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September 1, 2013
• Stadio Angelo Massimino, Catania
Referee: A. Damato
• Attendance: 18821
R. Palacio 19'
Y. Nagatomo 56'
R. Álvarez 80'
That's all we've got time for, but we hope that you've enjoyed tonight's LIVE coverage of Inter's comprehensive 3-0 win in Catania, where the hosts just didn't seem to turn up. I've been Simon Harrison, and I'll see you all again next time.
An efficient performance for Inter, who took their limited chances. Catania will want to forget that game as quickly as possible, they should arguably have taken the lead in the first half, but instead find themselves without any points to show for their good first half exploits.
Goals from Palacio, Nagatomo and Ricky wrap up the three points, as Mazzarri's Inter maintain their 100% Serie A record for the season. Ricky's was the pick of the bunch, as the Argentine cut inside from the left, dancing past two, before applying a lovely finish.
That's it! The full time whistle blows! Inter run out 3-0 winners, but the scoreline flatters the away side considering how little they had to do. Catania have had a bad day at the office, and are jeered as they leave the field of play by their home supporters.
90' + 3'
Good save by Andujar! The Argentine does well to prevent Belfodil from scoring by using his feet! The Algerian will be frustrated tonight, it appears!
90' + 2'
Catania look like the walking wounded. Legrottaglie is carrying a knock, Bergessio is wandering aimlessly around the front line with a bandage around his head and frustration tangible. The hosts have had an unforgettable night, they'll want their next match as soon as possible.
90' + 1'
BELFODIL! The substitute stretches to connect with a front post cross, but can only stab it over the bar from close range! He sprawls out, running his hands through his hair - he thinks that was his chance.
Taider plays a direct ball, looking for his compatriot, but Belfodil loses the race to the ball with Andujar. The Algerian has given a reasonable account of himself, though it's strange Icardi has missed out.
Legrottaglie has gone down in his own half, and looks to be holding his upper leg, he asked for Inter to put the ball out, as the problem has been ongoing. I doubt it's a case of fatigue, but the physios look desperate to patch him up and keep him on the field.
NAGATOMO! The Japan international breaks with several teammates, but chooses to go it alone instead of passing, unexplainably. He's dispossessed in the penalty area, before Andujar is able to clear the loose ball.
Catania win a corner after slow, steady work down the left from Monzon. The hosts are looking sluggish and tired, either that or they've given up a little. The set piece is cleared easily, and Inter break!
Inter are happy to hold onto the ball and simply frustrate Catania, whose heads have certainly dropped now. Inter reaching the edge of the hosts' box with ease now, no real pressure or hassling.
Ten minutes left, approximately, and Inter look to have this game in the bag. Catania haven't quite looked like scoring one goal this evening, forget three. Another efficient performance from Mazzarri, and now their manager opts to give a young loanee his debut.
This is getting embarrassing for the home side, Maran will be wondering how they are three goals behind, to an Inter side who haven't had to get out of third gear at any point. That goal was a poor one to concede, far too defensively lax for the hosts.
Goal Ricardo Álvarez
GOOOOAL! IT'S THREE! RICKY! The Argentine scores with ease, and what a good finish! He dances inside, beating two men, before placing the ball in off the post!
Poor stuff from Inter, a seemingly dangerous attack is halted by Nagatomo holding onto the ball for too long. Catania break, with Bergessio in acres of space on the left, but the bandaged Argentine is given as offside. He waves his hands in frustration!
OFFSIDE! Belfodil thinks he's scored, but the Algerian is a yard offside, after diverting Palacio's shot successfully past Andujar. That was an easy one for the linesman.
PALACIO! The Argentine goalscorer stretches in vain to turn home a good cross from the left hand side, before Inter create almost a carbon copy of the same chance again! This time the ball finds its way to Ricky, who is denied well by Andujar!
CASTRO! The right winger exchanges passes with the bandaged Bergessio, but he skews his shot wide of the target while seemingly trying to tuck the ball inside Handanovic's near post. Poor effort.
RICKY! The Argentine tries to score from the edge of the area, ghosting past Almiron, but cannons his effort directly into the midriff of Legrottaglie! It's not quite happened for the youngster tonight.
