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Italy - Serie A
August 25, 2013
• Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milano
Referee: M. Guida
• Attendance: 42797
Y. Nagatomo 75'
R. Palacio 90'+
That's all from our coverage for Inter's 2-0 victory over Genoa, I hope that you've enjoyed keeping up to date with us. I've been Simon Harrison, and I hope to see you all again next time.
Genoa defended well, with Manfredini and Portanova an excellent pairing in the centre of defence, but the Inter second-half onslaught proved too much for them to deal with. Gilardino was isolated and failed to test Handanovic throughout, Liverani will hope to grab a goal as soon as possible to instil some confidence in his side.
Mazzarri will be the most relieved man in Italy tonight, as he manages a win in the first league game of Inter's Serie A season. Good performances from Guarin, Jonathan and Nagatomo helped to drag them through it, but they'll need to improve rapidly.
After a cagey first half, which saw no shots on target for either side, the hosts edged the second half, with the introduction of Icardi being particularly impressive. There was an element of luck about the first goal, but the correct conclusion was reached, Inter leave with maximum points.
The full time whistle goes! Inter win 2-0 over Genoa, thanks to second half goals from Nagatomo and Palacio! Mazzarri starts well for his new club, whilst Liverani will be disappointed that his side couldn't have fought for a point.
90' + 4'
Yellow CardFredy Guarín
90' + 3'
Relief is tangible in San Siro, as Nerazzurri look to be firmly heading to victory now - Handanovic hasn't been tested whatsoever. It's been hard fought, but the hosts have deserved the victory, the advantage of two goals is perhaps flattering though.
90' + 2'
90' + 2'
PALACIO! 2-0! Great finish! The Argentine is slipped through on goal, and finishes nicely past the onrushing Perin! Mazzarri and Moratti look relieved men!
90' + 1'
TAIDER! The debutant tries his luck as a loose ball spills out to the edge of the Genoa box, but he spirals the ball harmlessly out of play. He won't want to see that on the highlight reel.
GUARIN! Yet another strike from range rewards Inter with yet another corner. The shoot on sight nature of the Colombian has won his side a fair few set pieces, that's for sure. Perfect for alleviating pressure.
Liverani is getting more crazed by the minute, he's not prepared to let his side slide to a season opening defeat. He may have only been a coach for a couple of years, but the passion is certainly there.
ICARDI! A great block from Portavera denies the substitute, deflecting the shot high and wide - but Inter have another corner. The Genoa captain has been brilliant this afternoon.
Yellow CardThomas Manfredini
Well cleared by Campagnaro! Nice interplay between Lodi and Konate almost presents the latter with a good chance deep inside the Inter box, but the Argentine manages to hook the loose ball clear to safety.
Antonio Floro Flores
Five minutes left, and this looks to be a comfortable win for Mazzarri's men. Liverani will ring the changes as his side look for a way back into a game in which they have been quite competitive. Taider gets a San Siro debut after joining from Bologna in the summer too.
JONATHAN! The ball falls kindly to the Brazilian on the corner of the Genoa box, he consider hitting the ball on the volley, but hesitates, brings it down, before firing a low drive toward goal! It takes a deflection, and whistles wide. Inter are enjoying this pressure.
RANOCCHIA! Another corner, another opportunity! Perin has to be at full stretch to push the ball around the post, after it looked to be heading into the far corner! Close again!
CROSSBAR! Icardi hits the bar on his debut! He looks to the sky and he can't quite believe it! He got great connection on that header, Perin was merely a spectator, but he's unfortunate to see it cannon back into play!
Inter break after Konate is robbed of the ball, feeding Palacio in behind at the first opportunity! Manfredini does just enough to rob the ball off the foot of the Inter forward, and it's a corner for the hosts.
Chances are few and far between, as Inter are keen to sit back when out of possession and hold their shape. This has been a disciplined performance from the home side, and it'll be efficient too if they can grab the three points to accompany it.
Tenacious work in the Inter midfield is gradually starving the likes of Lodi of the ball. The home crowd are responding positively, their chants are audible again after a lengthy lull. Konate is yet to really touch the ball for Genoa, they've struggled in the past ten minutes.
It was scrappy, but finally a goal! Nagatomo nods home from literally a yard out, giving Inter the lead that on reflection, they probably deserve. He celebrates wildly, and the Nerazzuri faithful are in good voice once more!
GOOOOAL! NAGATOMO! A looping, deflected Jonathan cross is turned home from a yard out by the Japanese wing-back!
Well claimed by Perin! Palacio tries to centre the ball, looking for Icardi, but the Italian goalkeeper reads the pass and is quick to intercept. Still, the visiting keeper remaining relatively untroubled.
Yellow CardMattia Perin
Perin receives a booking for time-wasting - there's still 20 minutes left on the clock! The keeper protests, but he took far too long over his goal kick. With both managers starting to play their hand, this game could open up a little.
