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March 15, 2014
• Stadio Marc'Antonio Bentegodi, Verona
Referee: L. Banti
• Attendance: 23973
R. Palacio 13'
That's your lot from me folks, it wasn't the most exciting of games, but was certainly interesting to see Inter continue their impressive form under Mazzarri. How long until they return to the big time? Thanks for dropping by and I'll catch you next time...
Palacio was his usual brilliant self, opening the scoring with a tap-in at the front post. However, it's his endless running that is most impressive - constantly willing to chase down what other forwards class as lost causes, and troubling defences for a full 90 minutes.
Inter on the other hand looked solid at the back and in control from the first minute. But for a few dodgy moments from Rolando, they were hardly threatened and are closing in on securing European football next season.
Verona didn't show enough urgency throughout the game and seemed happy to just plod along until the closing moments when they tested Handanovic with a couple of decent efforts. Haven't won in six matches at home now and they're really struggling to find any kind of form.
90' + 2'
90' + 1'
Well then. Handanovic pulls off a fantastic double save to ensure Inter keep their fourth clean sheet in the last six matches. First he saves a low shot from outside the box, then gets straight back up to parry the follow-up from Martinho.
Handanovic's first bit of action comes in the 90th minute here - not something Verona will be too proud of. Sala has a pop from outside the box and the goalkeeper makes a mess of things, but recovers well enough.
Nice control by Toni who brings down a long ball on the edge of the Inter box before tossing one over his own head that nearly finds Martinho, but is eventually cut out by Campagnaro.
One last throw of the dice here by Verona as Ciriglano replaces Donati for the home side. They'd have to do something outgrageous to get something out of this game now.
Oh dear! Will Hernanes ever score for Inter? Great play by Kovacic and Palacio down the left ends with the former floating a ball to the back post where Hernanes arrives unmarked, but what looks like a diving header proves to be him tripping himself up and falling over. Comical stuff.
That pretty much sums up Verona's night. Marquinho receives the ball on the left flank and beats his man with Toni waiting in the box, but the forward stumbles and takes a heavy touch and the ball goes out for a goal kick.
Cracking effort by Hernanes that! The midfielder seems to find his feet in the latter stages of games since arriving at Inter and it's not different here. He drifts in off the left wing and hits a dipping shot that fizzes just over Rafael's bar. He's still to find the back of the net since joining from Lazio.
Jonathan continues to get forward like nobodies business for Inter tonight. The wing back has seen more action in the final third than most of Verona's forward's this evening and after playing nice one-two with Cambiasso, he just comes up short when he had to reach the return pass.
We've all been put out of the misery that is wastching Freddy Guarin. The midfielder has been shocking for Inter tonight and after a rash challenge on Marquinho, he's dragged off by Mazzarri.
Massive, massive chance for Verona. Marquinho gets inside the Inter box and puts in a perfect cross that leaves Moras with a free header on the edge of the six-yard-box, but the defender puts it just over the bar and he can't believe it. Greek tragedy.
Albertazzi works his way down the left before putting in a lovely cross that looks destined for the head of Toni, but Ranocchia is there to mop up and puts it behind for a corner.
Cambiasso is now throwing the instructions about and marshalling his men like a captain of war. The veteran has barely put a foot wrong in recent weeks and is rolling back the years with his tenacious display tonight.
Verona have had no answer to Inter this evening, seldom threatening to score and look devoid of any attacking creativity.
GOOOOOOAL! Jonathan is the goalscorer this time out, adding to his earlier assist. It all seemed to easy as he burst down the right and into the box before seeing his first shot saved by Rafael, but the full back knocked in the rebound despite there being several men on the line.
First time we've seen the potential of Iturbe, who has now switched to the right. The forward gallops forward, dancing past D'Ambrosio before firing a shot just wide of the post.
Inter corner is floated to the edge of the box for Guarin, who decides to put the ball back into the box and finds Icardi. The striker turns his man, but skies his shot way over the bar.
