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Italy - Serie A
September 26, 2013
• Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milano
Referee: P. Valeri
• Attendance: 45342
E. Cambiasso 72'
G. Rossi 60'
Shots on Target
As for Inter, they move up to second place and only two points behind leaders Roma. What a start to the Mazzarri era! They wil hope to continue their unbeaten start when they travel to Cagliari on Sunday. Thanks for joining me, Max Bentley, on this Serie A thriller. Until next time, goodbye!
Vincenzo Montella's side were clearly missing the attacking prowess of the likes of David Pizarro, Juan Cuadrado and Mario Gomez tonight and they will look to bounce back to winning ways when they host Parma at the Artemio Franchi on Monday.
FT: Inter 2-1 Fiorentina. A huge smile breaks out on the face of Walter Mazzarri as his unbeaten run as Nerazzurri coach continues. Goals from Esteban Cambiasso and Jonathan cap a brilliant comeback after Giuseppe Rossi's penalty gave the Viola the lead. Fiorentina's rotten league run away to Inter continues!
90' + 2'
It's all hands to the pump for Inter in stoppage time as Fiorentina search desperately for an equaliser. They nearly snatch it when Ambrosini finds space on the edge of the box, but his volley is well-held by Handanovic. That would have been some story!
Moments after Cambiasso scuffs a shot narrowly wide, Inter come forward again, this time with Nagatomo. The Japanese wing-back cuts inside from the right before bending a left-footed shot over the bar.
IT SHOULD BE 3-1! With Fiorentina committing bodies forward, Alvaro Pereira launches a counter attack. He has Palacio in support but opts to go alone and fires straight at Neto who turns the ball behind for a corner. Palacio does not look too pleased.
Jonathan will not have the chance to take another touch of the ball as he is replaced by Uruguayan international Alvaro Pereira for the final five minutes. What a dream start this is to the Walter Mazzarri era!
Assist Ricardo Álvarez
JONATHAN MAKES IT 2-1! The Nerazzurri cap a brilliant comeback as Alvarez's cross picks out Jonathan on the right side of the box. His first touch takes him past Fernandez and his second allows him to smash the ball emphatically past Neto. Fiorentina's rotten run at the Giuseppe Meazza looks set to continue.
CHANCE FOR FIORENTINA! Valero does brilliantly to cut the ball back from the left but Ilicic cannot divert the ball beyond Handanovic and strikes straight at the keeper. The rebound falls to the debutant Vecino but he takes a touch and is closed down brilliantly by Juan Jesus.
Tomovic's dangerous low cross is cleared to the edge of the box by Campagnaro, where Alonso meets it with a dipping volley which goes narrowly wide. That was a good effort from the former-Bolton man.
Ilicic looks to make his mark off the bench but his fizzing shot flashes well wide of the left post. I must admit, I'm surprised that Montella hauled off Rossi so early.
Inter have their tails up here and Palacio flicks on Alvarez's corner but there is nobody to meet it at the back post. Fiorentina are looking vulnerable.
Yellow Card Hugo Campagnaro
Four of the back five are now cautioned for Inter after Campagnaro goes into the book for fouling Ambrosini.
Assist Hugo Campagnaro
Goal Esteban Cambiasso
CAMBIASSO MAKES IT 1-1! Neto flaps from Kovacic's corner and Ambrosini cannot clear the danger effectively, allowing Campagnaro to head the ball down to Cambiasso who acrobatically volleys home. Game on!
Yellow Card Yuto Nagatomo
Yuto Nagatomo is the third Inter player to be booked after venting his frustration for being penalised for a foul on Tomovic. Tensions mounting at the Giuseppe Meazza.
Giuseppe Rossi could be the matchwinner here but he will not be able to double his tally as he is replaced by Josep Ilicic. Can the former-Palermo striker make an impact?
Inter come forward in search of an equaliser and Jonathan's dangerous low cross is turned behind for a corner. Fredy Guarin is the next to be substituted and he gives an odd gesture to the crowd as he is replaced by Mauro Icardi.
Yuto Nagatomo produces a mazy down the left but his shot takes a deflection before being comfortably collected by Neto. Mazzarri must be contemplating the introduction of Milito sooner or later.
Remember that Fiorentina have not tasted success at the Giuseppe Meazza since May 2000. The home crowd certainly seem a little restless here and it nearly gets worse as Handanovic almost fumbles a cross into his own net.
