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UEFA Europa League
February 21, 2013
• Stadionul Dr. Constantin Rădulescu, Cluj-Napoca
Referee: P. Gil
• Attendance: 11027
Internazionale win Aggregate 5 - 0
F. Guarín 22', 45'+
M. Benassi 88'
That's it from Romania and the Dr. Constantin Radulescu Stadium. Inter have eased their way into the next round of the Europa League where they've set up a mouthwatering clash with Tottenham Hotspur. Don't forget to stick around for reports, ratings and reaction to tonight's events. Thanks for joining me, Harry Slavin, and see you all in the last 16!
It looked for all the world as though Inter would be going to France to take on Lyon in the last 16 but at late strike from Moussa Dembele means Andrea Stramaccioni's men will be taking on Tottenham Hotspur. I'm sure the Nerazzurri defence be relishing the prospect of seeing Gareth Bale back at the San Siro.
FT CFR Cluj 0-3 Inter. At the end of the day it was a stroll in the park for Inter rather than the fright-fest it threatened to be in Transylvania. Fredy Guarin's double and Marco Benassi's first ever goal for Inter sees them safely through to the last 16 of the Europa League.
90' + 3'
Hora goes even closer again with a cheeky chip but it comes back off the crossbar after beating Handanovic.
90' + 2'
If there was ever a chance for a consolation, that was it. Ivo Pinto's cross goes right across the face of goal but neither Hora or Kapetanos can get any contact on the ball. How Kapetanos made no contact I will never no.
We are now into three minutes of stoppage time. Any chance of a consolation for the hosts at all?
Assist Antonio Cassano
Goal Marco Benassi
GOOALLL! MARCO BENASSI WRAPS THINGS UP FOR INTER!! Antonio Cassano lofts a great ball over the top and the teenager runs onto the ball and prods home beyond Felgueiras to cap a job well done for the Italians.
Rannochia has had to be helped down the tunnel. Not a the best sight for Inter fans with their city rivals lying in wait this weekend. Even more worrying is the fact that Cassano still isn't moving freely since picking up a knock earlier in the half.
Yellow Card Cadu
Cadu is booked for dissent after being penalised for a high foot. He will be suspended for Cluj's next European game, whenever that may be.
It's a pretty innocuous injury for Andrea Rannochia and sometimes those are the worst, It looks like a knee injury which brings back bad memories of Diego Milito's injury last week. Hopefully it isn't as bad.
It's temporarily 10 v 10 in Cluj-Napoca as Rannochia takes himself off the park with an injury. Inter don't have anymore subs so we could have a level playing field for the rest of the game.
Red Card Camora
RED CARD CAMORA!! There is no disputing this. Cassano plays a lovely ball round the corner to put Benassi through but his march on goal is halted by Camora who hauls him down. He knows what's coming and Cluj will finish their European campaign with 10 men.
The Romanian side still come in search of a consolation and Handanovic has to be on his guard to keep out Camora's low drive. Strong finish from the home side, they have a lot to be proud of from their European adventure this season.
This is getting sloppy now from Paulo Sergio's side. Sepsi gives the ball away in midfield under no pressure and only a poor ball from Cassano prevents Inter from launching another assault on the Cluj goal.
Another chance for Hora but this time he's denied by a last ditch block from Pereira. Kapetanos meanwhile lies in a crumpled heap in the box after a late challenge but we're going to restart with a throw in.
Rui Pedro is replaced by compatriot Valente as the home side are forced into their final change.
Rui Pedro has gone down for the Ferouviarii and he will have to come off. He had taken his boots off before the club doctors even reached him.
What a miss from the substitute Hora! the Cluj man is played in over the top after Sepsi's free kick is blocked but with all the goal to aim at he hits it straight at Handanovic and it balloons over the bar for a corner. Best chance for the hosts so far. I don't think they'll get much better.
Cassano will have to see out the final 25 minutes, injured or not, as Inter make their final change. Defender Mbaye comes on for Fredy Guarin. No hat-trick for the Colombian tonight then.
An innocuous challenge leaves Antonio Cassano hobbling and that is not a good sign for Inter. He seems alright to continue after hobbling around for a while.
This is a much better away display from Inter than their last foray in Europe. They were humiliated in Russia by Ruban Kazan in their last group stage match but they've given their following army much more to cheer about this evening.
Cluj can't fashion a chance from the corner and Inter clear. They've managed to score in all their home European games so far this season but they haven't threatened too often tonight.