Genoa are bringing on an interesting prospect now, their 19-year-old summer capture. Konate netted five goals at the 2012 Olympics, and could offer the unpredictably required to grab this games breakthrough goal. Kovacic on for Inter, he could be key in unlocking resolute Genoa.
GUARIN! Another long range effort from Guarin tests Perin, bouncing up just in front of the Italian. He smiles wryly after collecting the ball - he can deal with those all day.
The home crowd jeer a terrible pass from the Genoa captain, after a spell of cagey possession from the away side. You can sense the tide turning slightly in favour of Inter, but how they are going to break through is unpredictable.
Inter will be feeling as though they're banging their head against an invisible wall here, they're being really frustrated by Genoa. Another chance should be in the pipeline soon really, as despite their possession the hosts just can't unlock the visitors.
CHANCE INTER! A great ball from Alvarez, aimed to play Palacio in behind Vrsaljko is cut out excellently by the Croatian. He's had a great debut. Perin is able to come out and pounce on the ball after Vrsaljko intercepts.
Yellow CardAlberto Gilardino
This game is still remaining a midfield battle. Despite a bit more space opening up, neither keeper is being given a great deal to think about. It's testament to the two shot-stopper that they've been concentrated enough to pounce on the odd loose ball.
GUARIN! The Colombian tries own of his trademark long-range drives, but sees his effort blocked well by Manfredini on the edge of the Genoa box. Guarin's power has really been a catalyst on the break in the second half, he's being given more freedom down the right.
CAMBIASSO! Disappointing strike from the captain, after combining well with his compatriot Icardi. The introduction of the former Sampdoria forward has definitely made a difference, but the service isn't quite there for the hosts. Perhaps Kovacic would be the next logical change.
The game is becoming reasonably open, there's plenty of space in midfield to drive into, and both sides have taken advantage of it in the last few minutes. This game is very finely balanced, that's for sure.
GUARIN! A great chance for Inter now too! Guarin powers his way down the right hand side, before smashing a ball across the six yard box for Palacio to slide in to finish! The ball evades the Argentine, and rolls agonizingly wide of the woodwork!
KUCKA! So close! The Slovenian ghosts in at the back post, and looks to be in the perfect position to put his side ahead, but Handanovic forces him wide of the goal. He squares the ball, in search of Gilardino, but Ranocchia heads clear!
Liverani is becoming more and more animated on the touchline with every minute that goes by! The former Genoa youth coach certainly doesn't want to taste defeat in both of his opening two competitive fixtures as boss.
A deflected ball from Cambiasso almost finds its way into the path of Icardi, but Perin is quick off his line to smother the ball before the Argentine can get there. A lively start to the game for the youngster.
ICARDI! The substitute gets his head firmly onto a Campagnaro cross, but Perin catches the effort easily! He's only been on the pitch for less than a minute and he's already given the keeper something to do.
KUZMANOVIC! The Serbian has another effort at goal, but gets it all wrong! Initial good work from Ricky to win the ball back provides the Serb with the opportunity, but he can only scythe the ball well wide of the target - that'll be his last contribution too.
An extremely poor challenge from Juan Jesus leaves Gilardino in a heap, his cries of pain could be easily heard from the touchline. He gingerly gets back to his feet, but he should be fine to continue.
CLOSE! GILARDINO! Handanovic is quick off his line to steal the ball from the toes of Gilardino, after a good knock-down from Bertolacci! Good reading of the game from the Inter keeper.
Offside! The linesman has his flag up to deny Palacio with the opportunity to race through on an isolated Perin! The Argentine looks frustrated, but there can be no arguing with the official's decision.
CHANCE! INTER! Portanova does well to thwart the hosts first chance of the second half! A marauding run on the break from Jonathan sees the Brazilian aiming towards the back post to pick out an unmarked blue and black shirt, but the Genoa captain stuck a foot in to intercept!
Our referee Guida gets things restarted for the second 45 minutes, and let's hope for some goals in this section of the game! Neither side registered a shot on target in the first half, things can surely only get more exciting.
Deploying both Palacio and Alvarez to spearhead the attack hasn't proved particularly effective, though neither have played badly. Portanova and Manfredini have quelled anything the Argentine pairing have thrown at him.
Both sides have looked solid, but the lack of a physical presence up front has limited the home side to only looking to cross the ball when the box is overloaded. The introduction of the likes of Kovacic may give them a bit more creativity in the final third.
Inter's best chance of the game fell to Jonathan, who has looked lively on the right, who advanced into the Genoa box before dragging a cross-shot just wide of the far post. Handanovic remains untested, but Genoa are keeping possession with confidence in increasingly more dangerous areas.
Half time! The referee blows his whistle and that's all we'll see from the first half. Inter 0-0 Genoa, it's been competitive, but chances are lacking so far.
