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April 14, 2013
• Stadio Is Arenas, Quartu Sant'Elena
Referee: D. Celi
• Attendance: 10000
M. Pinilla 63', 76'
Thank you very much for joining me for Cagliari's win over Inter. I've been Tom Maston, and stay with Goal.com for all the latest from the world of football.
Stramaccioni will surely be unhappy with the penalty decision that led to the first goal, but in truth Cagliari's second half performance deserved the win. Pinilla was superb when he was brought off the bench, and without Samuel and Ranocchia the visitors struggled.
The referee blows for full time and Cagliari have run out 2-0 winners over Inter. The visitors didn't do enough to win the match and must now face up to the fact that they are extremely unlikely to qualify for the Champions League.
90' + 2'
Cagliari have got everyone behind the ball here and Inter can't find a way through. Stramaccioni took a risk in bringing Nagatomo on, and that decision looks to have comeback to bite him.
Guarin hoists one forward but there are no Inter players challenging and it rolls out for a free-kick. Three minutes of injury time to play.
Inter win a corner, but Rocchi can only head wide under pressure from the defence. All over bar the shouting you feel now.
Final change for Cagliari as Ekdal is replaced by Casarini.
SO CLOSE! In pushing for a winner, Inter are leaving themselves open at the back, and they are almost caught out again as Ibarbo finds himself in acres of space in the box. He has the whole goal to aim at, but can only hit it over via the crossbar. Let off for Inter.
Almost a third here as Cabrera rolls the ball through for Ibarbo. The striker goes down under pressure from Juan but there are no real appeals from the Cagliari players.
Comfortable in defence for Cagliari at the moment. Samuel is playing as a striker but they can't find him at the moment. Time running out for the visitors here.
Guarin's free-kick is powerfully hit, but it is too close to Agazzi and he gathers it easily. It just hasn't been his day in front of goal.
Yellow Card M. Pinilla
Three bookings each now as Pinilla picks up a yellow card. Guarin has a chance to pull one back here.
It is going to take something special from here for Inter to get anything from this match. It looks like it will be two successive years without Champions League football for the 2010 winners.
Assist Matías Cabrera
Goal M. Pinilla
GOAL CAGLIARI!!! Is this game over? Inter are caught out by some neat passing by the home side, and Pinilla gets a clear run on goal. His touch is heavy, but that allows him to get away from the defence and stab the ball into the roof of the net. What an impact the substitute has made!
Inter supporters will be tearing their hair out. Just eight minutes after coming on, Nagatomo is having to be substituted as he obviously wasn't ready to return from injury, with Samuel on in his place. And with that, Stramaccioni has made all his substitutes.
Still more than 15 minutes left, but already some desperate shooting from Inter. Guarin tries his luck from distance but his shot is poor and goes well wide. The visitors need more composure here.
Yellow Card Nicola Murru
Murru picks up the fifth yellow card of the game for a foul in the middle of the field. Slightly soft, and it means he will be suspended for Cagliari's next fixture.
Alvarez wins a corner on the right, and Guarin's ball in eventually finds Rocchi. The forward turns well but his shot is into the side netting and Cagliari breathe again. Less than 20 minutes for the home side to hold out here.
BIG CHANCE! Cagliari should really have doubled their lead here. Some patient passing leads to a cross from the right. Ekdal gets up highest, but his header is too close to Handanovic and the goalkeeper makes light work of the save. Will the home side live to rue that miss?
Stramaccioni makes his first change since the goal, with Cambiasso withdrawn for Nagatomo in midfield.
Pinilla has made quite a difference since his introduction, and he tries his luck from distance this time. His effort is weak, though, and dribbles wide.
It will be interesting to see what Stramaccioni does here. Inter's attacking options are stretched as it is, and it should be intriguing to see when the coach chooses to change things.
Penalty Goal M. Pinilla
GOAL!!! No mistake from Pinilla, who picks himself up and blasts it down the middle. Handanovic had no chance.
Yellow Card Matías Silvestre
PENALTY TO CAGLIARI!!! It's third time lucky for the home side as Pinilla wins a debatable spot kick. The substitute breaks down the left before cutting inside Silvestre. The defender sticks out a leg, though there didn't seem to be much contact. He is booked for his troubles.