Palacio is absolutely tireless. Icardi has no support up front and is struggling to hold the ball up and his team-mate realises this and ulls out a 40-yard sprint to help him out. He receives the ball and manages to win a throw-in deep inside Verona's half.
Dangerous free kick for Inter right on the edge of the box. Hernanes steps up and smacks one straight onto the cross bar! Cracking effort by the Brazilian that left Rafael stranded.
Yellow Card Michelangelo Albertazzi
Great chance for Verona there. Luca Toni holds up the ball for what seems like an age in the Inter box - he lays the ball off to Iturbe who tries to find Marquinho at the back post, but his pass is cut out and the chance is gone.
Yellow Card Esteban Cambiasso
Cambiasso gets his customary yellow card after stepping across Marquinho to stop the forward in full-flight. The resulting free kick is wasted though and Inter clear the ball.
Shocking challenge by Iturbe on Hernanes gives Inter a free kick in a dangerous position, which Hernanes puts to the back post that Palacio head across the goal towards Guarin, but the midfielder can't get it under control and it goes out for a goal kick.
Inter get us back underway here at the Marc'Antonio Bentegodi - can Verona come up with an answer to Inter's solid defending?
Moras has marked Icardi out of the game, but with Palacio's running giving Inter so many options and creating plenty of chances for the away side - they're going to have to find a way to stop the Argentine if they don't want to concede another.
Verona have barely threatened the Inter box so far and will be looking for more from the usually so effective Juan Iturbe in the second half. The winger hasn't seen any of the ball so far tonight and you'd expect him to switch to his usual position down the right in the second half.
Inter started brightly, creating several chances in the early stages of the game with Icardi being used as a target man. However, since Palacio broke the deadlock with a tap-in, they've sat back and are seemingly happy to sit on their narrow lead.
A quiet end to the half is brought to a close by the referee, who felt no need to add on any injury time - so it's still Palacio's early goal that is the difference here at Marc'Antonio Bentegodi.
Luca Toni has spent plenty of time on the deck so far this evening. In one Verona attack, he goes down twice in quick succession. Sooner or later he's going to trick the officials into giving Verona something and it's one Ranocchia will have to watch out for.
Typical effort from Freddy Guarin there. The ball breaks ot him on the edge of Verona's box, and instead of taking a touch he lashes his foot at the ball and his shot ends up in row z. No composure whatsoever.
Despite their forwards pressing, Inter are sitting very deep tonight. They've got six players lined outside their box and aren't going to give up their lead easily. I can't see Verona getting back into this game given their poor form of late.
Strong challenge on Marquinho by Cambiasso forces the Verona man to hit the deck in dramatic fashion. The referee waves play on, but the home side put the ball out of play so he can receive some treatment. The replays show the referee to be right, though, and Marquinho made an absolute meal of it.
Getting really scrappy out there now, with neither side managing to get a passing move going. Too many little flicks and tricks that just aren't paying off and both sides are wasting plenty of possession.
Lovely flick by Toni on the edge of the box, but he can't find his man and the chance is gone. He needs a bit more support in the central areas when Verona are going forward because at the moment they're struggling to find a way in behind the Inter defence.
Inter are pressing Verona well and really restricting their play. Juan Iturbe has barely had a touch down the left and they are missing his partnertship down the right with Romulo.
Toni starting to find his feet in this game now and is beginning to cause Ranochhia problems. If Verona are to get anything from this game, then I can see it coming through the former Bayern Munich man.
Yellow Card Massimo Donati
Oh dear. Shocking dive in the box by Toni who goes down theatrically after being tugged, and the referee is having none of it. The big man gets away with it but Donati is cautioned for showing dissent.
Great play by Marquinho who makes his first telling mark on the game. The forward skips past one opponent before unleashing a low drive that fizzes just part Handanovic's post. Unlucky.
Luca Toni has struggled to get involved so far tonight and is starting to come deep to get more involved. As he does, Ranocchia pushes out with him and fouls the veteran in the centre circle. It looks like the defender has been told to man-mark Toni tonight.
