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January 22, 2012
• Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milano
Referee: N. Rizzoli
• Attendance: 52000
From a goal down, Inter have won here at the San Siro 2-1, with a fantastic second half strike from Pazzini the decider. I've been Alex Mott, thanks for joining me.
90' + 3'
And that's it. The referee blows for full time, and Inter have won here 2-1.
90' + 2'
OOFFF. Lulic puts a ball in from the left, but Lucio manages to head away. The header though, is only as far as Ledesma, who, from about 25yds spanks a shot back at goal, only to see it just go over the bar.
Three minutes to be added on here.
Once again, Sneijder finds himself in space, and tries to release Pazzini over the top. Pazzini though, who's not reknowned for his pace, can't quite get to it as Biava comes across and clears.
Sneijder has been an absolute revelation since coming on. That time, receiving the ball from a throw in on the left, he looks up, takes a touch, and switches the ball out to Maicon in the right-back position. He's quite good, isn't he?
Lazio are having an awful lot of the ball now, but once again, the final ball is lacking quality. Another through ball, this time Matuzalem, is overhit, and it runs out for a goal kick.
Lazio are really pushing hard for an equaliser now. This time Klose looks for Rocchi with a lofted through ball, but it's slightly overhit, and Cesar comes thorugh and collects the ball easily.
It's a corner to Lazio after a cross from Konko is headed wide by Samuel. The ball is whipped in by Matuzalem, but the referee blows for a push on someone by someone and Inter have a free kick.
And Cisse has his first effort. And he completely mishits the ball. That's my boy.
Fans of comedy centre-forwards will be pleased to hear that Djibril Cisse is coming on. If Lazio need anything now, it's an egotistical, goal-shy striker.
Sneijder goes down under a challenge from Dias and wins a free kick right on the edge of the area. The Dutchman, naturally, steps up to take it, but this time his effort goes over the bar, just.
I can hardly type fast enough. Straight back up the other end. And Sneijder fires a long-range effort literally inches over the bar. A great strike, and incredibly unlucky from the former Ajax man.
OOHHH. And Lazio go straight up the other end and should score. A one-two between Klose and Rocchi sees the German international inside the box, unmarked. But where the former Bayern man is normally so reliable, this time, he fires it straight at Julio Cesar. Will Lazio regret that come full time?
Goal Giampaolo Pazzini
GOOOOAAAALLLL INTER. And it's Pazzini. And it's an absolute stunner. A header from Lucio is pumped upfield, and it's one that the Lazio defenders let bounce over their heads. Pazzini is the quickest to react, and with the outside of his right foot, lobs the ball over Marchetti first time, and into the back of the net. 2-1.
A ball from Radu finds Rocchi inside the area, but the veteran goes down in the area under a challenege from Samuel. There are half-hearted appeals for a penalty, but nothing is given and Samuel comes away with the ball.
Nagatomo goes down after a challenge from Radu on the left-hand touchline. It's a free kick, but the quick one from Sneijder is woefully misjudged, and the ball is given away by Obi on the far side.
Maicon produces another one of those lung-busting runs down the right that he's so famous for. And Sneijder finds him so perfectly it's unreal. The touch and cross from Maicon are superb, but the header from Pazzini that it finds is poor, and Marchetti gratefully clutches it to his chest.
Maicon tries an almost carbon-copy of the goal he scored midweek against Genoa. This time though, he misshits it wildly, and it goes out for a goal kick.
This half has certainly started with more intent than the first period did. Both teams are really going for it now, as Lazio have a throw in high up on the right-hand side. The throw finds Klose's feet, who turns and puts in a stunning cross towards Rocchi. But Lucio is too good in the air, and the big Brazilian clears away the danger.
Lazio have kept the ball consistently since this half started. But here's Sneijder, who takes the ball off Ledesma. The Dutchman then spots Nagatomo flying down the left-hand side and releases him with a superb ball. The former Cesena man then puts in a wonderful ball low across the box, but just as in the first half, there's no one there to just prod it home, and it runs away for a throw in.
The Tinkerman has lived up to his name here. Obi and Sneijder coming on for Alvarez and Chivu.
We're back underway here at the San Siro. And it's Lazio who start us off, kicking from left-to-right
A draw is perhaps the right result as we head into the break. Both teams have cancelled each other out, and have scored with their two only real chances. I'm off for a brew, but do join me for the second half in a bit. Oh, and @alexjmott is where to channel all your abuse.
And that's it. Half time. And the two teams go into the break all-square at 1-1.
Assist Ricardo Álvarez
Goal Diego Milito
GOOOOAAAALLLL INTER! Right on the stroke of half time. And it's last weekend's hero, Diego Milito with the goal. A one-two with Alvarez inside the box, takes the Argentinian to the left-hand side of the area. And with a typically calm finish, he slots it past Marchetti's outstretched left-hand to make it 1-1.
The game's pace has really picked up now. First, Lazio look to counter Inter with a surging run from Radu. But the Romanian's pass to Hernanes is poor. Then, from that, Alvarez goes straight up the other end, but at the vital moment, gets dispossessed by Ledesma and concedes possession.
No. Ledesma's up and fine. My expert medical knowledge has failed me there.
Ledesma's down, and looks hurt. I think it was Pazzini who came in late, and seemed to go down on his achilles.
Inter have been putting plenty of crosses into the box this evening, but not getting anything on the end of them. And that there, was another prime example of that. A fantastic ball in from Nagatomo on the left-hand side is whipped in right where a centre-forward would want it, but neither Pazzini nor Milito is there to head in.
