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February 14, 2013
• Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milano
Referee: M. Koukoulakis
• Attendance: 14790
R. Palacio 20', 87'
And that's it here at the San Siro. A Rodrigo Palacio double either side of half time means Inter head into half time of the two legged affair with the advantage, which they'll hope to maintain when they travel to Romania next week. From myself and the team at goal.com, I'm Ben McAleer and I hope you've enjoyed the live coverage of Inter Milan and CFR Cluj. Have yourself a lovely evening.
90' + 3'
Palacio comes close to adding a third as Alvarez plays into Palacio, only for the Argentine to be flagged for offside.
90' + 1'
Substitute Alvarez breaks forward powerfully and thinks about shooting before playing right to Guarin. He goes for goal, but it's wild and drifts high and wide. Poor strike from the Colombian.
There is to be two minutes of added time at the end of the second half.
Yellow CardSasa Bjelanovic
A very impressive performance for Inter tonight. They've been very patient in their build up and have been rewarded with a two goal advantage to take into the second leg.
GOOOOOOOOOAL! Palacio with his second!!! Young Kovacic plays the ball forward to the Argentine with the ball bouncing to the left of the Cluj 18 yard box. Felgueiras comes to collect after a poor touch from the Argentine, but the Inter man delicately lofts the ball over the goalkeeper and into the back of the net from an acute angle. Superb finish.
Palacio drifts infield from the left and goes for goal on the edge of the 18 yard box, but can't quite wrap his foot around the ball enough and his effort goes for a goal kick.
The ball into the box is headed clear twice by Guarin as Inter look to counter before slowing play down a walking pace once again.
Nagatomo concedes a free kick 35 yards as Cluj can throw players into the box.
Can't fault the hosts tonight. A very professional performance up until this point after Cluj's blistering start to the encounter.
Yellow CardGabriel Muresan
10 minutes still to go at the San Siro and Inter look more than capable of seeing this one out.
It's Inter's turn for a spell in possession as they comfortably knock the ball around the midfield and defence.
Cluj appear happy to keep this at 1-0, it seems. They're doing well to hold onto possession and frustrate Inter as Piccolo wins a free kick off Guarin.
Rada delivers this time, yet Handanovic claims before launching an Inter counter attack. Cassano drives down the left of the 18 yard box, but the ball is caught under his feet and Cluj clear.
Yellow CardMatías Silvestre
Silvestre gives away a free kick following a foul on Maah in a similar position to the one a minute ago.
Cluj win a free kick on the right side of the Inter box. Rui Pedro delivers towards the penalty spot, but his cross is well read and Inter can clear.
A superb Guarin pass up field is picked up on by Cassano, only for the linesman to have his flag raised on the near side. Replays show the Italian was onside.
Yellow CardRobert Maah
Cheeky from Cambiasso, who backheels for Palacio. The latter aims for the far corner, only to see his effort blocked for a corner. Cassano delivers and Cluj can clear, but only for a throw in.
Palacio breaks well down the right, despite looking offside following a Guarin knock-on, and surges into the 18 yard box. He pulls across for Cassano, but the Italian completely mishits his effort and the attack breaks down.
Inter are becoming particularly lackadaisical in possession as Cluj look to net a vital away goal, before Cambiasso is fouled and the pressure disappears.
Cluj enjoy a rare second half spell of attacking pressure and push forward in numbers. The ball falls to the feet of Muresan, only for the powerful midfielder to smash over from the edge of the area.
Cassano again wins a free kick, this time around the 40 yard mark. The Italian takes quickly and looks to feed through Palacio, but Cadu reads the danger and clears.
Cassano drives across the 18 yard box before Cambiasso can fire a volley a way, but Cluj are again able to clear. They're holding Inter well here as the hosts push for a second.
Guarin lofts into the marauding Nagatomo on the right, but the full-backs' lack of right foot means he has to cut back and Cluj can clear. However, his persistence has seen Inter pick up a free kick on the right around the corner flag.
Gargano and Guarin's routine is easily read after the former nudges right for the latter and his shot strikes the wall before Cluj can clear.
Cassano wins himself a free kick from around the 25 yard mark from the Cluj goal after being fouled by Murasen.
Cassano goes for goal on the edge of the area for the left hand side. He can't however, wrap his foot around the ball enough and sees his curling effort drift over for a Cluj goal kick.
Cassano picks out Guarin with a stupendous cross field pass, but the touch from the Colombian is too good, if anything, and Cluj can clear after the midfielder gets the ball trapped under his feet.
Cambiasso is threaded in on the right wing, but he can't get the ball out of his feet and concedes possession before Guarin gives a free kick.
The corner is taken short, but Sepsi's cross following Rui Pedro's return has far too much on it and the ball goes for an Inter goal kick.
At the other end, Rui Pedro wins a corner for the visitors as they look to net an early equaliser.
Guarin does well to push down the left wing, but with no teammates in the area; he concedes a goal kick following pressure from Cadu.
It's Inter that get us underway for the second half. Will they hold out? Will they score a second? Will Cluj net an away goal? So many questions that will be answered over the next 45 minutes.
And the two teams are on their way back out for the second half.
Rada strikes for goal again, this time low and to the bottom right corner and forces a save from Handanovic. The ball rolls for a corner kick, but the referee opts to call it a half. Palacio's goal the difference between the two sides heading into the interval.
45' + 3'
Cluj go down the other end following the free kick and Muresan wins a free kick around 20 yards from goal.
45' + 3'
Muresan is down after being caught by Silvestre, but Inter counter regardless. The ball is brought forward by Kovacic, who goes for goal from around 25 yards out, only to see his effort drift wide.
