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Italy - Serie A
March 1, 2015
• Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milano
Referee: D. Massa
• Attendance: 39310
Mohamed Salah 55'
FULL TIME! Fiorentina come away from Stadio Giuseppe Meazza victorious, with the visitors putting in a solid defensive performance! Despite going down to 10 men due to injury, a goal from substitute Mohamed Salah was enough for La Viola to take three points and move towards the Europa League places! That's all we have time for, I've been Simon Harrison and I hope to see you again next time.
90' + 6'
Shaqiri tries to whip in a teasing cross from the right-hand side, but Neto claims the delivery rather simply! Moments later, Vargas does brilliantly to bully Palacio off the ball and shepherd it behind for a goal kick.
90' + 4'
Palacio is found by a long ball forward, which he flicks on, but Guarin can't manage to rob Kurtic of the rebounding ball. The Colombian midfielder is possibly the most frustrated man in Italy at the moment, arguing with every decision the referee makes.
90' + 2'
D'Ambrosio is nearly picked out at the back post by a cross from Santon, but the former Newcastle full-back's delivery curls straight behind for a goal kick. Time is running out for the Nerazzurri. Neto makes a fantastic save to deny a great header from Palacio!
Guarin hoofs the ball away in frustration, but somehow the Colombia international escapes a yellow card for petulance. There are six minutes of added time.
Savic now goes down with a knock, leaving Montella in a spot of bother. Having already made his three substitutions for the evening, the former Italy international forward will be hoping that his defender can carry on, but it doesn't look good for the Montenegro international! He is stretchered off the field.
Less than five minutes remain for Inter to claw their way back into this one, but it isn't looking likely! Fiorentina are sitting extremely deep, in the hope of seeing this clash out in negative fashion. Mancini can do nothing but urge his players on desperately.
Yellow CardMarcelo Brozović
Greedy play from Palacio! The Argentine streaks down the right, before cutting inside Savic wonderfully! After committing Rodriguez, which left Icardi in acres of space to his left, the substitute opted to shoot! He can merely find the body of Neto, with Icardi left absolutely disgusted deep inside the opposition's penalty box!
There will definitely be a few minutes of added time at the end of this half, with the stretcher called onto the field of play. Tomovic is put in a neck brace, with the physios clearly unwilling to take any chances. Montella has no option but to make another change due to injury.
Tomovic slips on the right-hand side, before attempting to scramble back to his feet! The Serbian full-back takes a blow to the head, due to Palacio catching the Fiorentina defender in the head with his knee accidentally. Play is stopped for a while, as he receives some treatment.
Close for Inter! Vidic manages to meet a Shaqiri corner delivery at the near post, flicking the ball towards the far upright! It appears to take a deflection on its way behind, but the referee points for a goal kick! The Serbian defender can't believe the decision!
Reasonable save from Handanovic! Fiorentina break upfield, with Kurtic managing to muster up an attempt from the left-hand side, but Inter's goalkeeper is alert to make a solid stop! Mancini looks to make another change, with D'Ambrosio the man waiting on the sideline.
Inter manage to win a corner on the right-hand side, after Campagnaro is brought to ground. Shaqiri whips a delivery into the penalty area, which is turned goalwards at the near post, but Neto is able to catch the ball with ease.
Salah clips a diagonal ball across the face of the penalty area, but Kurtic's attempted first-time volley is scuffed horrendously wide of the near post! Despite having no recognised striker, the away side are posing much more dangerous questions to their opponents. Inter are still struggling to create.
Huge chance missed by Icardi! Some good movement from Shaqiri means that Guarin picks out the Swiss winger, before he unselfishly tees up his striker! The Argentine forward tries his luck from 12 yards out, but is leaning back too much, sending the ball rocketing into the stand behind Neto's goal!
Shaqiri delivers the free kick, with Neto able to punch the ball away from under his own bar! Vidic collides with the goalkeeper, who appears to have been left a little bit winded. Rodrigo Palacio is off the bench and warming up for the hosts.