Walter Mazzarri makes an immediate change with Mateo Kovacic replacing Saphir Taider, who was unable to build on his promising performance from the weekend.
Penalty Goal Giuseppe Rossi
ROSSI PUTS FIORENTINA 1-0 UP! The Italian striker steps up coolly and despatches the penalty brilliantly into the right corner, despite the finest efforts of Handanovic, who went the right way. Five in five for Giuseppe Rossi!
Yellow Card Juan Jesus
PENALTY TO FIORENTINA! Alonso produces a teasing cross from the left and Juan Jesus hauls down Joaquin, preventing the Spaniard from tapping in at the back post. The Brazilian defender picks up a yellow card.
Palacio hasn't had too much service today and he cuts inside from the left before ballooning a shot high over the crossbar. I'd be surprised if we didn't see an attacking change from Mazzarri soon.
Fiorentina have been impressive when you consider that they have lost the likes of Cuadrado, Pizzarro and Gomez for this evening's contest. I'm sure Inter will point out that they were plagued by all sorts of injuries themselves last season.
Tomovic looks to play a neat ball over the top of the Inter defence for Joaquin but it skids just too far ahead of the Spaniard, allowing Juan Jesus to mop up the danger. Inter are certanly playing a high line here.
Fiorentina half-clear a corner to the edge of the box but Guarin can only curl his shot high over the bar.
Guarin produces a splendid feint to deceive Fernandez on the edge of the box before his curling shot is excellently tipped behind by Neto. Much better from Inter.
Yellow Card Massimo Ambrosini
Massimo Ambrosini is the first Fiorentina player to be booked after he blocks off Palacio's run.
Fernandez chips a neat ball over the Inter defence but Rossi's weak header is comfortably saved by Handanovic. Can Rossi make it five goals in five Serie A starts? Only Alessio Cerci has more goals so far this season.
Paolo Valeri blows the whistle to signal the start of the second half and Inter get the game back underway. Which side can break the deadlock?
HT: Inter 0-0 Fiorentina. For two sides who have scored 23 goals between their in their respective four league matches, it's been a relatively disappointing 45 minutes. Inter started brightly but Vincenzo Montella's side have enjoyed the better of the half and have come the closest to scoring with Joaquin looking a particular threat when cutting in from the right wing. Let's hope for some goalmouth action in the second half!
45' + 2'
Nagatomo has not had too much joy down the left but he gets forward excellently this time. His cross towards the back post finds Guarin but the Colombian can only mishit his volley straight into the gloves of Neto.
It's all been a bit slow in attack for Inter and Savic pokes the ball away from Palacio, after he had dallied on the ball for too long. I wonder whether we will see the introduction of Milito in the second half.
Yellow Card Andrea Ranocchia
Andrea Ranocchia is the first player to be cautioned after a cynical challenge on Joaquin. The Spanish winger has responded well after he was substituted after coming on as a substitute in the recent match vs. Cagliari.
Fiorentina win a free kick in a promising position but Valero's delivery is headed clear comfortably by Palacio. Inter counter and Joaquin tracks back to produce a brilliant header to prevent Jonathan from latching onto Cambiasso's teasing cross.
Alvarez capitalises on a mistake by Valero, gliding past Alonso and Savic before being halted by a wonderful last-ditch challenge in front of goal by Rodriguez.
Injury concern for Fiorentina here as Manuel Pasqual goes down after an innocuous challenge. Montella decides that the left-back cannot continue and throws on Marcos Alonso in his place.
No, they can't. Fiorentina opt to play the corner short but the cross cannot beat the first man. What a waste!
This time it is Pasqual's turn to have a shot and his fizzing drive takes a slight deflection off an Inter player and goes behind for a corner. Can the Viola execute one of their effective set-piece routines?
Joaquin is causing problems out on the right-hand side and he feeds Rossi on the edge of the box, only for the former-Manchester United striker to drag his shot wide of the post.
Palacio launches a counterattack, threading the ball out wide for Jonathan. The Brazilian wing-back slips the ball through for Guarin but his shot is blocked excellently by Pasqual.
Inter have hardly tested Neto so far and that remains the same as Savic produces a good clearance to intercept Guarin's cross from the right. They were almost 3-0 up at this time vs. Sassuolo on the weekend!
JOAQUIN GOES CLOSE! Valero picks out the Spanish winger on the right touchline and he produces a neat drop of the shoulder to deceive Ranocchia before firing a low shot just wide of the far post.