DOUKARA! The substitute has Catania's best chance of the half! Castro delivers from the right, with a looping ball in, the Senegalese rises brilliantly above Jonathan, but can't turn his header towards goal! He should have done better with that.
Yellow Card Souleymane Doukara
Well smothered by Andujar! Belfodil combines with fellow substitute Taider, but the Argentine keeper is quick off his line to race out and dive on the loose ball! I'd say that Belfodil has already offered more than Maxi has for Catania!
Good ball from Nagatomo! The goalscorer looks for his fellow goalscorer, whipping in a good cross from the byline, but Palacio isn't tall enough to nod it home! That was the chance to put the game to bed for Inter.
Good interception from Ranocchia! Tachtsidis looked to slip Bergessio through on goal, but can't! The half cleared ball finds its way to Catania's right hand side, it's whipped into the six yard box, forcing Handanovic into a save! As the Slovenian is on the ground, the hosts can't turn it home!
This game is quickly devolving into basic frustration for the hosts. The atmosphere is waning and so is the likelihood that the home side can get back into this. They've had plenty of the ball, but it has been in meaningless areas, areas that Mazzarri is prepared to gift to his opponent.
Oh dear Maxi Lopez... the substitute receives the ball, before laying it off into the space where Monzon should be pushing up into, but it rolls out of play. The former Milan man hasn't had the best game, Bergessio performed far better in the lone striker role earlier in the match.
Yellow Card Mariano Andújar
He shoots, unsurprisingly! Andujar is able to claim the ball with ease, but is then yellow carded for pushing Palacio away from the ball as the Inter goalscorer harassed him.
Plenty of time is wasted in discussion as Inter win a free-kick that is some distance from goal, but Guarin stands over it. It's around 35 yards out...
Oh dear! Bergessio shares the ball with Castro, but the two aren't on the same wavelength and his teammate cannons the ball back towards the striker's ankles at an uncontrollable height. It just hasn't clicked offensively for Catania tonight, other than the opening ten minutes.
LETO! The Argentine tries his luck from the left hand side, but can only rattle the ball narrowly wide of the side netting from a tight angle. Leto hasn't seen as much of the ball since switching with Bergessio.
Inter pick up a corner after a good challenge from Spolli, and the hosts take the break in play to make a substitution. They take it short, but Jonathan fails to put in a good ball and the opportunity is totally wasted.
We're at the hour mark, and Inter are in firm control, despite not really getting into top gears. Two goals from Jonathan's good work, essentially, give Nerazzurri the game to throw away. All they need to do is see the game out, which the substitution of Kovacic for Taider suggested they would do.
Inter are sat deep, prepared to weather whatever the hosts have to throw at them. With Ranocchia and Juan not looking shaky and full of mistakes, a clean sheet is definitely possible tonight. Mazzarri probably won't be happy with anything less, given how wasteful Catania have been.
It must be mentioned yet again, Jonathan played a good part in that goal, carrying the ball upfield before dispatching it to Ricky for the assist. Mazzarri's wing-backs just keep performing for him this season, it seems!
Despite not creating a chance in the second half, Inter now have a comfortable lead! Handanovic easily claims a tame Bergessio header, and Catania just don't look as though they can muster two goals up from nowhere. They've been a little toothless tonight.
Assist Rodrigo Palacio
Goal Yuto Nagatomo
GOOOOAL! NAGATOMO! The goalscorer from the opening day has done it again! Arriving late at the back post, the Japanese wing-back ghosted in, and Andujar could get nowhere near it! Bullet header!
A combination of Ranocchia and Juan manage to clear the ball from between the duo of Bergessio and Maxi, good defending from Inter! Last game they looked shaky, but tonight they've looked a lot more solid, with Ranocchia in particular making well timed challenges.
Space opens up on the right for Castro, who strikes at goal before Nagatomo can come to close him down, but his effort fails to beat the first man! Wasteful from the Catania forward, as he really was in acres of open space.
Great challenge from Alvarez, who dispossesses his marker, before Catania's marauding antics down the right is stopped by Ranocchia. The throw in is taken short, fired into the box by Maxi, but Castro can only deflect the ball over the bar!
