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January 13, 2014
• Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milano
Referee: D. Tommasi
• Attendance: 32765
Y. Nagatomo 12'
A. Paloschi 8'
That result means that Inter leapfrog Verona into fifth place while Chievo jump above Sassuolo to go one point clear of the relegation zone. Walter Mazzarri will hope to ease the pressure on his shoulders when they travel to Genoa on Sunday while Chievo host Parma. Thanks for joining me, Max Bentley, on this live commentary. Until next time, goodbye.
FT: Inter 1-1 Chievo. The Nerazzurri's search for a first win of 2014 continues as Chievo produce a resilient defensive performance to frustrate Walter Mazzarri's side. Ex-Milan striker Alberto Paloschi gave the visitors the lead with a rasping strike before Yuto Nagotomo responded instantly when he swept home Ricky Alvarez's cross. Nagatomo saw an effort controversially ruled out for offside while Rodrigo Palacio also went close. However, it was not enough for Inter as they drop two more points in their quest for a Champions League spot.
90' + 4'
It's all getting desperate for Inter as Palacio and Taider both go down tamely inside the box, demanding penalties. However, the referee is not interested and waves away their appeals. Kovacic then floats the ball into the area but Milito cannot direct his header on target.
90' + 2'
Inter pump the ball forward and just as Alvarez looks set to unleash a half-volley towards goal, Thereau nips back to make the interception. You have to credit the Chievo players for their work rate today, they have run their socks off.
Chievo are just looking to hang onto the ball but Drame's backheel is too far ahead of Estigarribia and Inter break. However, they cannot take advantage as the Flying Donkeys continue to defend bravely. Mazzarri will be under a lot of pressure after this one.
A last throw of the dice for Mazzarri as Ruben Botta comes on to replace fellow Argentine Hugo Campagnaro. Can the youngster make an impact?
The Inter fans are unhappy as Sardo goes down and receives a lengthy spell of treatment after an innocuous collision with Juan. Ruben Motta is set to enter the fray for the hosts.
Both sides take the opportunity to make a substitution for the remaining minutes. Maodo Mbaye replaces Simone Bentivoglio for the visitors while Saphir Taider comes on in the Inter midfield in place of Zdravko Kuzmanovic. Will we see late drama at the Giuseppe Meazza? It seems unlikely.
Maodo Malick Mbaye
Inter are nearly creators of their own downfall as Alvarez's training ground free kick is spurned by Kuzmanovic. Chievo launch a counter attack but Estigarribia's shot is well blocked by Juan.
The home fans continue to grow restless as Alvarez's cross is too deep for Palacio and goes out of play. A point for Chievo would take them one clear of Bologna and the bottom three.
Hetemaj has put in a good defensive shift for Chievo tonight and he does brilliantly to prevent Campagnaro and then Jonathan from getting a cross into the box. Milito has had very little service since coming on.
Milito's introduction has done little to spice up the Inter attack and I can not remember Puggioni making a difficult save in this second half. As things stand, Inter are still without a win in 2014.
Chievo make their first change of the game and the goalscorer Alberto Paloschi is the man to make way for Paraguayan attacker Marcelo Estigarribia.
Inter win a free kick on the edge of the box but Kuzmanovic's effort disappointingly strikes the wall before Jonathan's cross is well headed clear by Sardo. You can sense the frustration creeping into the Inter fans here.
GOOD CHANCE FOR CHIEVO! Thereau and Paloschi have struck a good partnership up front for the Flying Donkeys and the French striker meets Paloschi's cutback inside the box but can only divert the ball wide of the left post. Eugenio Corini was ready to jump up and celebrate there.
Milito tiptoes his way into the Chievo box and Alvarez picks the ball up before stinging the fingertips of Puggioni with a fierce drive at his near post. Can Inter find a winner with just over 20 minutes to play?
Juan breathes a sigh of relief as his weak header falls to Thereau on the edge of the box before the striker's shot deflects off him for a corner. From the resulting set-piece, Thereau rises highest but can only direct his header over the bar. This is a good spell for the visitors.
It's one Argentine for another as Cambiasso, perhaps surprisingly, is replaced by Milito. The veteran striker receives a warm reception from the Nerazzurri support. Two up top for Inter now.
Chievo have a chance to take advantage on the counter attack but Therau's pass towards Paloschi is well intercepted by Cambiasso. That was a let-off for the hosts.