Santon is found out on the left-hand side, before winning a free kick from Diamanti. Shaqiri whips it in, but play is stopped by the referee due to Icardi jostling with his man. The set piece will be taken again!
Yellow CardAlessandro Diamanti
Shaqiri tests Neto! The Swiss winger is given the ball by Kovacic inside the penalty area, but can only fire a low drive straight at the goalkeeper! An immediate impact from the substitute!
Less than half an hour remains for Fiorentina to see out, with Shaqiri readying himself for the home side. The Switzerland international will be asked to change his side's fortunes here, as they have struggled to create anything. The Bayern loanee will provide a directness that the Nerazzurri have been missing.
Podolski attempts to impose himself on the edge of the penalty area, but is instead penalised for a scrappy tackle! The Germany international has offered absolutely nothing in the first hour and will presumably be the first man that Mancini looks at substituting.
Ilicic lifts a cross into the penalty area, after preventing the ball from heading out of play for a Nerazzurri goal kick, but Handanovic punches away. Fiorentina retain the ball, before Kurtic works possession into Salah, but the Egyptian winger can only direct a shot straight at Inter's goalkeeper.
Moments after Icardi's penalty appeal, Neto is forced into a very comfortable save. Mancini's men are desperately trying to raise their game, but Fiorentina have had all of the answers thus far. Santon tries to deliver a cross from the left, but Rodriguez takes no chances and blasts clear.
Fiorentina aren't willing to race out to press, with the away side having a one-goal lead to protect. Despite not having the presence of Babacar, who helped to bring Montella's men upfield in the first half, the visitors have used the ball far more effectively than their opponents. Icardi breaks into the box, before claiming a push, but the referee isn't interested!
Inter look to press on immediately from kick off, but a pass out to the left-hand side is too heavy for Podolski to catch up with! Moments later, Guarin attempts to clip a cross towards the back post, but the ball spirals directly out of play for a goal kick.
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL! SALAH OPENS THE SCORING FOR LA VIOLA! Handanovic can only push a driven cross away from goal, after a fierce delivery from Pasqual, with the substitute taking full advantage! The Chelsea loanee makes no mistake, hammering a composed finish into the back of the net! Fiorentina lead 1-0!
Chances continue to stay at a premium, with Diamanti now failing to be brought into play by Pasqual. Possession is being lost in the midfield third, with the likes of Guarin and Kovacic unable to affect the game for the Nerazzurri.
Yellow CardJuan Jesus
Aquilani is hacked down without mercy by Juan, with the Inter defender picking up the first yellow card of the game as a result! It was a cynical sliding challenge from the Brazilian. Yet another free-kick opportunity for Fiorentina to try and capitalise upon!
Ilicic has the chance to try his luck with a 30-yard free kick attempt, but the eventual cross into the box is hooked away by Juan! Without the Brazil international's intervention, that would have been 1-0 to the visitors, as Diamanti was lurking!
Yellow CardNemanja Vidic
Ilicic unleashes an effort from the edge of the box, after exchanging possession with Salah, but can only fire the ball tamely at Handanovic! Mancini will be pleased that he could rush his first-choice shot-stopper back into the side, as Carrizo wasn't convincing against Cagliari.
We are back underway in the second half at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza! Mancini's men could move level on point with La Viola with victory here tonight, but they will have to buck their ideas up offensively if they are to beat Neto! The Brazilian goalkeeper has had very little to do.
HALF TIME! The two sides go in goalless at the interval, with Handanovic the busier of the goalkeepers. Inter have controlled more of the ball, but the Nerazzurri have been unable to convert their possession into chances. Podolski and Icardi have been fairly anonymous, while Babacar has been forced to leave the field already due to injury for Fiorentina. Be sure to rejoin us for the second-half action in 10 minutes!
There is one minute of stoppage time.