Ivo Pinto finds himself in a lot of space down the right and he's able to pick out Rui Pedro in the centre. His effort loops over the bar via a deflection and the hosts will have a corner.
Inter are still looking to utilise the long ball to catch their opponents on the counter. It appears Cluj have learnt their lesson though as Antonio Cassano comes under instant pressure as he takes Fredy Guarin's ball out of the air.
Second substitute for Inter as the impressive Ricky Alvarez makes way for Simone Pasa. A busy night for the Argentinean who was involved in both goals. He will have done his chances of being involved this weekend no harm.
There's still some noise coming from corners in the Dr. Constatin Radulescu Stadium but it's certainly not the same hostility that met Manchester United, Braga or Galatasaray in the Champions League. I think even the most die hard of Cluj fans are resigned to the fact their side is crashing out of this years competition.
A silly foul from Guarin prevents a third for Inter as they threaten to stretch their lead. Cassano's lofted ball reaches Palacio and he only has to lay it back to Guarin for the Colombian to complete his hat-trick but the midfielder is penalised for a foul in the build up. A good call from the Polish whistler.
An early shout for a penalty from the home side as Camora's cross comes off Juan Jesus. His arm was right by his side and any decision would have been harsh. Polish referee Pawel Gil agrees and waves play on.
Cluj do indeed kick off and we start the second half. There is one change at the break as Rodrigo Palacio comes off for Inter. He is replaced by Marco Benassi.
The sides are back out and Cluj are about to get us back underway.
HALFTIME STAT: Don't expect the scoring to be over just yet. CFR Cluj have scored in every home game in all European competitions so far this season. They'll need a few more on top however to cause Inter any problems.
Alvaro Pereira will be enjoying his return to the Dr. Constantin Radulescu Stadium so far. The Uruguayan moved to CFR Cluj for the beginning of the 2008/09 season, joining them for their debut in the Champions League.
This is exactly the boost Andrea Stramaccioni and his side needed before their Milan derby this weekend. After a punishing defeat at the hands of Fiorentina, the Nerazzurri needed a strong performance tonight and so far they haven't put a foot wrong.
In truth, both goals seem to have been a case of Paulo Sergio's side bashing the self-destruct button. Their backline was far too high up the pitch for large periods of the half and they were punished by Palacio's pace. The Nerazzurri's second goal has only served to rub salt into the wound.
HT CFR CLUJ 0-2 INTER. That was literally the last action of the half and it has only served to end this tie once and for all. A disastrous piece of goalkeeping has gifted Fredy Guarin his second of the night and sent Inter into the last 16, barring some kind of miracle.
45' + 2'
Assist Ricardo Álvarez
45' + 2'
Goal F. Guarín
GOOALLL! DISASTER FOR FELGUEIRAS! What a soft, soft goal. Guarin overruns the ball as he bears down on goal but the Cluj keeper spills it. Ricky Alvarez is then able to put the loose ball back into Guarin's path and he sidefoots into an unguarded net. Awful end to the half for the hosts.
45' + 1'
3 minutes of added on time at the end of the half. Inter will be pleased with their first half performance.
Problem for Palacio as he stays on the turf after a tangle with Cadu. The last thing Inter need is another striker on the treatment table after Milito's injury in the first leg. Thankfully the Argentinean is up and running again.
Still they come forward though, and this is more promising. Kapetanos is inches away from getting on the end of Pinto's cut back before a spot of pinball in the area sees Sepsi lash wide. Can the hosts level before the break?
The home side's bubble has been truly burst by Inter's breakaway goal. They've struggled to create any real opening since going behind.
Yellow Card Pantelis Kapetanos
Not the greatest opening contribution from Kapetanos as the tall striker is booked for diving on the edge of the Inter penalty area. Poor effort. I'd give it 2.0 tops.
Paulo Sergio feels the need for another early change as striker Pantelis Kapetanos is brought on for defender Rada. They do need goals.
Chances at ether end inside a minute. Palacio is first to try his luck but sees his shot parried by Felgueiras while Robert Maah is left looking skyward after wasting an opportunity for the hosts.
The Nerazzurri are finding it all too easy to get in behind their opponents tonight as Cambiasso releases Cassano in behind. He creates space for a cross but it's cut out before it can reach an unmarked Palacio lurking at the back post.
Fredy Guarin is hounded by Cluj players as he tries to keep the ball in the middle of the park. The goalscorer wants a free kick but Pawel Gil only gives a throw.
A few of the celebrations there show how much this competition still means to this Inter side. Javier Zanetti went straight to the bench to celebrate.
