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Played
November 19, 2011 5:00 PM GMT
Stadio Giuseppe Meazza — Milano
Referee:‬ A. Damato‎
Attendance:‬ 56000‎
 
54′ Thiago Motta
60′ Coutinho
 
   
 
 

Player Ratings: Inter 2-1 Cagliari

Thiago Motta and Philippe Coutinho grabbed the goals that dragged the Nerazzurri back into form despite Joaquin Larrivey's late consolation effort

By Kris Voakes

  • Julio César
    69
    15
    3.00

    Julio César

    Wasn’t overly worked as he returned to the Inter starting jersey, but had no answer to Larrivey’s late goal which gave the Nerazzurri a nervy finally few minutes.

  • Jonathan
    88
    15
    3.00

    Jonathan

    Got forward well, resulting in a stretched visitors’ defence. Not perfect defensively, but he can be happy enough with his night’s work.

  • Andrea Ranocchia
    96
    14
    3.50

    Andrea Ranocchia

    Not overly worked by Nene and Thiago Ribeiro, but it wasn’t the calamitous Ranocchia of some nights either. More convincing than usual on the ground for a start.

  • Walter Samuel
    76
    14
    3.00

    Walter Samuel

    Embarrassed for pace as Ekdal screeched past him in the opening minutes, but later did very well to get a header in before Nene as Cagliari pushed to get back into the game.

  • Javier Zanetti
    188
    12
    3.00

    Javier Zanetti

    Even at 38, he won’t give up making those barnstorming runs, and it took a cynical Daniele Conti foul to stop him in his tracks at one point. His defending on Ibarbo was similarly textbook.

  • Dejan Stankovic
    73
    39
    3.00

    Dejan Stankovic

    Worked hard in midfield however much he sometimes looked off the pace of the game. Would arguably have done a better job of testing Agazzi from the free-kick Thiago Motta sent straight at the wall.

  • Thiago Motta
    144
    26
    3.00

    Thiago Motta Top of the Match

    Scored the vital opener, though it was a tap-in any number of Inter players could have netted to be fair. Was authoritative in the central midfield position, and while he might not have much mobility in the middle he can take charge of games like this.

  • Esteban Cambiasso
    84
    16
    3.00

    Esteban Cambiasso

    Looked to make progress down the left, and nearly added to his early season tally when he headed just over at the end of the first half. Continued to impress in the second half as Inter took a stranglehold of the game.

  • Coutinho
    244
    10
    3.50

    Coutinho

    After his late step up into the starting XI, he took his time to get into the game, but by the end of the first half he was causing real problems for Cagliari. Dragged a lovely right-footed finish inside the near post to double his side’s advantage.

  • Giampaolo Pazzini
    77
    15
    3.00

    Giampaolo Pazzini

    Didn’t appear to have an awful lot on before delivering a stinging effort which Agazzi had to tip onto the crossbar. Continued to work the line well, but doesn’t look half the player in an Inter shirt since the departure of Samuel Eto’o.

  • Mauro Zárate
    80
    26
    3.00

    Mauro Zárate

    His dinked free-kick saw Inter denied by a combination of Agazzi and the crossbar for a second time in two minutes, but his final ball wasn’t always quite so dangerous, and he was replaced by Alvarez at the break.

Substitutions

  • Joel Obi
    63
    16
    3.00

    Joel Obi

    Replaced Coutinho soon after the Brazilian had doubled the lead and did well to hold the shape of the side ahead of the midfield.

  • Marco Faraoni
    48
    16
    0.00

    Marco Faraoni

    Late sub for Jonathan.

  • Ricardo Álvarez
    152
    17
    3.50

    Ricardo Álvarez

    Replaced Zarate at the break and looked to provide a more dangerous final ball. Largely delivered, though his lack of cutting pace remains a concern.

  • Michael Agazzi
    24
    5
    0.00

    Michael Agazzi

    Tipped Pazzini’s fierce strike onto the bar to keep the scores level, then did the same with Zarate’s floated free-kick. Continued to be the barrier until Thiago Motta took advantage of a scramble, and should have done better than to give Coutinho the whole near post to aim at.

  • Francesco Pisano
    10
    8
    2.50

    Francesco Pisano

    Found Coutinho a tough prospect, and was booked for bringing down the Brazilian after failing to spot a nice bit of trickery. Got forward well at times, but not good enough to break through the Inter back line.

  • Michele Canini
    5
    11
    3.00

    Michele Canini

    Took a rather uncultured approach to defending at times, but it was largely effective until his side were undone by a set-piece.

  • Lorenzo Ariaudo
    4
    12
    3.00

    Lorenzo Ariaudo

    Looked a little short of the level necessary to keep out Inter for the full 90 minutes, and so it proved. Good in the air without ever being commanding, the former Juventus man will have hoped for a better outcome.

  • Alessandro Agostini
    10
    6
    2.50

    Alessandro Agostini

    Worked with heart down the left side for Cagliari, but he never really had the final ball. Also defensively he occasionally resorted to foul tactics to keep Inter out.

  • Davide Biondini
    7
    6
    2.50

    Davide Biondini

    The typical energetic midfield effort from the Italian, but again in a losing cause at San Siro. He was replaced midway through the second half as his side looked to chase the two goals they needed.

  • Daniele Conti
    5
    11
    2.50

    Daniele Conti

    Booked for a calculated foul on the marauding Zanetti, and it was a measure of how much the old campaigner was outdone in the midfield battle at times.

  • Albin Ekdal
    10
    11
    2.50

    Albin Ekdal

    Burst past Samuel early on but couldn’t quite supply the final ball as Cagliari failed to make the most of their rare forward breaks. Sat in well at times, but this was not his best San Siro display.

  • Radja Nainggolan
    21
    4
    3.00

    Radja Nainggolan

    His never-say-die attitude and superb vision saw him ease Inter off the ball with ease at times, setting up important breaks for the visitors. Played the odd stray pass, but didn’t deserve to be on the losing side, and he collected a late assist in superbly setting up Larrivey.

  • Nenê
    7
    9
    2.50

    Nenê

    Couldn’t get up ahead of Samuel as Cagliari tried to force their way back into the game from 2-0 down, and it was the story of the night. Too ineffective as a front man, his side were often left without an out-ball.

  • Thiago Ribeiro
    13
    12
    2.00

    Thiago Ribeiro Flop of the Match

    Very poor display from the front man as Cagliari were left wanting up front, meaning more and more ball kept coming back into their own half.

Substitutions

  • Rui Sampaio
    9
    6
    0.00

    Rui Sampaio

    Came on midway through the second half without having too much of an influence in Cagliari's attempted fightback.

  • Joaquin Larrivey
    17
    6
    3.00

    Joaquin Larrivey

    Poked home Nainggolan's low cross from the left as Cagliari threatened to upset the home side late on, but it proved too little too late.

  • Víctor Ibarbo
    10
    6
    3.50

    Víctor Ibarbo

    Replaced Ekdal on the hour, but coming on just seconds after Inter had gone 2-0 ahead was always going to make it tough for him to have a real positive impact.

Results
 
Player Ratings
Tournament
Position
Ranking
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Ciro Immobile Ciro Immobile
Striker
Torino
20 0
Luca Toni Luca Toni
Striker
Hellas Verona
18 2
Carlos Tévez Carlos Tévez
Striker
Juventus
18 1
Gonzalo Higuaín Gonzalo Higuaín
Striker
Napoli
17 5
Rodrigo Palacio Rodrigo Palacio
Striker
Inter
15 0