It just has not been Palacio's day so far. The Argentine breaks beyond the Chievo defence but he miscontrols a long pass from the back and loses possession. Milito is being readied on the touchline.
Inter need to play with a little more urgency here. They are in control of the possession but their slow tempo is allowing Chievo to regroup and defend as an organised unit. Could Diego Milito prove the difference from the bench?
Palacio is looking to run in behind the Chievo defence and he races onto Alvarez's scooped pass but can only loop the ball onto the roof of the net from an acute angle. Will his earlier miss prove costly?
Alvarez wins a free kick on the edge of the box when his mazy dribble is brought to a halt by Drame. The Argentine steps up to take the free kick but it is too central to Puggioni who punches clear.
There is a stoppage in play as Kuzmanovic and Thereau both receive treatment after a clash of heads. That will give the Chievo players some time for a much-needed water break.
Kovacic has made a much brighter start to the second half and he is beginning to pull the strings in midfield. Alvarez receives a pass inside the box but he immediately finds himself surrounded by three Chievo players who manage to scramble the ball to safety.
Radovanovic has made a good impression in Rigoni's absence and he makes another crucial interception to prevent Cambiasso meeting Jonathan's cutback. This Chievo midfield have worked so hard today but you feel that they may begin to tire as this game progresses.
Inter have made a positive start to the second half but Chievo are showing no signs of relent in their impressive pressing game. Nagatomo bursts down the left but his cross is too deep and runs out of play.
Incidentally, these are the only two teams in Serie A yet to be awarded a penalty this season.
The two sides re-emerge from the tunnel for the second half and Chievo get the game back underway. There have been no substitutions at the break.
It's all square at half-time after Yuto Nagatomo's fifth league goal of the season cancelled out Alberto Paloschi's opener. Inter have been in the driving seat for the majority of the game but Chievo's pressing game has been impressive. Nagatomo saw a strike harshly ruled out for offside and Palacio has also gone close but it's 1-1 at the break.
Inter have stepped it up at the end of the half and Cambiasso waltzes his way into the box before eventually being stopped by Dainelli. With that, the referee blows the half-time whistle.
Inter play the ball out from the back excellently and expose Chievo's pressing midfield line. Kovacic feeds the ball out to Palacio on the left side of the box and he cuts inside the challenge of Frey but can only bend the ball wide of the far post.
Yellow Card Mateo Kovačić
Kovacic has had a frustrating half for Inter and he goes into the book for a rash lunge on Hetemaj, moments after losing possession.
Yellow Card Perparim Hetemaj
Hetemaj picks up the first booking of the game after a mistimed challenge on Kuzmanovic.
BRILLIANT MOVE FROM CHIEVO! Paloschi chests Hetemaj's pass into the path of Thereau and he surges from just inside his own half towards goal. The French striker bursts towards the box and his shot takes a deflection off the backtracking Juan and loops over Handanovic before bouncing narrowly wide.
Alvarez and Kovacic are coming too deep to receive the ball and they are not offering enough support to Palacio. The home fans are starting to become a little restless.
It's all getting a little tedious now. Inter continue to pass the ball around with ease but they cannot get near the Chievo goal to test Puggioni. Can someone step up and make the difference?
Prior to this game, Chievo were the joint-lowest goalscorers in the division with 13 goals from 18 games.
Chievo finally manage to make it into the Inter final third but Drame cannot pick out a teammate with a cross which goes straight out of play.
Inter continue to dominate possession but they are finding it hard to get in behind this rigid and organised Chievo defence. Alvarez has been particularly lively in the opening exchanges but we have not seen too much of Kovacic so far.
INTER SHOULD BE AHEAD! Jonathan marauds down the right for Inter before standing up a teasing cross to the back post. It goes over the head of Cesar and Palacio meets the ball, unmarked, but can only nod wide of the post. Mazzarri cannot believe he has missed that one.
Chievo are pressing Inter all over the pitch but they are struggling to get hold of possession. Thereau and Paloschi are both working hard to track back and assist the defence.
It's all Inter at the moment and they pass the ball around comfortably, waiting for the right moment to make that incisive pass. Campagnaro seems eager to join the attack and it looks like Inter are playing with just two at the back at times.