Good early pressure from Inter, Catania are struggling to get out of their own half! Almiron and Guarin tussle on the edge of the area, and the Colombian wins, sending the Argentine to the ground holding his face. No card for Guarin, but good dramatics from the Catania midfielder.
NAGATOMO! Andujar denies a stooping header from the Japan international, getting down well to his left! Close for the away side, that was a useful back post delivery to target the outnumbered Alvarez!
PALACIO! The goalscorer tries his luck from range after receiving a flick from Ricky, but blazes it high and wide! Very poor stuff from Palacio, before Castro is penalised for a poor challenge on Taider.
A slow start to the second half, I have a feeling this could get quite cagey, the second goal is all important. Both sides have lined up similarly to the end of the first half, which should promise a second half of similar play.
The game is underway for the second set of 45 minutes! Maran's side were out first, and he had plenty to say to Maxi Lopez as he made his way to his bench. I sense that the home side's manager won't be happy with the current scoreline, given the balance of play.
Despite the lack of clear cut chances, it's been a very interesting game for the neutral, with plenty of end-to-end action. Jonathan and Guarin have been excitingly direct, but Mazzarri might just want his side to tighten up a tad in the second half.
Leto and Bergessio have been dangerous the hosts, and the more likely candidates to equalise, but Catania can't quite find that final pass with regularity. Both sides have used a substitute already, with Maxi and Taider taking to the field for their respective sides.
Despite several good chances for Bergessio and Leto early on, good work from Jonathan supplied a tap-in for Palacio's opener, from which Catania haven't quite recovered. The hosts are unlucky to be behind, but have failed to take their opportunities.
There's the half time whistle! Inter lead by a single goal at the break, as Catania struggled to penetrate the Inter lines. There's plenty of discussion in the tunnel, presumably on the topic of Spolli's recent poor challenge.
45' + 2'
Yellow Card Nicolás Spolli
45' + 2'
Bergessio has gone to the left wing after the change of Izco for Maxi. He's normally a striker, but offers plenty of running and tenacity out wide - perhaps Jonathan will have less of an easy night. Spolli makes a terrible challenge on Ricky and picks up a card.
45' + 1'
Two minutes of stoppage time are awarded. Maxi looks to break with his first touches of the ball, but can only run it out of play. The Argentine hasn't been able to get involved before half time whatsoever.
Strange for Mazzarri to make a change before the break, as Kovacic didn't look to be injured. The former Napoli boss perhaps realises that he has a battle on his hands this evening, and the more tenacious Taider could be the tonic to recent Catania pressure.
Alvarez lifts the ball into the box, but at the second attempt it is cleared by Kovacic! The hosts haven't had any luck with set pieces, Inter have looked comfortable throughout. Mazzarri calls for a change, and Inter will be introducing a more battling midfielder.
Yellow Card Yuto Nagatomo
Nagatomo earns himself a yellow card and stern words from Leto. The Japanese wing-back made a late lunge on his opponent, seemingly out of frustration. Catania earn a free-kick in a reasonable position, and will look to load the box.
Mariano Julio Izco
That's a shame for Catania, but Maxi Lopez has more of an eye for goal than his teammate, I imagine. Inter restart play while the hosts ready their substitute, but they're merely retaining the ball.
Izco goes down injured, with the physios being called on immediately, as the Argentine looked to be in some pain. After some quick treatment, he's back on his feet, and I don't think he'll be able to continue. Maxi Lopez is being called.
Castro has offered nothing in the first half whatsoever, the left hand side has bore no fruit for the hosts. Tachtsidis has given the ball to the left on several occasions, but the best that can be mustered is a hopeful, looped cross.
Good challenge from Spolli! The Argentine times it well to dispossess Ricky in the penalty area, allowing for Legrottaglie to clear up the pieces. Jonathan again was involved, playing the Argentine in towards the byline, but good defending from Catania put a stop to the attack.
Cambiasso puts the ball out of play after Leto looks to have hurt himself, clutching his face after a clash with Juan. There's nothing really in it though, the Brazilian just eased him out of the way, and the Argentine turned on some acrobatic dramatics.