Genoa are moving the ball nicely, with pace. Their right flank has looked good during this first half, the combination of Kucka, Cofie and Vrsaljko has asked Nagatomo a few question. They're yet to perfect the delivery into poacher Gilardino, but it's encouraging.
KUCKA! The Slovenian goes close, rising well to beat Juan to the ball, but he can only send the ball about two metres wide of the top corner! Another warning sign for Inter.
Good work from Jonathan, the Brazilian makes a good block to prevent a cross from the advancing Antonelli from reaching Gilardino on the edge of the six yard box. Genoa win a corner.
Disappointing from Campagnaro, the former Napoli man looked to dink a ball into the path of Alvarez, rather than put a ball into the box from a dangerous position. Alvarez shakes his head despairingly, he knows what his teammate should have done.
Five minutes until the break, and it's tough to say which side is closer to breaking the deadlock. Neither side have truly tested the opposition goalkeeper, and neither sides' strikers have been particularly busy.
Well held by Handanovic! His compatriot Kucka looked to loop a ball towards the back post, for Cofie, but it took a deflection - taking it to the front post instead. The Slovenian 'keeper claimed, as Genoa failed to test the Inter man once again.
RANOCCHIA! The tall central defender gets up well to meet a Cambiasso set piece delivery, but can only flick it on and out of play, taking the ball off the head of the better-positioned Campagnaro!
GUARIN! A half clearance from Manfredini falls to the Colombian, who hesitates heavily whilst in control of the ball in the Genoa box. Space closes up, so Guarin is forced to attempt an audacious lob to the back post, which goes well wide.
Poor from Alvarez! The youngster faces up Antonelli, beating his man with a feint, but can only turn a cross into Manfredini on the front post, who clears easily.
Just over half an hour gone, and it's still a very even affair. Genoa are enjoying some luck down the right flank, but Gilardino has seen none of the ball. Inter have moved the ball well in midfield, but are still lacking that cutting edge.
KUZMANOVIC! Speculative effort from the Serbian! Nobody came to close the midfielder down, so Kuzmanovic took the lack of Genoa attention as an invitation to have a go himself. Perin watches the ball rasp over his crossbar.
Lovely skill from Santana! The Argentine bamboozled Nagatomo, who had no choice but to leave Santana in a heap on the floor. A few nice tricks have been the real highlights of the game so far!
BERTOLACCI! The midfielder picks up possession on the edge of the Inter box, before deciding to pass rather than shoot as space opened up! He stabs the ball through towards Gilardino, but it is intercepted! I think the Italian would have been better shooting in that situation, and he knows it.
Wasted! The free-kick is taken short by Guarin, with the second ball aimed to probe a gap in between Antonelli and Manfredini, but it is cut out easily and cleared. It's still not quite clicking in attack for Inter.
Jonathan is brought down by Antonelli after the Brazilian turned his opponent inside out with a nice Cruyff turn. Inter win a free-kick about 25 yards out, on the right hand side, and I think Alvarez wants to have a go.
CHANCE! JONATHAN! The wing-back fires a low drive across the face of goal, forcing Perin to attempt to palm the effort around his far post with Palacio following up! The crowd thinks that the ball is nestling in the far corner, but it whistled wide. Very close.
Santana is enraged! The Genoa midfielder looked to break after picking up a loose Nagatomo header, and Guarin looked to bring down the Argentine, but the referee doesn't give anything. Even Nagatomo looks confused!
Very nice football from the away side! A series of cushioned volleys keeps possession away from Inter, that was very stylish indeed. No signs of a Coppa Italia hangover for Liverani's side, they've given a good account of themselves.
Good work from Vrsaljko! The Croatian exchanges possession well with Cofie, before a nice ball from Bertolacci finds the 21-year-old in plenty of space on the right flank. He knocks the ball out from under his feet, delivering a decent cross to the centre of the box, but Juan heads away.
It's still yet to come together for Mazzarri's side in the final third. Plenty of possession, they've moved the ball tidily from side to side, but there's no real penetration. The absence of Milito is again showing itself, perhaps. The Argentine is recovering gradually, however, playing Primavera football yesterday.
Neither Campagnaro nor Vrsaljko have looked out of place so far. The Croatian has got forward at every opportunity, but will be facing a tough afternoon if Cofie continues to neglect his defensive duties. Campagnaro has been solid thus far, nothing sparkling, but efficient.
Nice footwork from Bertolacci! The Genoa midfielders pulls off a nice Cruyff flick to beat his marker, before he is brought down as he accelerates away from the challenge. Very stylish.
Good work from Nagatomo! The Japan international beats Vrsaljko with ease, before stroking a cross designed to bounce across the six yard line. He doesn't quite get the connection he wanted, and Perin is able to come off his line and claim.