ALVAREZ GOES CLOSE! The Argentine has made a lively start and he forces Puggioni to tip his whipped free kick over the crossbar from a narrow angle. Incidentally, Alvarez has not scored in his last seven games for Inter.
On second viewing, that offside decision looks very questionable. Drame was running out of the defence and I'm not sure that he stepped out in time. Inter are unlucky with that one.
THE BALL IS IN THE NET BUT IT WON'T COUNT! Inter have their tails up here and they nearly complete a dramatic turnaround when Nagatomo diverts Jonathan's skewed shot beyond Puggioni. However, the linesman's flag is raised and the Inter celebrations are muted.
Assist Ricardo Álvarez
Goal Yuto Nagatomo
NAGATOMO MAKES IT 1-1! Chievo's lead does not last long as Alvarez teases Hetemaj down the right before his excellent low cross is swept into the bottom corner by Nagatomo. That's five goals for the Japanese wing-back this season.
Inter look to respond immediately with Alvarez poking the ball through for Palacio and his shot at the near post is spilled by Puggioni. However, there is no Nerazzurri shirt to follow it up and the Chievo shotstopper gathers the ball at the second attempt.
Assist Boukary Dramé
Goal Alberto Paloschi
PALOSCHI GIVES CHIEVO THE LEAD! Drame's bursting run causes Campagnaro and Juan Jesus to collide into each other and Paloschi picks up the loose ball inside the area before firing a rasping effort beyond Handanovic and into the top corner. That is not the start that Mazzarri had in mind.
Chievo show their first signs of attacking intent but Handanovic does well on both occasions to claim crosses from Bentivoglio and Drame. Inter attack down the other end and Alvarez wins the game's first corner.
GOOD EFFORT FROM ALVAREZ! The playmaker produces a neat piece of skill to evade two Chievo defenders down the right before cutting inside and fizzing a shot narrowly past the post. Good start from the hosts.
Inter have started on the front foot and the Chievo defence hold a good line to tempt Palacio offside. The Argentine striker will be hopeful of adding to his ten Serie A goals this season.
The referee blows his whistle and Inter get the ball rolling. Can they earn their first win of 2014? Can they score their first goal of 2014?
The two sides emerge from the tunnel and receive a rapturous reception from both sets of fans. Inter will kick off in their traditional black and blue jerseys with Chievo in their alternative grey strip.
In this fixture last season, Inter emerged as 3-1 victors thanks to goals from Andrea Ranocchia, Diego Milito and own goal from Christian Puggioni. Incidentally, Milito is back on the bench for the Nerazzurri this evening after a long spell on the sidelines with injury.
STAT: Chievo have only ever won once at the Giuseppe Meazza, back in 2001, followed by two draws and nine defeats.
CHIEVO (3-5-2): Puggioni; Frey, Dainelli, Cesar; Sardo, Bentivoglio, Radovanovic, Hetemaj, Drame; Paloschi, Thereau.
INTER (3-5-1-1): Handanovic; Campagnaro, Rolando, Jesus; Jonathan, Kuzmanovic, Cambiasso, Alvarez, Nagatomo; Kovacic; Palacio.
TEAM NEWS: Fredy Guarin's suspension and Saphir Taider's injury means that Zdravko Kuzmanovic comes into the Inter midfield with Mateo Kovacic pushing into a more advanced position behind Rodrigo Palacio. As for Chievo, Luca Rigoni is suspended so Ivan Radovanovic comes into the midfield. Ex-Milan striker Alberto Paloschi partners Cyril Thereau up front.
Chievo have gained only one point from their last three Serie A matches although Inter coach Walter Mazzarri knows that his side cannot afford to be complacent as the Flying Donkeys held rivals Milan to a tightly-contested draw before the winter break. Eugenio Corini has done a great job in moving the team out of the relegation zone and aside from the four goals they shipped at Torino, Chievo have conceded just two in their last eight Serie A games.
Tonight Inter host a Chievo side who are desperate to get points themselves in order to steer further away from the relegations places. Who will get the three valuable points? Bringing you all the action from the Giuseppe Meazza, my name is Max Bentley.
Walter Mazzarri has urged Inter fans that he will turn things around at the club after a run of only two wins in the last eight games in all competitions. Inter were dumped out of the Coppa Italia by Udinese on Thursday and Mazzarri's honeymoon period very much seems to have come to an end.
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