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January 19, 2012
• Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milano
Referee: C. Russo
• Attendance: 12823
A. Poli 49'
V. Birsa 90'+
90' + 3'
And that's it. Despite the scare at the end, it was so. so easy for Inter as they run out 2-1 winners here at the San Siro. I've been Alex Mott. Thanks for joining me.
90' + 2'
Goal Valter Birsa
OH. And would you believe it! GOOOAAAALLLL GENOA. A cross from the right finds the head of Pratto, who doesn't score. Obviously. But he does hit the bar. And Birsa is there to put in the rebound. 2-1. Game on?
Pass.Pass.Pass.Pass.Pass.Pass.Foul.Quick free kick.Pass.Pass.Pass.Pass.Zarate does a funny trick.Another pass.Pass.Pass.Pass. Just blow your whistle ref.
There's an absolute glut of people leaving the ground now. And I have to say, I don't blame them. Genoa are offering absolutely nothing up top.
Inter are treating this as a training exercise now. Keeping the ball like it's going out of fashi.....oh. Maicon gives it away deep in the Genoa half.
Sneijder comes off for Alvarez, and I have to say, the Dutchman's looked a class above tonight. Bravo sir.
Sneijder's looking like he's enjoying himself now. A little backheel gets him away from Samprisi, and with his next touch he tries to play in Zarate. Unfortunately though, the former Birmingham man isn't quite on the same wave-length, and the ball runs away to Lupatelli.
That, would have been some goal, As it is, Sneijder's effort is well, well wide. The Dutchman receives the ball 25yds from goal, travels to just outside the area, and scoops the ball up, towards goal, but also well wide. Audacious, and in the end, rubbish.
I think Genoa have finally realised that they're 2-0 down, and need to do something about it. This time, Kucka whips in a ball from the left, only for Cordoba to get up and header away the danger. Better from Il Grifoni though.
Cambiasso gets caught on the ball, 30yds from the Inter goal, and Kucka, who nicked the ball from him, fires a shot at goal. Castellazzi gets down well though, and saves to his right. That was probably the first actual attempt at goal Genoa have had all night.
Zarate makes his first contribution to the game. Cutting in from the left, he has a shot at Lupatelli's goal, only for the 'keeper to get down and save well.
Maicon almost plays in Poli agian. This time though, the former Sampdoria man's touch lets him down, and Moretti clears for Genoa.
Pratto does well there. I know, right? He comes deep, and shakes off two men, before playing a ball into the path of Seymour, who, after spending far too long on the ball, gets dispossessed.
Castaignos has worked tirelessly tonight, but his rawness was just encapsulated perfectly in a moment there. The young Dutchman does brilliantly well to make space for himself, and get across his man. But at the exact moment he should be through on goal, his touch lets him down and the ball runs away to Samprisi.
Sneijder does brilliantly there. On the left-hand side, he swivels, and then knocks the ball through the legs of Marchiori, only to then whip in an early cross, right into the heart of the box. Lupatelli sees it though, and comes to collect well.
Jorquera, who I don't think touched the ball in the first half, goes through the Inter defence again. But this time Cordoba is there with him every step of the way, and clears the ball for a throw in.
OHHH. And Castaignos is almost through. A brilliant turn-and-pass by Sneijder puts the former Feyenoord man through, but Lupatelli is quick off his mark, and comes out to clear.
Genoa are bringing out the cavalry now, as Jorquera goes thorugh, only to be pushed wide, and see his weak shot saved easily by Castellazzi.
Goal Andrea Poli
GOOOOAAAALLLL INTER. And that is a stunning goal. A cross from the right by Maicon found Poli outside the area, and with a fantastic first touch, he played it to Obi inside the box. He then, with his first touch, flicked it over the head of Granqvist, and into the path of Poli, who smashed it low past the 'keeper and into the net. A fantastic goal, and some fantastic teamwork.
I'll tell you what: a better player would have finished that. A cross from the right by Brisa found Pratto inside the area, all alone. And the Argentinian somehow managed to fluff his header so that it went wide. I may be being unduly harsh on Pratto there, but from where I'm sitting, that was poor.
Cambiasso wins the ball back straight away for Inter, and then loses it straight away. *shakes head dramatically*
And the second half is underway guys and girls. Genoa go from right-to-left, by the way.
It's 1-0 here at the San Siro. Do what you have to do for 15 minutes, and then be sure to join me for the second half.
And that'll be that then. The referee blows for half time, and Inter go into the break 1-0 up, and looking comfortable.
Genoa are passing the ball around in the middle of the park very nicely now. Or it might just be that Inter's closing down is nice. I think it's the latter.
Constant has Genoa's first noticeable effort of the game. And, to be honest, it's nowhere near going in. He collects the ball from around 40yds out, travels a bit, and fires a shot at Castellazzi's goal that goes both high, and wide.