Oh dear Leto! The Argentine receives the ball on the right after good hold up play from Bergessio, but tries his luck without setting himself. He blasts the ball miles over the crossbar, before looking to the sky in frustration.
ALMIRON! Another long range effort curls narrowly wide of Handanovic's far post after taking a deflection! The pressure is rising again, but Handanovic aids his side by punching the resulting corner away.
Juan is down injured after being struck on the head seemingly by Ranocchia, but he looks fine to continue. He'll be breathing a sigh of relief after Almiron looked to use his presence to orchestrate a penalty decision.
Catania appeal for a penalty as Almiron is bundled to the ground in the penalty area, but the referee waves away the claims - it did look a little innocuous. The home side continue, and whip in a great ball from the right, but nobody is at the back post to turn it home!
TACHTSIDIS! The Greek midfielder tries his luck from range, really connecting with his strong left foot, but the ball whistles narrowly past the post! Handanovic was beaten then, how unfortunate for the Catania man!
Solid defending from Mazzarri's men, Catania's heads seem to be dropping just a little. Despite good work, they just can't quite find a way through the disciplined Inter lines. Jonathan is a big problem for the hosts, he is enjoyable plenty of space, testing Monzon regularly and getting in between the lines.
Guarin tries to wriggle free of his marker on the edge of the 18 yard box, but can't quite do so, mustering up a weak effort on the turn instead. Kovacic then loses possession from a seemingly impossible situation.
An interesting first half an hour here tonight, that's for sure! Catania dominated the early stages, before a Palacio tap-in was a sucker punch for the home side - that's for if you're only just joining us. Inter are growing into the game much more now, their attacks look dangerous.
Good header from Ranocchia! The central defender rises excellently to firmly head a Alvarez delivery clear of the penalty area! Catania are lacking that final ball at the moment.
GUARIN! The Colombian is never afraid to shoot, and tries his luck from about 35 yards. Andujar jogs over to his post, knowing that the effort is going well, well wide. Campagnaro then does well for Inter to clear a dangerous through ball out for a corner.
Leto has enjoyed himself so far during this game, using his strength and the ability to keep the ball almost exclusively on his left foot to keep Nagatomo out of tackling reach. He's been limited to short passes though, no consistent penetration for the former Liverpool man.
Catania pick up a free-kick deep on the right hand side, which Alvarez fails to put in a stellar delivery. Inter break, with Guarin feeding Kovacic down the left, but the Croatian takes a poor touch and the momentum of the move breaks down.
It hasn't been deserved, but the away side has the lead! Spolli will feel as though he could've done better, but there's nothing Catania can do about it now. All the early work of Leto and Bergessio have been cancelled out.
Goal Rodrigo Palacio
GOOOOAL! PALACIO! It's a simple tap in for the Argentine, after great work down the right from Jonathan! The wing backs work again for Mazzarri!
Good strength from Jonathan! The Brazilian is up against the gangly figure of Tachtsidis, but held his own there, not permitting the Catania left winger to knock the ball around him and continue his run. All of Catania's dangerous play has come from the right.
P. Alvarez looks to have injured his arm whilst jumping for a ball with Ricky, but the full-back should be okay to continue. The home side continue to enjoy more effective possession, working the ball quite nicely in front of a deep Inter defensive midfield two.
Ricky has had an awful start to the game, the Argentine forward has been robbed of the ball whenever he's jinked into the final third, and this is off the back of a frustrating opening Serie A game for the youngster.
Catania will be encouraged by their start, they've limited Inter to long range efforts and have moved the ball quickly up to the likes of Bergessio. Handanovic has arguably been the more troubled and busy goalkeeper.
CAMBIASSO! After holding onto the ball for a minute or so, with Catania sitting in their disciplined banks of four and three, the Argentine midfielder shoots from range, but the ball sails harmlessly high and wide. A waste of possession, really.
The deployment of Leto on the right hand side of midfielder is growing a little predictable already. He's seen plenty of the ball and mostly moved it well, but Inter's players know that he needs to cut onto his left foot to try anything adventurous.
A good spell of calming possession for Inter, who looked a little stunned by the sustained attacks of Catania. Kovacic tries his luck from outside the box, but Andujar stoops to collect the ball easily.
