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April 7, 2012
• Stadio Nereo Rocco, Trieste
Referee: M. Guida
• Attendance: 19000
90' + 4'
That's the last action of the match! It ends Cagliari 2-2 Inter in what was a thrilling and open encounter. Each side will likely settle for the point in the hunt for Champions' League place but Inter will rue not taking the lead while having a man advantage. I'm Julian De Martinis; thank you for joining me here on Goal.com!
90' + 3'
PAZZINI NEARLY SCORES! His downward header was trickling just wide of the post; Ranocchia tried to turn and shoot but only hit the netting!
90' + 2'
Only one more minute of injury time to go and Inter have a corner kick. Forlan stands over this one... and it leads to just another corner.
Inter trying a bit too hard as Pazzini's pass to Obi in the box is overhit.
The pace has been taken out of this somewhat though Obi tries to create something with his cross, which is blocked from the left.
Nene on for Cossu now, who goes off to rapturous applause from the home support.
Inter enjoying the lion's share of possession but Cagliari are sitting back deep, preventing the visitors from getting forward.
Perico coming on for Ekdal and Obi for Stankovic as both managers make a change.
Corner to Inter. Zarate swings it in from the left to the back post, but Samuel commits a foul and a free kick is awarded to the home side.
Inter piling on the pressure now but the side are missing the final cutting edge to really cause damage. Ironically Cagliari are attacking less but looking a bit more menacing on each foray forward.
ZARATE DRAWS A SUPERB SAVE! It's been an on-and-off game from the forward, but his finessed shot from the left draws a fantastic diving save from Agazzi!
Ibarbo demonstrates his skill! He skipped past Samuel and Chivu to get to the byline, then just lost control at a crucial moment as he was about to cross. Superb skill from the forward!
Conti gets on the end of the corner and heads at goal, forcing Castellazzi into a fantastic save! Forlan comes off for Pazzini.
Zarate loses the ball and Ekdal nearly scores from the ensuing possession, had it not been for Samuel's timely intervention! Corner to Cagliari who aren't looking like they're down a man at all!
Cossu tries a cross into the box and finds Nainggolan, whose header flashes just wide of the near post! Cagliari aren't giving up by any means today!
Cagliari free-kick, which Cossu swings into the area. The ball bounces around a bit before Forlan just smashes it as far as he can out of the box.
What a chance for Inter! Chivu found Zarate deep in the box. Instead of shooting, the former Lazio player tried a cross to Forlan but ended up overhitting it entirely!
Yellow Card Diego Forlán
Ibarbo comes on for Ribeiro. Cagliari will undoubtedly be looking for more of the flashy skill he showed against the likes of Napoli a few weeks back.
Inter have a corner but it's cleared. Cagliari try to counter but Forlan makes a technical foul on Cossu and is duly booked, for intentionally slowing down the player.
Forlan tries a long range belter from the wing but it's right at Agazzi. Cagliari looking to counter when they can.
Cossu whips in a cross that Samuel heads right back at him; his second effort is worse and goes directly out of bounds.
Predictably it's now all Inter with possession, having an extra man and the momentum from their last goal.
Assist Diego Forlán
Goal Esteban Cambiasso
UNREAL INTER DO IT AGAIN! ANOTHER IMMEDIATE EQUALIZER! This time it's Cambiasso who finds himself with the ball following Forlan's cross, and he just poked it into the net! 2-2 and GAME ON!
Yellow/Red Mauricio Pinilla
Yellow Card Andrea Cossu
PINILLA SENT OFF! He receives his second yellow and marching orders for excessive celebration and he climbed onto the stands! Cossu protests and is booked as well! Cagliari down to 10!
Assist Daniele Conti
Goal Mauricio Pinilla
PINILLLLLLLAAAA GOALLLLLLL! 2-1 to the home side! Inter simply coul not clear the sustained pressure. Coti's cross was whipped into the far post and Pinilla headed in, completely unmarked! Shambolic defending from Inter again!
Lots of Inter possession but mostly with the defence at the moment. Poli gives the ball away and it takes Samuel to intervene on Cossu's cross to prevent that from becoming very dangerous indeed; Cagliari recoup and try to score but Inter somehow clear three times in a row!
Inter trying to make inroads here but Cagliari are set up well in midfield and the side can't break forward as they'd like.