So close from Alvarez as he stabs a shot goalwards. Agazzi is beaten but it flies just wide.
More penalty claims from the home side as Ibarbo breaks from inside his own half. He carries the ball into the Inter box before seemingly being tripped. The referee doesn't see anything untoward though.
Still very even here as both sides trade periods of possession. I wouldn't rule out a few goals though.
Having seen a replay of that afore mentioned penalty incident, it looks very much like Ribeiro dived under pressure from Juan. Change for the home side, with Dessena giving way to Pinilla.
Moments after appeals for a Cagliari penalty are turned away by the referee, Guarin brings a good save out of Agazzi. He cuts inside onto his right foot, but the goalkeeper gets down well to turn it behind.
Alvarez has certainly looked the most dangerous player on the ball, and he is at it again as he gets down the right before laying the ball across the box. Agazzi does well and claims the ball before it reaches Rocchi.
Kuzmanovic is the man to replace Gargano in midifield.
GREAT SAVE! Temporarily down to 10 men, Inter go close. Rocchi dances through the home defence before hitting a powerful drive. Unfortunately, it is pretty much straight at Agazzi and the goalkeeper parries well.
Yet more injury woe for Inter here, with Gargano being forced off after picking up a knock. A replacement is being readied on the touchline.
Gargano trips Ekdal as the midfielder brings it forward, but the resulting free-kick is poor and Inter can bring it away. No rhythm in this one since the break.
Quiet start to the second period. Inter have had the better of the play, with Kovacic's through ball just being cut out before it reaches Guarin. Nothing less than a win will be enough for the visitors this afternoon.
Inter kick-off and we are back underway...
The players are making their way back onto the field as we approach the second half.
We are not far away from the second half here, but some are already looking forward to next season. @indianazzurri has got in touch on Twitter and says " Even if Inter qualify for European football, they are not good enough to go far on current form." That may be true, but we have to remember how many injuries Stramaccioni is having to deal with at present.
Cambiasso's chance has been the closest either side has come, though Ibarbo is causing some problems at the other end. What are your thoughts on the game? Who is going to come out on top? Get in touch on Twitter @maston91.
The referee blows the half-time whistle and we head into the break with the deadlock yet to be broken. Pereira was booked on the verge of half-time for pulling back Ibarbo, so will be treading a tightrope in the second period.
Yellow Card Á. Pereira
One minute of injury time at the end of the first half, and both sides look content to go in at the break level.
When Ricky Alvarez gets the ball, everyone is on the edge of their seat. This time he jinks inside onto his left foot and fires in a powerful effort from 25 yards. It is always too high but he is certainly causing big problems for the Cagliari defence.
The visitors win a corner on the left, and after it is cleared, the ball falls for Kovacic on the edge of the area. The midfielder slips just before the ball reaches him and his shot flies well over the bar.
Inter finally keep the ball for a period and get forward. Alvarez knocks the ball out to Zanetti on the right. The defender swings it in and it is just too high for Guarin at the back post. Much better.
Inter try to get forward themselves, but Gargano's pass is miscontrolled by Kovacic and they relinquish possession again. Not Inter's best period over the last ten minutes.
This is Cagliari's best spell of the first half, and Pereira has to be on his toes to cut out a through ball towards Ibarbo down the right. Inter under some pressure here.
This is much better from the hosts. They break the offside trap and manage to square the ball across the six yard box from the left. Ibarbo is lurking, and only a superb challenge from Juan denies him an easy tap in. Best chance for Cagliari thus far.
Opportunity for the home side as Cabrera chips it forward for Ribeiro. The ball is slightly overhit and Handanovic is quick off his line to nullify the attack.
Yellow Card Daniele Conti
First Cagliari yellow card of the afternoon as Conti pulls back Cambiasso after losing the ball to the midfielder. No complaints about that one.
Half chance for the away side as a ball towards Rocchi is half-cleared. The ball falls nicely for Juan on the edge of the area, but his scuffed volley dribbles wide.
More fancy footwork from Alvarez as he stabs a cross in towards Rocchi. Rossettini does well to turn it behind for a corner, and again from a dead ball Inter disappoint.
