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May 2, 2010 7:45 PM BST
Stadio Olimpico - Roma
Referee:‬ Bergonzi di Genova‎
Walter Samuel 45+1′
Thiago Motta 70′
90′ +2
And that's it! The man in purple calls time. Lazio were poor and uninterested - but the home fans seem delighted despite their team needing a point to secure their survival. Inter return to the top.
Muntari with a pinpoint cross for Diego Milito who aims his header completely square and wastes what was probably the best opportunity of the game. Should be three, not that it really matters. Lazio fans now cheering every pass, job done!?
free-kick to Lazio in a good position. They make a mess of it and are then flagged offside.
Scaloni brings down Chivu, he then apologises by ruffling the Romanian's head. Chivu then points to his headgear, reminding his opponent that any other form of apology would be more appropriate considering he recently suffered a fractured skull.
Substitution Cristian Brocchi Lionel Scaloni
Balotelli looks upset, until he sees the camera focused squarely on his down-turned brow. Then, that wonderfully cheeky and infectious smile takes over his entire face. He's laughing now, it's all fun and games on the Inter bench. Mourinho should employ that cameraman to follow Super Mario to every training session.
Diego Milito wants to score a goal. He has a shot but it goes over. Nice to see somebody is still interested.
Muntari attempts to tackle Lichtsteiner, who does his best Platoon impression before standing up and throwing a bemused look towards the purple referee.
Super Mario looking dejected on the bench. He might be in tears, but don't quote me on that.
Lucio coming off. He looks hurt, but it's who knows. The Brazilian hobbles off screaming 'wolf'.
Substitution Lúcio Iván Ramiro Córdoba
Substitution Samuel Eto'o Sulley Muntari
Zarate shows good feet again. The little Argentine and the Uruguayan Muslera are the only two Lazio players who have looked interested. Muntari comes on for Eto'o as Mourinho looks to shut up shop.
GOAL!! GOL GOL. 2-0 Inter. Thiago Motta. Maicon's corner, Motta climbs high and powers his header beyond Muslera, who had no chance.
Goal Thiago Motta
Sneijder departs, Milito on. Eto'o wide left, Milto through the middle. I think that was an attacking substitution. Great strike from Eto'o. Another good save from Muslera, corner.
Substitution Wesley Sneijder Diego Milito
Substitution Sergio Floccari Pasquale Foggia
Yes, I was right about the flavour of said cupcake. Zarate swings in a cross, comes to nothing.
Most exciting moment of the second period so far..... I just got given a coffee and a cupcake. It's banana and chocolate, I think. I will let you know.
Lazio fans seem happy with the result, the Lazio players meanwhile look unperturbed, at best.
Craig Burley just dropped enough generic superlatives on Hitzlsperger to suggest 'this boy could really do something here.'
Substitution Roberto Baronio Thomas Hitzlsperger
'The Hammer' is coming on. Enter Thomas Hitzlsperger!
Thiago Motta dips inside in a throwback to his Genoa days, and then shoots well wide in a throwback to his time at Barcelona.
Eto'o races clear... offside, again!
Sneijder whips in a corner, great header from Samuel cleared off the line. I think it was Eto'o who cleared it, well, a combination of him and Lichtsteiner. Could have two and game over there.
Super Mario Balotelli sitting on the bench, looks about as happy as Jose.
Maicon really is a beast of a man. The ref, meanwhile, is very purple.
second half kicks off.
Serie A specialist Marcus Hahnemann reminds us that "Eto'o is so fast." Thanks for your insight, Marcus.
"Lazio fans cheering a goal scored against their own club...makes me sick!!" rages (Roma fan?) Tanay Ghosh. The Romans are passionate people, Tanay. "LAZIO DONT NEED POINTS, SO WHY SHOULD THEIR FANS WANT THEIR TEAM TO WIN AND GIVE ROMA THE SCUDETTO!" screams Michael Scicluna in response. In your face, Tanay! Either way, second-half is about to kick-off. If it stays this way, the championship looks all set to be staying in Milan.
And the ref blows for half-time. The lead is nothing more than Inter deserve. They've dominated from the outset and should be more than one goal to the good. 'The Special One' didn't look pleased, although, to be fair, he rarely does.
45′ +1
Goal Walter Samuel
Yellow Card Mauro Zárate
GOAL! Walter Samuel!!! Inter lead, Jose heads straight for the tunnel. Great ball in from Sneijder on the left, Samuel left completely unmarked to nod the ball back where it came from and inside Muslera's far post.
Zarate booked for cynical trip on Lucio, that puts him out of next week's trip to Livorno. Couldn't have been that bad though, Lucio only rolled once.
Fantastic effort from Zarate! Sensing his team-mates aren't overly interested in flooding forward, the little Argentine weaves around 4 Inter defenders before his shot is deflected wide for a corner.