Inter hold onto possession, with Fiorentina seemingly content to see this scoreline out until the break. Diamanti is leading the line, with Salah being deployed out on the right-hand side. Santon might have more to think about defensively now.
Salah looks to be the man preparing to come on for Fiorentina, with Babacar continuing to move gingerly. The Chelsea loanee scored during the visitors' Europa League win over Tottenham midweek, and will be keen to maintain his form.
Rodriguez slides in to try and deny Icardi the opportunity to break in behind, but concedes a free kick in the process. With Babacar still struggling, Gilardino appears to be the main candidate to replace the Fiorentina target man. The resulting dead ball is lifted into the box by Guarin, but Campagnaro's flicked header bobbles behind for a goal kick.
Icardi clips a cross towards the back post, but Tomovic does well under pressure to head the delivery away from goal. The Nerazzurri keep up the momentum with another ball in towards Podolski, but Savic is alert enough to hack a desperate clearance upfield.
Diamanti almost manages to scamper in behind the Inter back four, but Vidic defuses the situation. Babacar then goes down under little pressure, with the Senegalese forward appearing to have a muscle tweak. Montella sends out a few substitutes to warm up.
Santon tries to whip a cross in towards the near post, but it takes a big deflection and heads behind for a corner. Babacar manages to head the resulting set piece clear of danger, but Inter recycle possession. Guarin is presented with the ball, before cannoning a 25-yard strike off the outside of the post!
Brilliant tackle from Rodriguez! The Argentine defender slides in brilliantly to deny Icardi, with the Inter striker continuing to have little luck around the penalty area. The opening half hour hasn't gifted him anything in the way of chances.
Inter continue to have the majority of the possession, but are failing to make anything of it. Kurtic is picked out by a cut back, with the midfielder arriving on the edge of the box to angle a terrible shot over the crossbar!
Pasqual tries to carry the ball out of defence, but Guarin comes across smartly to stop the left-back in his tracks. The throw in is given to Babacar, before Vidic is penalised for clambering all over his man.
Yellow CardAlberto Aquilani
Icardi manages to flick on a diagonal ball from Santon, but Neto is able to come off his line and gather it up. The opening half an hour hasn't offered much in the way of offensive inspiration, with Icardi and Podolski continuing to get barely any service.
Babacar manages to use his pace and strength to bring Fiorentina upfield, before giving the ball to Ilicic. The Slovenia international manages to get to the right byline, before centring a dangerous cross, but Campagnaro makes a clearance under no pressure at the back post.
Santon tries to clip a cross into the penalty area, but Neto comes off his line to claim easily. Possession is continually exchanged between the two sides, with chances proving to be few and far between in the opening half an hour.
Big chance for Inter! Guarin breaks powerfully to the byline on the right-hand side, before fizzing a low cross towards the six-yard box! Pinball ensues, before a deflection off a Fiorentina defender takes the ball away from goal.
Podolski and Icardi both see shots charged down inside the penalty area, as Mancini's men attempt to convert possession into chances. Neto has had absolutely nothing to do thus far, with the hosts labouring offensively.
Good save from Handanovic! The Inter goalkeeper gets down smartly to his left-hand side, after a cross in from the left was flicked on well by Babacar. Fiorentina have definitely had the better of the chances thus far!
Campagnaro cuts in from the right-hand side, before feeding Brozovic, but the Croatian midfielder's eventual shot is charged down with ease. Inter then win themselves a corner, after some good defending from Tomovic. The hosts take the dead ball short, before giving it away criminally. Awful stuff.
Brozovic is penalised for clambering all over Tomovic, with Inter's attacks yet to come to anything. Icardi has been completely anonymous, with Fiorentina setting up in such a manner that it is difficult for the Nerazzurri to pass through their lines. Babacar is leading the line powerfully for the away side, meanwhile.