Maicon may be Inter's biggest attacking threat, but he's had to do his share of defending there. A ball is played through to Pratto, but Maicon gets back, and clears the ball away for a throw in.
Maicon is looking like Inter's biggest attacking threat so far tonight. Again, he goes on a bombing run down the right, and looks inside to find Sneijder, again, in space. The Dutchman has another shot at goal. And it's another one that goes over the bar.
Genoa are actually keeping the ball very well down the left. Constant plays it to Kucka, who flicks the ball to Pratto. Pratto though, gets dispossessed by Ranocchia, and Inter clear with the ball.
Zanetti releases Obi on the left, who, in turn, finds Sneijder in space just outside the area, towards the centre of the goal. He takes a touch, and then unleashes a shot at goal, only for Lupatelli to get down and save well to his right.
Inter hit Genoa on another counter-attack, this time with Castaignos travels with the ball from deep. He looks for Faraoni on the edge of the area, but the yound Italian's first time shot comes off his standing foot, and back to a Genoa player. Comical, yet brilliantly schoolboy.
Pratto is looking to come very deep for Genoa, in search of the ball. And this time, his eagerness doesn't quite prevail, as a ball that was meant for the Argentinian goes over the top, into space, ane he's gallivanting about by the centre circle.
Don't forget, @alexjmott on Twitter is where you can go to ask me any questions, make predictions about tonight's game.
Maicon plays a one-two down the right with Cordoba, and the veteran centre-half finds Sneijder just outside the box, in space. Before he can get a shot away though, Granqvist puts his boot in, and Genoa clear.
To be honest, it's all Genoa now. Inter are defending awfully deep and looking to hit the Rossoblu on the counter. Which they are doing right now, as Maicon goes down the right, skipping past Rossi. It's a good tackle from the makeshift left-back though, and the ball goes out for a throw in.
Il Grifoni are having quite a sustained amount of possession now, as Birsa whips in a corner from the right-hand side. It's poorly struck though, and Inter clear.
I've just seen another replay of the Maicon goal. Make it 30yds, not 25. Utterly amazing.
Genoa have the ball now, for the first time since the goal, and it's Birsa who pus a cross in, deep from the right. Cordoba, reads it well though, and heads it back into the arms of Castellazzi.
Genoa look shell-shocked by that, as Inter go on another attack. This time though, the linesman puts his flag up for offside.
MY WORD. WHAT. A. GOAL. Maicon with a thunderbolt! 25yds out, he received the ball from the right, and struck with his second touch, right into the far top-left hand corner. That was amazing.
The Genoa coaching staff are wearing some wonderfully outrageous puffa jackets tonight. Pasquale Marino may never have beaten Inter Milan in his career as a manager, but at least he's going to look good trying.
It's a big game for Castaignos tonight, playing up front on his own. And he's almost played through by Sneijder, but Moretti comes across and nicks the ball.
Genoa are having their first sustained period of possession tonight. And then promptly give it away.
Oh yeah. And Sneijder's had the first shot of the game. Taking the ball deep from the centre circle, he's not closed down at all, and gets a shot away 25m from goal. It goes well over though, and Genoa fans breathe once more.
The first thing to note, is that the pitch looks absolutely terrible. It looks about as bumpy as a teenager's face
Here we go then. Inter get us underway, kicking from right-to-left.
Only a couple of minutes until the action gets underway here, as the teams line up in the tunnel.
Less than 15 minutes to go until kick off here at the San Siro, and the news that Wesley Sneijder is starting for the first time since *checks Wikipedia frantically* a long time ago, is already filling this magnificent arena with verve and optimism.
And Genoa: (4-3-1-2) Lupatelli; Samprisi, Granqvist, Moretti, Rossi; Kucka, Seymour, Brisa; Jorquera; Pratto, Ze Eduardo.
And now for the teams. Inter: (4-4-1-1) Castellazzi; Maicon, Cordoba, Ranocchia, Zanetti; Faraoni, Cambiasso, Poli, Obi; Sneijder; Castaignos.
Genoa may have beaten Udinese at the weekend, but their recent form against Inter is, quite honestly, atrocious. They haven't won any of their last six games against the Nerazzurri, losing by an aggregate of 15-4.
Claudio Ranieri's side are literally on fire at the moment, having won their previous six games, including the big one last Sunday, with a 1-0 win over city rivals Milan. Genoa though, will be no pushovers, having proved that at the weekend with a fantastic 3-2 win at home to high-flying Udinese.
I'm Alex Mott and I'll be your commentator for tonight's clash. As always, if you have any comments/questions/musings on the game, do get in contact with me @alexjmott on Twitter.
Evening Goal.com readers, and welcome to tonight's LIVE, minute-by-minute coverage of Inter Milan vs Genoa. It's the last 16 of the Coppa Italia, so try and control yourself.
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