45' + 1'
Rada goes for goal from the free kick, but his effort is too high and flies over for a goal kick.
45' + 1'
There is to be three minutes of added time at the end of the first half.
Rui Pedro is clipped from behind by Kovacic as Cluj win a free kick around 30 yards from goal.
Palacio picks up the ball in midfield and pushes forward. He picks out Cassano running in behind the Cluj backline and attempts a threaded pass, but the Italian is thwarted by the foot of Felgueiras.
Cluj in possession and playing the ball around their defence as they probe the Inter midfield to look for an opening before half time.
Good work from Nagatomo on the right as he puts a left footed cross to the back post. He finds Guarin, who spectacularly attempts an overhead kick. However, the referee blows from a foul on Cadu and Cluj win a free kick after a good spell of Inter pressure.
Maah thinks he is clear after catching Guarin in possession, but the referee blows for a hand ball against the Cluj man.
Cassano is threaded through expertly and is one on one with Felgueiras, albeit, from an angle. He tries to cut onto his right foot, but Cadu recovers and dispossesses the Italian before the Cluj 'keeper can smother.
Palacio comes close to doubling the advantage for the host after forging an effort following a Cassano pass. However, while the Cluj defence isn't aware to the danger, Felgueiras is alert and smothers at the feet of the Argentine.
Great interplay from Rui Pedro and Sepsi sees the ball eventually fall to the feet of Muresan. The burly midfielder finds some space before launching an goalbound effort. However, he fails to properly connect and it's a Inter goal kick.
Nagatomo concedes a free kick following a rash challenge on Camora. Cluj, however, opt against playing the ball into the 18 yard box and play back to hold onto possession.
Yellow CardÁ. Pereira
Pereira breaks forward well again and pushes into the Cluj 18 yard box, but concedes a free kick following a strong 50-50 with Godemeche.
Palacio is played in superbly by Cassano on the edge of the Cluj 18 yard box. The Argentine striker picks out Pereira on the left, who sees his cross blocked. The left-back has a second chance to pick out a teammate, only to see his ball drift helplessly out for a goal kick.
Muresan and Rui Pedro look to link up, but the former can't pull off his backheel and Inter come away with possession around the 18 yard box.
Midway though the second half and it's Inter that lead, despite Cluj making the early running. This game isn't over yet, however, and the next goal is of vital importance.
Pereira is very wasteful in possession having twice given the ball away. Cluj can't capitalise, however, and the ball falls back to Inter.
An important goal in this encounter, but Cluj look to force a way back into the tie early on. However, Muresan's effort drifts far wide for a goal kick.
GOOOOOAL!!!! Guarin brings the ball forward well and picks out Palacio on the right. The Argentine, one on one with Felgueiras, does well to send the Cluj 'keeper the wrong way and nestle into the near bottom corner.
Inter's pressure is beginning to pay off as Cassano's cross is deflected out to Kovacic. The young midfielder goes for goal, but his shot is straight at Felgueiras, who holds comfortably.
The best chance of the game so far. Cassano picks out Cambiasso marauding into the box from the right. He picks out the Argentine in space, who looks to cross for Palacio, His ball is too powerful however and it results in a Cluj goal kick. The Inter captain tonight appeared to be caught in two minds with that one when he could've gone for goal.
A testing Ivo Pinto cross is plucked out of the air by Handanovic, who was underneath the ball the whole way.
Cassano receives the ball on the left from Guarin and looks to play in Palacio with a probing long pass, but there is too much on the cross and it bounces through to Felgueiras.
Good work from Maah on the left and he manages to get the better of Silvestre. His cross is blocked by Gargano and the Inter centre-back mishits for a Cluj corner.
Guarin looks to pick out Ranocchia at the back post, but the ball is too high and bounces out for a Cluj goal kick.
Inter slowly edging themselves into this encounter after a slow start with Cassano winning their third free kick following a foul from Cadu around 30 yards out.
Milito goes down under an innocuous challenge and looks set to go off. He looks in plenty pain here and is to be stretchered off.
Maah is thrown the ball on the right of the 18 yard box and turns to cross, but can only pick out Handanovic to easily hold.
Cambiasso feeds out to Nagatomo on the right, but the full-back's cross is too heavy and goes for a goal kick.
Camoro delivers, but Milito headers out. The ball falls for Maah, who volleys goalbound, only to see his effort fly wide.
It's Cluj that have made all the early running so far. Inter look unable to get a look in as Pereira gives away a free kick following a strong challenge on Rui Pedro.
An early Cluj effort goes for a goal kick.
And we're off here at the San Siro. Cluj get us underway and will be playing from left to right this half.
And the two teams are in the tunnel are set to make their way out onto the pitch imminently.
We're a little under 15 minutes away until kick off at the San Siro this evening.
And filling the Cluj bench this evening: Stancioiu, Valente, Maftei, Bjelanovic, Hora, Celestinho, Alexandru.
On the bench for Inter tonight is: Belec, Zanetti, Palacio, Alvarez, Benassi, Juan Jesus, Jonathan.
And for visitors Cluj: Felgueiras; Ivo Pinto, Piccolo, Cadu, Camora; Muresan, Rada, Godameche, Sepsi; Rui Pedro; Maah
First for Inter: Handanovic; Nagatomo, Silvestre, Ranocchia, Pereira; Guarin, Cambiasso, Kovacic; Guarin, Milito, Cassano
Good evening and a happy Valentine's Day to you all. I'm Ben McAleer and I'll be the chap to lovingly guide you through tonight's Europa League, last 32 first leg encounter between Inter Milan and CFR Cluj. The teams are in and will be with you very shortly.
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