The resulting set piece is squared to the onrushing Astori, but the defender's powerful effort is well off target. Slight let off for the visitors.
Juan is slightly lucky to still be on the field. Already booked, the defender loses the ball inside his own half, and in his exuberance to win it back slides in and concedes a free-kick. No cards this time though from the referee.
Inter win a free-kick on the right, but Guarin's cross is poor and cleared at the near post. Gargano has the chance to get it in the area again, but his centre is overhit. Disappointing from Stramaccioni's outfit.
After a bright start, Ibarbo has been pretty quiet for the last ten minutes. A long ball over the top is aimed at the striker, but Juan and Handanovic combine to win it back. The Inter backline seem to have worked out how best to combat the dangerous forward.
Everyone knows the skill that Alvarez possesses, and he shows off all his fancy footwork as he skips through the Cagliari defence. His final shot is blocked, but the home side have been given their warning.
Cagliari try to push forward, but Zanetti is able to neutralise the danger and clear. Stramaccioni will be happy with how his side have started this match.
Some momentum is building for Inter, and Guarin again tests Agazzi from distance. This time his effort is low but doesn't have the power to sufficiently test the goalkeeper.
Much better from Inter now, with Guarin the next to try his luck. He picks the ball up on the edge of the hosts' area before turning and firing in a curling effort. Agazzi is equal to the effort and grabs it at the second attempt.
SO CLOSE! This is almost one of the great goals, as Cambiasso and Rocchi twice share passes before the ball finally comes for the Argentina midfielder clean through on goal. He expertly chips the ball over Agazzi, but his effort bounces back off the post and is cleared. Best moment of the match so far.
More attacking intent from the home side, as Cabrera and Ribeiro share passes before the latter has an effort that's blocked. Good play from Cagliari.
The battle between Ibarbo and Juan promises to be very intriguing. The forward again gets the better of the Inter defender, and Handanovic has to be on his toes to rush off his line and bail his teammate out with a clearance into touch.
Yellow Card Juan Jesus
First booking of the match as the home side counter-attack through Ibarbo, but Juan cynically trips him on his way forward. Cagliari work the resulting free-kick well, with the ball eventually falling for Cabrera. He has plenty of time, but his side-foot shot is weak and easy for Handanovic.
Very early substitution here for Cagliari as Cossu is withdrawn, presumably for an injury, with Cabrera on in his place.
Alvarez breaks into the box for the visitors, but he can't stay on his feet and loses the ball. No appeals for a penalty from any of the Inter players.
Inter looking to play themselves into the match here, with the defence exchanging passes with Gargano and Cambiasso in the middle of the field. Not much attacking intent though.
Bright start by the hosts, who play some neat passes before swinging a cross in from the right. It is cleared, but only as far as Conti, but his effort from the edge of the area is well blocked.
Cagliari kick-off and we are underway in this crunch encounter.
The players have made their way out onto the pitch and we are nearly ready for kick-off. Can Inter get their season back on track?
Andrea Stramaccioni's side threw away a 3-1 lead last week against Atalanta to lose 4-3, and they will be looking to put that behind them this afternoon. Injuries have decimated their squad, but they are still favourites for this clash.
The home side are locked firmly in mid-table, and will be looking for a win that could take them into the top half of the standings. Top-scorer Marco Sau, who scored twice at San Siro earlier in the campaign, is only a substitute for Ivo Pulga's side.
Inter: Handanovic, Zanetti, Silvestre, Pereira, Juan, Kovacic, Alvarez, Guarin, Cambiasso, Gargano, Rocchi.
Cagliari: Agazzi, Astori, Rossettini, Perico, Murru, Conti, Cossu, Ekdal, Dessena, Ribeiro, Ibarbo.
The teams are in ahead of this big encounter...
Hello and welcome to Goal.com's LIVE coverage of Inter's trip to Cagliari in Serie A. The visitors have won just two of their last seven matches, meaning a victory is vital if they are to have any chance of catching city rivals Milan in the battle for Champions League places. I'm Tom Maston, and if you want to get in touch throughout the game you can find me on Twitter @maston91.
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