Lazio really are under pressure now. Half-time can't come soon enough for the home side, if not a majority of their fans.
Chivu finds space, drives it in low right across the face of the Lazio goal but nobody there to tap the ball home.
Yellow Card Esteban Cambiasso
goal, no, now, no! How did they miss? Ball over the top finds Motta who lays it off for Sneijder. The Dutchman had an age to decide what to do but let Muslera palm the ball out of his feet after putting the 'keeper on his behind. Eto'o follows up but stretches and strikes his shot wide of the open goal. Really should be 1-0 Inter. Lazio immediately opened up again as Eto'o finds himself one-on-one with Muslera. The Lazio 'keeper did well again, standing up to block the shot.
Inter continue to enjoy possession but lacking in options for the final ball. If the match continues like this, Mourinho might do well to chuck Diego Milito on at half-time,
Lazio finally enjoy a pattern of play, resulting in some good wide play from Stephan Lichtsteiner who whips in a dangerous cross from the right that is well defended by Lucio.
CR9 -as I think we are all calling him these days- has just rescued Real Madrid to keep the race for La Liga alive. If Lazio can get something out of this then, oh wait Javier Zanetti races down the right.... but he can't find Eto'o with his low cross. Eto'o finds Stankovic on the right, but he blasts way over. Inter are repeatedly finding acres of space on the right wing.
Sneijder strikes a free-kick from 30-yards - straight into the wall. A few Inter players belatedly call for handball, nothing doing.
Inter probing, Sneijder still being given way too much space in the middle of the park. The Dutchman drops a lovely ball into Eto'o who can't quite find the return. Mourinho's men have settled and beginning to dominate.
Maicon plays in Eto'o down the right who breaks into the box, excellent tackle from Kolarov who showed good pace to recover.
Zarate throws 78 stepovers at Lucio, who stands firm and puts it behind for a corner. Ball comes in, Stefano Mauri attempts a volley at the back post but succeeds only in clearing the ball for Inter.
Lazio counter and, for the first time, show some good movement up top that results in Aleksandar Kolarov firing inches wide from outside the box. Julio Cesar was scrambling for a moment there.
Sergio Floccari has the home side's first meaningful effort on goal. Well struck from 20 yards but easy for Julio Cesar.
Sneider plays Eto'o though on goal, excellent reaction from Muslera who rushes off his line to clear.
Wesley Sneijder seems to have taken an early disliking to the corner quadrants. That's two he's taken from well outside the allotted zone.
Thiago Motta strikes well from 25-yards, excellent stop by Muslera. The Lazio 'keeper showed strong wrists to push the ball away from the danger zone.
Eto'o again finds space on the left but wastes his opportunity waiting for support.
Inter dominating the midfield early on. Lazio affording Sneijder, Motta and Stankovic a lot of space in the middle of the park.
First chance of the game as Eto'o gets to the by-line. His low cross well blocked and it goes behind. From the resulting corner, Maicon is left all alone from 6 yards but his header is straight at the keeper.
Chivu bundles Lichtsteiner into the advertising boards, he doesn't look impressed.
And we're off!
Anyway, there’s some context. Let the fun and games begin.
Inter, meanwhile, fresh from their Champions League heroics –heroics, yeah, heroics seems a fair analysis of their ‘victory’ over Football aficionado’s Barcelona last week- are on the hunt for a fifth consecutive title and the neutrals will be pleased to hear that Mourinho is likely to allow at least one player more than 30 yards away from his own goal line. Those of you over the legal age to enjoy a pint of ale, or perhaps a refreshing Negroni beneath the Piazzale Michelangelo on a summer’s day in Florence, may just remember the last time the Nerazzurri faced Lazio in pursuit of a Scudetto. That day, in 2002 (the vital game in 07-08 doesn’t really count, mainly because Ronaldo wasn’t playing), Hector Cuper’s Inter side fell at the final hurdle as Lazio came from a goal behind to condemn Ronaldo to tears and Inter back to their perennial role of Italy’s ‘nearly men’.
Welcome to the day’s second instalment of the conspiracy theorist’s wet dream. Forget Stevie G's back-pass, when it comes to conspiracy Serie A reigns supreme. Today, Lazio, Roma’s fierce city rivals, are, realistically at least, the only thing that stand between the Giallorossi and their fourth league title. Francesco Totti and his band of merry men did the business yesterday, overcoming Parma to leapfrog Inter back to the summit of Serie A. Though their lead is just one point and thus likely to be short-lived. While Ranieri has performed heroics since taking the Roma hot-seat, it’s been a funny old season for the sky blue half of the Italian capital – one mostly defined by Claudio Lotito and his one man crusade against those who decide they are entitled to the lucrative, if a tad audacious, salaries earned by their contemporaries in and around the continent. One Mr Pandev will have an added motivation to get one over his old boss this evening.
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