Pinilla unleashes a furious shot that goes just wide of the near post! Ranocchia tried to slide into that one but was a second too late.
The cross is whipped into a dangerous area but the whistle is blown on Milito, who had dragged down his marker. Stramaccioni subs on Poli for Guarin.
Inter counter via Forlan; the ball is played wide to Zarate, who tees up Stankovic. He takes a shot that goes deflected wide for a corner.
Deep throw in for the home side turns into a free-kick when Guarin takes down Nainggolan. Luckily for Guarin, the free-kick comes to nought though it did hit the post dangerously!
Inter sustain the pressure and try to build from the back themselves. Samuel goes out wide to Zanetti who loses out to Nainggolan.
The home side continuing to press forward as much as they can, but solid pressure from Inter has forced them back to their goalie.
A long ball fails to reach Milito and now Cagliari are settling into a rhythm on the ball. Samuel clears and the home side have a deep throw-in near Inter's box.
Welcome back! The second half begins with Inter in possession, trying to build from the back but losing the ball after a poor pass from Forlan.
And that's the half! It's been a fascinating and open match here and ends 1-1 at halftime. Join us in 15 for the second half!
Yellow Card Daniele Conti
After a big discussion involving five players, Inter try a cheeky little free kick, slipping it forward to Cambiasso who just tried to prod it into the net! His effort is weak and saved.
Forlan dropping deep this match to try and establish link-up play for Inter. The visitors get a free-kick just outside the box as Conti catches him in the face with his hand, and is duly booked.
Who else but Zanetti, once again, clearing Cagliari pressure on the left. Absolute top top performance from the captain so far.
Cagliari counter and Samuel does very well to shepard Pinilla's pass out so Ekdal couldn't reach it.
Yellow Card M. Zárate
On a foray forward, Ranocchia passes the ball directly to the other team. That about sums up his night thus far. Zarate booked for a late challenge while trying to win it back.
Nainggolan goes on a fantastic solo run and unleashes a shot that takes both Castelazzi and Zanetti to clear! Cagliari get a corner but waste the effort as the ball is played out of bounds.
Ribeiro fouls Chivu right near the corner flag following the corner, and Inter thus have a free kick in a great area. Samuel gets on the end of it but his downward header bounces just over the top left corner!
Inter looking to be the side to finish the half more strongly, as Zarate's pressing wins the visitors a corner following solid pressure.
Superb work by Zanetti to keep the ball in play and try and send a cross in, but his header gets only to Agazzi.
The visitors lose the ball as Zanetti fails to receive a cross, then gain it back only to lose it cheaply again. Stramaccioni is visibly agitated on the sidelines.
Inter tentatively going forward, trying not to lose the ball but nevertheless getting further up the pitch.
Superb cross from Cossu that forces Samuel into a diving header to clear!
Lots of back and forth in the midfield as both teams struggle to maintain possession.
A speculative shot from a long way out deflects for a Cagliari corner. Cossu swings it in and Pinilla gets over Ranocchia, who's having a shocker, but his header goes wide!
Yellow Card Dejan Stankovic
CAMBIASSO HITS THE UPRIGHT! A superb cross from Zanetti finds the midfielder on the edge of the box; his header forces Agazzi into a great save where he just tips the ball on the upright and out! Corner to Inter
Chivu commits a foul in midfield and gives another free-kick away to Cagliari. The home side are having the easier time getting into dangerous positions.
Guarin dispossess Pinilla and begets a counter. Inter send a mass of players forward but kick the ball out of play as Pinilla is down injured from Guarin's challenge.
The home side attacking incessantly down the left but having trouble with the final ball at the moment.
Zanetti once again at his best to prevent a cross coming in from the flank. One of the few Inter players at the back who doesn't look out of sorts at the moment!
Yellow Card Mauricio Pinilla
Pinilla booked for an off-the-ball shove on Stankovic that the ref happened to spot. The first booking of the match.
The visitors are finally seeing possession after sustained pressure from Cagliari. Their spell ends as Zarate fouls Conti, giving a free kick away in the process.
Zarate is full of ideas today; the striker tries to dance through Cagliari's defence but his touch evades him at a crucial moment and the ball rolls out harmlessly for a goal-kick. Nevertheless, he's been mighty lively thus far.