Tidy stuff from Inter! They're looking very comfortable on the ball, and the interplay between the wing-backs and the front two is slick. The only issue could be the options that a front two of Palacio and Alvarez provides, they're certainly no aerial presence and always come deep.
Now it's Genoa's chance to try their luck from a corner, but the referee interrupts proceedings to warn Juan Jesus about tugging on the shirt of Portanova. It's taken again, but fails to beat the Inter man on the front post.
HALF CHANCE INTER! The set piece is whipped in towards the back post, and I think it was Cambiasso who managed to get his head on the delivery! It flashes over the bar.
PALACIO! Inter's number eight races through on goal, looking to get inbetween Manfredini and Portanova, but the visitors' defence combines to knock the ball out of play for a corner.
Poor challenge from Cambiasso, Inter's captain for the game. He treads on the heel of Lodi, that looked quite nasty! No card for the Argentine, but I suspect that if he performs such a foul again, the referee won't think twice.
Handanovic is yet to be troubled, the Slovenian might be getting a touch bored already. Inter are moving the ball well until the final third, but the final ball isn't quite there yet. The lack of physical presence up front could well make the hosts a bit one-dimensional.
Patient stuff from Inter, they're happy to build slowly and retain the ball. Palacio and Alvarez are yet to see too much of the ball, but positive signs for Mazzarri's first league outing.
Plenty of space for both Jonathan and Nagatomo in the opening stages, with Alvarez almost leading the line with Palacio. A bright start for the hosts, Perin has been forced into action twice, once to save, once to claim a Nagatomo cross.
ALVAREZ! Perin is forced into a reasonable save, as Guarin's cutback from the byline is turned towards goal by Ricky! Inter's first half-chance, they look bright in midfield too.
Good idea from Jonathan, as the full-back looks to feed Palacio down the channel, before Genoa break. A lofted ball toward's Handanovic's back post almost finds its way onto Gilardino's head, but the Italian can't quite stretch enough.
A reasonable start from the away side, considering that they fell victim to Spezia in the opening round of the Coppa Italia, requiring a late Lodi penalty to even get into extra time. No attacks as of yet from Mazzarri's men, things are just settling down.
Confident start from the visitors, as Kucka brings the ball down the right hand side, feeds Santana who returns, before the Slovakian is dispossessed on the edge of the Inter box.
We're underway! The referee puts the whistle to his lips and we're off. Inter in their customary black and navy, with Genoa in white.
Dejan Stankovic has already taken to the field in an Inter shirt, brandishing the club crest and waving to adoring fans. There can be no dispute that the Serbian international has been a fantastic servant for the club over the years.
In terms of summer signings that have made their way into the starting elevens, Hugo Campagnaro and Sime Vrsaljko are two prominent figures. Campagnaro figured heavily for Napoli last season, and despite being 33 years of age, still has plenty to offer. Vrsaljko is merely 21, but with four caps for Croatia, the right-back isn't vastly inexperienced.
Plenty of summer signings on both benches today. The young pairing of Belfodil and Icardi has looked promising during pre-season, with the two scoring a combined 18 Serie A goals last season. Genoa have 19-year-old 2012 Olympic star Konate on the bench, who could make an impact.
Genoa substitutes: Blaze, Donnarumma, Floro Flores, Gamberini, Jara Martinez, Zima, Konate, Sampirisi, Matuzalem, De Maio, Sturaro, Velocci.
Inter substitutes: Andreolli, Belfodil, Icardi, Kovacic, Castellazzi, Mudingayi, Wallace, Taider, Carrizo, Pereira, Rolando, Olsen.
Genoa starting line-up: Perin, Vrsaljko, Portanova, Manfredini, Antonelli, Kucka, Lodi, Cofie, Santana, Bertolacci, Gilardino.
Inter starting line-up: Handanovic, Juan, Ranocchia, Campagnaro, Nagatomo, Cambiasso, Guarin, Kuzmanovic, Jonathan, Alvarez, Palacio.
TEAM NEWS: Long-term absentees Walter Samuel, Cristian Chivu and Javier Zanetti remain sidelined for the hosts, while Genoa are missing Giovanni Marchese and Francelino Matuzalem through injury, and Davide Biondini through suspension.
Today will be a chance for Inter to bid farewell to long term servant Dejan Stankovic, and I imagine that those on the field will look for victory as the perfect tribute. We're 15 minutes from kick-off.
I'm Simon Harrison, and I will keeping you updated with today's early Serie A kick-off, as two sides who underachieved last season look to start this one in a different vein. Both clubs have new managers, and Inter have strengthened over the transfer window.
Hello and welcome to Goal's LIVE coverage of Inter vs Genoa at San Siro, as the two sides look to start their Serie A campaign in good style. A few new faces and two teams determined to prove their doubters wrong, this should be a competitive affair.
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