A bright start to this game, plenty of chances on offer for either side! Both Andujar and Handanovic have been forced into good early saves, and Inter know that they're in a tough game here.
JONATHAN! The wing back is found in plenty of space on the right hand side, but smashes an effort straight at Andujar! The goalkeeper spills it, but Legrottaglie is on hand to clear the loose ball!
LETO! WHAT A CHANCE! The Argentine receives a cross following a throw-in from Monzon, gets the ball out from under his feet, but can only wedge the ball inbetween Handanovic's legs from eight yards out!
BERGESSIO! Nice footwork releases the Argentine from his marker, but he can also fire his effort straight at Handanovic! The same forward has another similar chance moments later, but can't beat the Slovenian!
Leto tries a long-throw, but Guarin rises highest to nod the delivery away from danger. After an initally composed start, Catania have enjoyed the better of the recent exchanges, winning a couple of corners and testing Handanovic with two poorly struck efforts.
BERGESSIO! The diminutive Argentine forces Handanovic into his first save of the evening, but doesn't get the connection he would have liked! After being played through the right channel, Bergessio wraps his foot around the ball, but fails to get any real power behind it.
Kovacic and Ricky combine from a set piece to give the Croatian a snapshot at goal, but the youngster gets it all wrong and scuffs his strike into the ground. Not the most inventive training ground exercise, but Kovacic did get a tiny window of space to try his lucky through.
Oh dear! Terrible effort from Leto! The Argentine cuts inside, exchanges a one-two with Izco, but fires an absolute pea-roller towards the feet of Handanovic, the Inter goalkeeper has to come further off his line to collect it, it's that weak!
A slow start from Catania, as Inter see plenty of very early possession, following poor work down the right hand side from left-footed Leto. Mazzarri's side enjoyed great success with their wing-backs in their previous game, so Nerazzurri will be hoping for more of the same.
Our referee tonight is Antonio Damato, and with a shrill blow of his whistle, we are underway! This should be a hard fought game for Inter, Catania is always a tough place to visit!
We're minutes from kick-off in Stadio Angelo Massimino, and it sounds like a rather noisy atmosphere, with chants ringing out in the evening air. Catania are in their usual blue and red stripes, with Inter in their all white away kit.
This should be a tight game, as Catania only narrowly missed out on a share of the spoils in a 2-1 defeat to La Viola, while Inter struggled to create any chances to trouble Genoa for large portions of the game last time out. A draw wouldn't be surprising, but both sides will crave all three.
Walter Samuel returns to the bench for Inter tonight, and new signing Mauro Icardi will hope to get his fair share of first team minutes after a lively debut against Genoa. Inter look to be lining up in a 3-5-1-1, while the home side are using what looks to be a 4-3-3.
Inter substitutes: Castellazzi, Andreolli, Belfodil, Icardi, Kuzmanovic, Wallace, Taider, Samuel, Carrizo, Pereira, Rolando, Olsen.
Catania substitutes: Frison, Rolin, Lopez, Freire, Boateng, Ficara, Doukara, Cabalceta, Petkovic, Gyomber.
Inter starting line-up: Handanovic, Jonathan, Campagnaro, Nagatomo, Ranocchia, Juan, Cambiasso, Guarin, Ricky, Kovacic, Palacio.
Catania starting line-up: Andujar, P. Alvarez, Spolli, Legrottaglie, Monzon, Almiron, Izco, Leto, Tachtsidis, Castro, Bergessio.
TEAM NEWS: Kovacic gets a start for Inter in place of Kuzmanovic. Catania's Argentine contingent is interspersed with merely two other nationalities, with Legrottaglie replacing fellow Italian Bellusci.
Plenty can be expected from Nerazzurri after a solid, efficient 2-0 opening day victory over Genoa, but Catania's inaugural defeat of the season came at the hands of much-improved Fiorentina. Tonight will be a stern test for the visitors, especially with Diego Milito still on the road to recovery.
Hello and welcome to LIVE coverage of Inter's evening trip to Catania, as Walter Mazzarri's men look to make it two wins from two in Serie A. Meanwhile, the home side are looking for their first points of the campaign at Stadio Angelo Massimino tonight.
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