Cossu is down holding his foot and really wants Guarin to be carded after the two tangled deep in Inter's half. Play is waved on and the trequartista gets up without much trouble.
Agostini fails to control a high ball by the byline and gifts a throw-in to Inter. The visitors cannot keep the ball from the home side at the moment, however, and thus promptly lose it.
Samuel fouls Pinilla by the halfway line, and Cagliari use the ensuing free kick to rush towards goal. Cossu tries a cheeky chip to the back post but it's beyond his teammates.
Zanetti does wonderfully to stop Larrivey in the box and come away cleanly from the ball. The home side recover but Cambiasso turns hero the second time to prevent a shot from coming.
Milito tries a solo effort to get a shot on goal but it's nothing the home defence can't handle. The game is end to end at the moment and being played at a furious pace.
Cagliari now looking for another in what's turning into a breathless match. Conti lines up a shot outside the box but his effort fails to test Castellazzi.
Assist M. Zárate
IMMEDIATE RESPONSE! MILITO GOAL! WELCOME TO STRAMACCIONI'S INTER! Zarate was at the heart of this, dribbling every which way before crossing it perfectly to the Argentine striker. Milito turned and shot to send the ball low past Agazzi! 1-1 and GAME ON!
Goal Diego Milito
Assist Andrea Cossu
Goal Davide Astori
GOALLLLLLL CAGLIARI! Astori scores quite an acrobatic goal off Cagliari's first corner of the match Ranocchia wasn't marking him as much as just holding onto the player. Both fell but Astori got a foot to the ball to rocket it into the net! 1-0 to the home side!
Zarate cuts in from the left and forces Agazzi into a good save from his long range effort. Inter get a corner, play it short, and try to cross to Cambiasso but it's overhit and out for a goal-kick.
And we're underway! Cagliari begin attacking to the right; Astori tries a through ball from the back but he'll have to be more clever to get past Samuel. Moments later Samuel and Thiago Ribero tangle in the box, the latter goes down, but nothing is called.
Marco Guida will be the referee for the match, and Zanetti and Conti are shaking hands after the coin toss.
The two teams are walking out of the tunnel for the pre-match procedures. Just minutes away from kick-off now!
Inter are dressed in their white away jersey tonight, whereas Cagliari are in their usual red and blue striped kit.
Plenty of options on the bench for both sides tonight. The home side can turn to Nene and Ibrarbo, amongst others, whereas Inter have Yuto Nagatomo and Giampaolo Pazzini waiting to be subbed on as well. Cagliari: 25 Avramov, 15 Bovi, 24 Perico, 3 Ariaudo, 18 Nenè, 9 Larrivey, 23 Ibarbo Inter: 21 Orlandoni, 2 Cordoba, 55 Nagatomo, 17 Palombo, 18 Poli, 20 Obi, 7 Pazzini
Inter must do without the injured Julio Cesar and Lucio, and Fredy Guarin gets his first Inter start tonight after being subbed into the Genoa match during the second half. 12 Castellazzi; 4 Zanetti, 23 Ranocchia, 25 Samuel, 26 Chivu; 14 Guarin, 5 Stankovic, 19 Cambiasso; 28 Zarate, 22 Milito, 9 Forlan
As for lineups, Cagliari are without Daniele Dessena and Sebastian Eriksson, though goalkeeper Michale Agazzi is starting despite reports that he is not quite fully fit. 1 Agazzi; 14 Pisano, 13 Astori, 21 Canini, 31 Agostini; 20 Ekdal, 5 Conti, 4 Nainggolan; 7 Cossu; 19 Thiago Ribeiro, 51 Pinilla
Most eyes will be on the visitors, however. After firing Claudio Ranieri following a 2-0 loss to rivals Juventus, the appointment of youth coach Andrea Stramaccioni has seen the side scoring goals and conceding them nearly at will, bringing about last weekend's 5-4 thriller over Genoa.
The home side have had an inconsistent past few matches; losses to Napoli and Lazio away spliced between home wins to Cesena and Atalanta. Massimo Ficcadenti's men have not lost at the Sant'Elia since their March 3rd loss to Siena.
Welcome to Goal.com's match coverage of Cagliari-Inter! It's twelfth against seventh today in a matchup where both sides will be rearing to get points and try and make one final push for a European place as Serie A heads towards the end of the season.
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