetti out on the left-hand touchline though, and his cross is blocked before it can reach the area.
Straight up the other end, and Chivu concedes a free kick in a dangerous position, after a foul on Cassani. Ljajic steps over it, and tries to whip it around the wall from 25 yards. It's a poor effort though, and the strike goes well over the bar.
Yellow Card Cristian Chivu
Inter have their first corner of the game, with Alvarez whipping it in from the right. He puts right into the middle of the six yard box, but no one from either side wants to attack it. There's a moment of hesitation, before Natali comes and boots it clear.
Maicon comes forward with the ball, and takes it past both Pasqual and Lazzari, before entering the box. He looks up and tries to play a delicate chip on to the head of Milito. Boruc though, comes out, and catches the ball before Milito can get his head on it.
Lucio has the ball now, and goes on one of those Lucio runs, past three Fiorentina players, up to the halfway line. He then gives it to Forlan, who fires it out wide on the left to Zanetti. The veteran comes forward with the ball, but, with pressure from Camporese, takes it out for a throw in.
Alvarez comes deep to get the ball for Inter, and does a Cruyff-esque turn inside the centre circle to get past Behrami. Once past the former West Ham man, he looks to play in the overlapping Maicon on the right-hand touchline, but Pasqual reads it and blocks the pass, setting Cerci in on the counter. The Italian moves down the left-hand touchline for Fiorentina, and skips past Lucio like he's not even there. Chivu uses his experience though, and comes across to tackle the flying winger before he can get a shot in.
Lazzari sees Julio Cesar off his line, and tries to chip the Brazilian from the halfway line. It wasn't a million miles away, but the ball goes over the bar, and Inter will have a goal kick.
It's a corner to Fiorentina, as Cerci has his cross blocked by Lucio. It's played short by Ljajic, but Cerci's cross is again blocked, this time by Maicon, and Inter come away with the ball. That's poor from the Viola.
Inter are playing keep ball at the moment, as Poli gives it to Forlan on the right-hand touchline. The Uruguayan looks up, and tries to play a deep cross into the path of Milito, but Nastasic was there to block and clear.
OHHH. The first chance of the game, and its gone to Fiorentina. Ljajic had it on the left-hand side of the area, took it to the byline, and then played a wonderful pass to the edge of the box, where Kharja was there to strike at goal. The shot though, was a poor one, and the ball went wide of Julio Cesar's left-hand post.
Chivu gets the ball at centre back and plays a long ball up to Milito. The Argentine forward tries to control the pass, but he can't, and Natali cleans up.
Here we go then. Inter will get us underway, kicking from left-to-right in their all-white away strip.
We will have a minute's silence for Piermario Morosini.
The players are leaving the tunnel. Kick off is just moments away.
There's just over 10 minutes to go until kick off here in Florence, and the atmosphere is already building up nicely. You'd be a fool to go anywhere else.
And as always, you can hit me up @alexjmott on Twitter with all your questions/comments etc.
Inter (4-2-3-1): Julio Cesar; Maicon, Lucio, Chivu, Zanetti; Poli, Cambiasso; Forlan, Alvarez, Zarate; Milito.
Fiorentina (3-5-1-1): Boruc; Camporese, Natali, Nastasic; Cassani, Kharja, Behrami, Lazzari, Pasqual; Cerci; Ljajic.
TEAM NEWS: for Fiorentina, they go with their tried-and-tested 3-5-1-1, headed by Adam Ljajic, supported by Alessio Cerci. Inter on the other hand, have gone all-out attack, with four would-be forwards on the pitch. At once.
For Inter however, under Andrea Stramaccioni they are unbeaten, and have transformed into a side you'd actually want to watch. A win today will take them into fifth, level on points with Napoli, and with a slim chance of making that third Champions League spot.
And the omens aren't looking good for the Tuscans: they are without a win in their last three home games, and have not beaten Inter in 13 attempts. In fact, of the 15 meetings between these two sides since 2004, Fiorentina have only won four of them.
This game couldn't be anymore important for the Viola in terms of their Serie A survival this season. A loss today, and Delio Rossi's side will go into the relegation places if Genoa and Lecce win later on. Could they be the new Sampdoria?
Good morning/afternoon everyone and welcome to Goal.com's LIVE, play-by-play coverage, of Fiorentina vs Inter. I'm Alex Mott, and I'll be your commentator for today's clash of the once great Serie A titans.
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