Fiorentina are certainly on top at the moment and Inter are finding it difficult to enjoy a sustained period of possession. Palacio has been rather anonymous up front so far for the Nerazzurri.
Fiorentina are looking dangerous here but Valero cannot add to his one league goal of the season as he slices a left-footed shot well wide of the target.
GOOD CHANCE FOR FIORENTINA! Rossi's incise pass sends Joaquin through one-on-one but the Spanish winger can only strike at Handanovic's legs from the right side of the box. Best chance of the game so far.
The home crowd jeer as Ambrosini escapes a booking for taking down Alvarez. That was smart footwork from the Argentine.
Campagnaro continues to make promising forward runs from defence and he looks to play a one-two with Palacio but is denied a shot on goal by Rodriguez's crucial last-ditch clearance.
Aquilani is never one to shy away from shooting and his fierce shot from the edge of the box is well blocked by Taider. Both teams are keen to get forward and attack here.
Juan Jesus produces a splendid burst forward from defence and he picks out Taider on the left corner of the box, only for the Algerian to disappointingly fire into the side netting. That was a golden chance for Mazzarri's side.
Moments after Alvarez goes within inches of converting from Campagnaro's cross, Rossi goes close at the other end when his low, diagnonal shot forces Handanovic into a smart save.
Fiorentina appear to have settled and Rannochia crucially hooks the ball clear to prevent Rossi from advancing on goal. It's good to see the Italian striker back amongst the goals after so long on the touchline with injury.
Incidentally, Fiorentina have won seven consecutive away games in Serie A. Can Montella inspire them to an eighth on what is a bogey ground for the Viola?
One man who will not want to lose to Inter today is Massimo Ambrosini, who made over 300 appearances for fierce rivals, Milan. The 36-year-old appears to have already won over the Viola fans with some impressive performances in his early Fiorentina career.
Fiorentina venture into the opposition half for the first time but Fernandez's cutback is well intercepted by Ranocchia.
Inter have started brightly and Nagatomo, who has been in fine goalscoring form, tests Neto with a low drive. Inter have scored 13 goals in their opening four games, conceding only once.
Fiorentina kick-off and it's almost a nightmare start as Ambrosini gifts possession to Alvarez but the Argentine is denied a route to goal by Savic's solid challenge.
The two sides emerge from the tunnel and begin the respective handshakes. Paolo Valeri is tonight's referee. Inter are in their traditional black and blue jerseys with Fiorentina in their alternative white strip.
incidentally, Inter's Curva Nord stand is shut today as a punishment for racist chanting heard during the 1-1 draw with Juventus.
Fiorentina will be looking to extend their unbeaten start to the season, especially as it is Viola president Andrea Della Valle's 48th birthday today. I'm sure three points would be the ideal present.
Montella makes just the solitary change to the side which defeated Atalanta 2-0 with Joaquin replacing Rafal Wolski. Mario Gomez and Juan Cuadrado remain sidelined through injury whilst David Pizarro misses the opportunity to face his former club as a result of suspension.
Both sides have made an unbeaten start to the season, with ten points from four games. Unsurprisingly, Mazzarri names the same XI which thumped Sassuolo 7-0 on the weekend. Saphir Taider once again gets the nod ahead of Mateo Kovacic whilst Diego Milito could feature off the bench.
FIORENTINA (4-3-3): Neto; Tomovic, Rodriguez, Savic, Pasqual; Borja Valero, Ambrosini, Aquilani; Joaquin, Rossi, Mati Fernandez.
INTER (3-5-1-1): Handanovic; Campagnaro, Ranocchia, Juan Jesus; Jonathan, Guarin, Cambiasso, Taider, Nagatomo; Alvarez; Palacio.
In fact, Inter have won all 12 of the last league meetings on home soil. Can Montella finally end the curse this evening and make it lucky number 13? Here are the lineups...
You have to travel back 13 years for the last time that Fiorentina beat Inter at the Giuseppe Meazza and that came in a 4-0 win when Enrico Chiesa and Gabriel Batistuta got on the scoresheet.
Two of Serie A's impressive season starters go head-to-head this evening in a thrilling contest at the Giuseppe Meazza. After last season's dreadful campaign, Inter have looked rejuvenated under Walter Mazzarri whilst Vincenzo Montella's Fiorentina continue to grow in strength. Can they pose a serious threat to Juventus' crown? Bringing you all the action from Milan this evening, my name is Max Bentley.
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