It's Lazio back on the attack now. But this time, the through ball from Ledesma is slightly overhit, and Gonzalez can't quite get his cross in.
It was a great goal, and you have to say, it was entirely deserved. Is Inter's fantastic recent run coming to an end here?
Assist Cristian Ledesma
Goal Tommaso Rocchi
GOOOAAAALLLL LAZIO. And that is some finish. A through ball from Ledesma finds Rocchi on the right-hand side of the area, and he hits it on the turn, back across goal, past Julio Cesar. 1-0.
A pass from Zauri to Hernanes is flicked on by the Brazilian, and Gonzalez, who's on the end of it, does well to win a corner. The subsequent set-piece is put in, but Inter clear the danger with a header form Samuel.
A long ball from Maicon down the right-flank finds Pazzini, but the former Sampdoria man can't quite get it under control, and the ball runs away for a goal kick.
It's another corner to Inter, and it's another poor one from Alvarez.
Samuel gets the ball off Lulic in, well, an aggressive fashion. But the referee waves play on, and the veteran centre-back ploughs on upfield. He evntually tries a cross-field ball, but 'tries' was the operative word in that previous statement.
Maicon's been caught out of position there, as Hernanes gets the ball by the left-hand corner flag. He tries to whip in a cross, but the Brazilian full-back manages to get back and block the cross just in the nick of time.
It's Inter's turn to attack now as Milito gets the ball deep and runs at the Lazio defence. His pass to Pazzini is poor though, and Radu comes away with the ball.
OOHHH. That was inches away from a goal. Lucio completely misses the ball, and Rocchi goes through clean on goal. He can't quite get a clean shot away though, and his effort squirms on to the post. Lucio manages to get back, and clears the ball out for a throw in. You can't help but think that if that was Klose, it would be 1-0 to Lazio by now.
Marchetti has an absolute stinker, and passes the ball straight to Alvarez from a goal kick. The youngster has to shoot early though, and the ball goes straight over the bar. The 'keeper got lucky there.
Milito draws a foul from Ledesma 25 yds from goal, and a free kick is given by the referee. The angle favours a left-footed shot, so up steps Chivu, who smashes it straight at the wall. Poor.
It's been pretty much all Inter for the past few minutes, but Lazio are coming back into things now. Hernanes plays Klose through on the right-hand side, and, with the German on the byline, he puts in a looping ball towards Rocchi that Lucio manages to intercept.
Maicon goes on his first gallop upfield. But his pass in towards Pazzini is overhit, and the ball goes away for a throw in on the far side. It was THAT overhit.
It's an Inter corner after a through ball from Cambiasso is put behind by Dias. The ball is whipped in by Alvarez, but Biava clears with a header, and the ball escapes upfield.
Lazio are on the attack now with Rocchi in possession in the middle of the pitch, 30yds from goal. He plays it square to Hernanes, who plays it wide to Zauri. The full-back cuts inside from the right and whips a ball in, but Maicon is there to head away the danger.
All the talk from the Inter camp this week has been that this game will be even more difficult than the derby. And they look to make that statement come to fruition straight away, as they disposses Inter, and saunter up the field on the left flank. Gonzalez's touch is poor though, and the ball is out for a throw in.
Yellow Card Andrè Dias
Here we go then. Inter will get us underway, kicking from left-to-right.
The teams are lining up. The fans are in full voice. Do. Not. Go. Anywhere.
Fact bomb: the last time Lazio beat Inter at the San Siro, Roberto Mancini was in the starting XI. BOOM.
Oh yeah, and I'm @alexjmott on Twitter. Hit me up. I like to know I'm not just writing for myself.
Only ten minutes to go until kick off here at the San Siro, and the atmosphere is already bubbling under nicley. If I were you, I wouldn't go anywhere!
Perhaps the biggest surprise from those line-ups is the lack of a Wesley Sneijder-shaped hole just behind Milito. The Dutchman came through unscathed in their midweek win against Genoa in the Coppa, but the Tinkerman is clearly keen to keep him underwraps for as long as possible.
And Lazio: (4-3-1-2) Marchetti; Zauri, Biava, Dias, Radu; Lulic, Ledesma, Gonzalez; Hernanes; Rocchi, Klose.
The teams have just been handed to me, and they are as follows: Inter: (4-4-2) Cesar; Maicon, Lucio, Samuel, Chivu; Alvarez, Zanetti, Cambiasso, Nagatomo; Pazzini, Milito.
It's 5th vs 4th. Milan vs Rome. In-form vs could-possibly-do-better. After last weekend's derby victory, Claudio Ranieri's side will be brimming with confidence going in to tonight's clash. And all the stats point towards an Inter win this evening: the Nerazzurri have won six straight games, conceding only one goal. Inter have won five of their past six against Lazio. The Milanese giants are unbeaten in their last 12 meetings with Lazio at the San Siro. And finally, Lazio's worst ever defeat in Serie A was against Inter, back in 1934, with that game ending 8-1. So with all the stats pointing towards a guaranteed Inter win, it's clearly going to be a win for Lazio tonight.
Good evening, and welcome to Goal.com's LIVE, play-by-play coverage of Inter Milan vs Lazio. I'm Alex Mott and I'll be your commentator for this evening's clash at the San Siro. As always, if you're hoping on the Twitter bandwagon, you can send me your comments/predictions/abuse @alexjmott.
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