Diamanti and Tomovic look to combine down the right flank, but the former then places an awful pass directly out of play. Inter then break upfield, but a cross from the left-hand side bounces harmlessly across goal after some fairly poor work from Podolski.
Handanovic is forced into his first save of the afternoon! The Slovenian gets down smartly to his left to push a free-kick effort away from danger, after Ilicic dusted himself down to take the dead ball himself. Montella's men are now the side turning the screw!
Kurtic shoots from 25 yards out, but his effort rockets into a ruck of black and blue shirts. Fiorentina are growing into this game slightly, seeing more possession in the opposition half. Medel then gives away a free kick on the edge of the box, bringing down Ilicic as he looked to break into the penalty area.
Diamanti tries to break in behind Vidic on the left-hand side, but the experienced Serbian defender stands his ground well. Moments later, the former Manchester United centre-back shepherds the ball behind for a goal kick under heavy pressure from Babacar.
Guarin wins his side a free kick on the right-hand side, after being dragged back by Pasqual. It is curled in, but easily cleared by the away side, with Montella's men looking very comfortable thus far. Inter have seen plenty of possession, but are yet to fashion even a half chance. Juan is forced to make a hurried clearance in the box to deny Diamanti.
Inter enjoy some early possession, before a long clearance downfield from Savic almost sets Babacar away! The Fiorentina striker is caught narrowly offside, however. Mancini's men are looking to take the leading role from the off, with the white shirts of La Viola dropping deep and remaining organised.
We are underway in the first half at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza! The hosts are wearing black and blue, while Montella's men don a changed kit of white.
Fiorentina substitutes: Richards, Vargas, Pizarro, Gilardino, Joaquin, Borja Valero, Lezzerini, Marcos Alonso, Rosati, Lazzari, Rosi, Salah.
Fiorentina starting line-up (4-3-3): Neto; Tomovic, Savic, Rodriguez, Pasqual; Kurtic, Badelj, Aquilani; Diamanti, Babacar, Ilicic.
Inter substitutes: Andreolli, Palacio, Kuzmanovic, Obi, Dodo, Ranocchia, Felipe, Puscas, Carrizo, D'Ambrosio, Hernanes, Shaqiri.
Inter starting line-up (4-3-1-2): Handanovic; Campagnaro, Vidic, Juan Jesus, Santon; Brozovic, Medel, Guarin; Kovacic, Podolski, Icardi.
TEAM NEWS: Nenad Tomovic is fit again for the visitors and replaces Micah Richards at right-back. Midweek goalscorer Mohamed Salah also drops from the starting line-up, with Josip Ilicic deployed on the left-hand side and Alessandro Diamanti on the other flank. Jasmin Kurtic is preferred to David Pizarro in midfield, with Mati Fernandez not fit enough for the matchday squad. Gonzalo Rodriguez is at centre-half, with Jose Basanta unavailable, while Manuel Pasqual is preferred to Marcos Alonso at left-back.
TEAM NEWS: Samir Handanovic recovers to start in goal for the home side, with Mancini keeping faith in the same back four that started against Cagliari. The Italian coach doesn't opt for many changes, with his goalkeeper the only alteration from the last time Inter faced up domestic opposition. Xherdan Shaqiri takes a seat on the bench, with Marco Andreolli and Danilo D'Ambrosio fit enough to return to the matchday squad after injury.
I'm Simon Harrison and I will be keeping you up to date with all of the action from Milan, with both sides returning to league action after successful midweek clashes in Europe. Fiorentina knocked Tottenham Hotspur out of the Europa League, while the Nerazzurri eliminated Scottish champions Celtic. Both coaches will hope to carry that momentum into Serie A action.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of Fiorentina's Serie A visit to Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, as Vincenzo Montella's men look to come out with a share of the spoils against the improving Nerazzurri. Roberto Mancini's men are now merely three points behind La Viola, but the visitors haven't suffered defeat in 11 matches in all competitions. If the hosts want to test their European credentials, this afternoon is the time to do it.
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