That's why I love Palacio. Inter get so much from him because he works the channels so well, always willing to put a shift in to help his team-mates out. This time he links up well with Jonathan down the right and is unlucky to see his cross blocked with Icardi waiting in the area.
Inter getting sloppy out there. Rolando could have easily cleared the danger, but decides to try and pass it out that Cacciatore pounces on and almost creates a chance down the right for his side.
Moras has completely dominated Icardi so far tonight, the young striker is struggling to cope with the powerful Greek defender. A long ball up from Rolando is again nodded away by Moras.
Verona presented with a great chance to hit Inter on the counterattack, but Cacciatore plays a woeful ball to Toni, asking far too much of the big man who just can't run on to balls like he used to.
Inter have struggled to kill teams off recently, and even though they've been picking up points, Mazzarri has publicy stated that he wants his side to be more ruthless. No time like the present...
Goal Rodrigo Palacio
GOL GOL GOL GOL! Palacio makes the breakthrough for Inter after great work down the right by Jonathan, who drills across the six-yard-box that the Argentine taps home.
Cracking ball over the top that finds Icardi, who goes shoulder-to-shoulder with Moras. The defender comes out on top, but Icardi is looking for a penalty.
Worrying moment there for Handanovic who receives the ball outside his box and his attempt to clear is poor. Toni manages to block it, but does so with his hands - luckily for him it goes unnoticed.
Jonathan's turn to attack as the Brazilian brings the ball forward and manages to breach the Verona box. He's tackled expertly by Moras, though, who puts the ball out for a corner.
It's Icardi again who tests the Verona defence. This time he meets a lovely cross from the right by Hernanes, but Moras does well to put him off and the striker can't get his header on target. It's clear that Inter are trying to dominate the home side in the air this evening.
Icardi comes so close to opening the scoring tonight. The striker manages to get his effort off after a scramble in the box, but his lopping effort hits the top of the bar and Jonathan skies the follow up.
Really good move by Verona sees them build up the play down the left and Albertazzi finds enough space to get a cross in, but no-one is there to meet it and Rolando manages to clear.
Good start by Verona who look to have started Iturbe on the right tonight, rather than his usual place on the left. Surprising, because he could have caused trouble form D'Ambrosio on his debut.
After a slight delay, Verona finally get us underway! Let's have some goals please tonight lads...
Verona haven't won at home in the last five games, losing three and picking up just two points during the poor run. This is a stark contrast to their early season form at home, when they won eight of their first nine games in Serie A.
Mazzarri will be confident going into this game, with Hernanes returning to form in the second half against Torino, and Verona being shocking at home of late.
Verona on the other hand, make two changes for tonight's game. Albertazzi comes in at left back for Agostini and Halfredsson will be asked to fill in for Jankovic who drops to the bench for the visit of Inter.
Other than that enforced change, Mazzarri's side are as they were for the narrow victory over Torino last weekend and will be looking to Hernanes to provide some creativity in their system.
The main talking point before the game tonight is the absence of Yuto Nagatomo who was ruled out late on with an injury. That means a first ever start for promising youngster Danil D’Ambrosio – can he handle the pressure?
Inter subs: Carrizo, Castellazzi, Zanetti, Andreolli, Kovacic, Kuzmanovic, Botta, Taider, Milito, Samuel.
Inter Milan starting XI (3-5-2): Handanovic; Campagnaro, Ranocchia, Rolando; Jonathan, Guarin, Cambiasso, Hernanes, D’Ambrosio; Palacio, Icardi.
Verona subs: Nicolas, Pillud, Martinho, Cacia, Jankovic, Cirigliano, Donsan, Rabusic, Gonzalez, Marques, Donadel.
Verona starting XI (4-3-3): Rafael; Maietta, Moras, Albertazzi, Cacciatore; Hallfredsson, Romulo, Cirigliano; Iturbe; Toni; Marquinho.
Firstly, I'll take you through the starting line-ups, then a few stats and finally on to the big game itself...
Good evening sports fans! I’m here to take you through all the action from Verona vs Inter, and going off the six-goal thriller we witnessed last time, we should be in for a treat.
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