That really has taken a lot of the life out of this tie. Cluj now need 4 goals to qualify for the next round. Fiorentina managed at the weekend. Paulo Sergio's side have done little to suggest they're about to follow suit.
Inter have already threatened to take advantage of Cluj's high line at the back and they didn't take heed of the warning signs. Having said that, there is a case for Palacio being offside. It is awfully tight.
Assist Rodrigo Palacio
Goal F. Guarín
GOOOAAAAL!!! INCISIVE BREAKAWAY FROM INTER!! Lightning quick counter from the visitos and they're in front. Some nice skill from Ricky Alvarez sees him skip away from a couple of challenges and release Palacio who charges into the box unchallenged before unselfishly squaring for Fredy Guarin to open the scoring. Inter have their away goal.
Incidentally, the winner of this tie will face either Tottenham or Lyon in the last 16. Lyon have just taken the lead on the night and on aggregate in that tie thanks to Maxime Gonalons.
Nothing is the answer unfortunately as Cassano's corner is easily cleared by the hosts.
A decent run down the left from Ricky Alvarez brings up the first corner of the game. What can the Nerazzuri do with it?
Yellow Card Mateo Kovačić
Mateo Kovacic is the first player into the book this evening. The Inter midfielder loses his footing and tries to recover the ball by using his hand. I'm afraid you can't do that, even if you are wearing gloves.
Guarin wins a free kick inside the Cluj half, giving Cambiasso the chance to swing in a dead ball but his delivery cannot find a teammate. Not the greatest delivery in truth.
The Ferouiarii respond with a good chance themselves. Robert Maah creates space for himself in the box but can't quite get the trajectory to curl it beyond Handanovic.
It almost gets worse as Cassano is played straight down the middle as Cambiasso splits the Cluj defence. The Italian can't keep his composure though and fires over.
Muresan is struggling after an early tackle and he has to make way for Hora after less than 10 minutes. Blow for the hosts.
Not the most confident of starts from the Nerazzurri backline. They were torn apart by a rampant Fiorentina at the weekend. They can afford the same level of performance tonight.
Good chance for Rui Pedro. Really good chance. Ivo Pinto brings the ball forward and fires in a low cross which Muresan dummies and the ball rolls into the path of the Portuguese striker who can only stroke it wide from inside the area.
Cluj have started strongly as Robert Maah is almost played in immediately. An early breakthrough could yet bring this tie to life. Is there any hope for the Romanian minnows tonight? As ever your opinions and predictions are welcome. You can use the chat box in the match centre or, alternatively, you can tweet in to @harryslavin.
We are underway in Cluj-Napoca. Andrea Stramaccioni's men haven't won on the road since their 3-1 win in Belgrade against Partizan back in November. Can they change that tonight?
Javier Zanetti takes the captains armband for the visitors tonight. He was on the scoresheet the last time Inter won this competition back in 1998. Incredible stat.
The sides are on their way out in Romania, we are moments away from kick off now.
Their opponents meanwhile go with the same line up that lost in Milan a week ago. That was the first match in which Paulo Sergio's side have failed to score in Europe this season. Inter will be hoping for a repeat tonight to ensure a safe passage this evening.
So Inter make a couple of changes from last week's first leg. Rodrigo Palacio replaces the injured Diego Milito up front while Walter Gargano makes way for Ricky Alvarez in midfield. There are further changes at the back as well as Zanetti and Juan Jesus come in for Nagatomo and Silvestre.
INTER: (4-4-2) Handanovic, Zanetti, Rannochia, Juan, Pereira; Guarin, Cambiasso, Kovacic, Alvarez; Cassano, Palacio.
CFR CLUJ (3-4-1-2) Felgueiras; Rada, Piccolo, Cadu; Camora, Sepsi, Godemeche, Ivo Pinto; Muresan; Rui Pedro, Maah.
First off, let's get some team news for you ahead of kick off, starting with the home side.
Last week saw the Nerazzurri take a huge step towards the next round after a convincing 2-0 win at the San Siro over the Romanian outfit thanks to two goals from substitute Rodrigo Palacio. However, Andrea Stramacionni's side have struggled on the road recently and tonight wont be plain sailing against a tricky opponent.
Good evening and welcome along to Goal.com's coverage from Dr. Constantin Radulescu Stadium in Cluj-Napoca as Inter look to secure their passage into the last 16 of this season's Europa League by finishing the job against CFR Cluj. I'm Harry Slavin and I will be here to bring you all the action from tonight's Second Leg.
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