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November 9, 2013
• Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milano
Referee: S. Peruzzo
• Attendance: 39775
F. Bardi 30' (own goal)
Y. Nagatomo 90'+
It was hardly a Serie A classic but Javier Zanetti's comeback and late contribution certainly made it a happy night for Inter fans. Walter Mazzarri's side will look to continue their winning streak when they travel to Bologna after the international break whilst Livorno host Italian champions Juventus. Thanks for joining me, Max Bentley, on this live commentary. Until next time, goodbye.
FT: Inter 2-0 Livorno. A freak own goal from Francesco Bardi and a late Yuto Nagatomo strike make it back-to-back league wins for Inter. The Nerazzurri were far from their best but they came up against a Livorno side who looked well organised but toothless in attack. That win stretches Inter's lead over Milan to 13 points.
90' + 4'
Yellow Card Rolando
Rolando picks up a late yellow card after a trip on Paulinho. That's a booking for all three of Inter's centre-backs.
90' + 1'
Assist Mateo Kovačić
90' + 1'
Goal Yuto Nagatomo
NAGATOMO WRAPS UP THE POINTS! He may be 40 years old but Zanetti still has plenty of life in those legs. He surges through the midfield before picking out Kovacic and the Croatian's well-weighted reverse pass finds Nagatomo who fires into the net, despite the best efforts of Bardi. 2-0 Inter!
All of the Inter shirts are camped into their own half as they look to defend out the rest of this game. Mazzarri's side look nervous in the closing stages although Jonathan does come back onto the field.
A final roll of the dice for Livorno here as Colombian striker Miguel Borja comes on to replace Giuseppe Gemiti. There is an injury concern for Inter as Jonathan goes down and signals for treatment. The Nerazzurri may have to finish this game with ten men.
Livorno are starting to throw more bodies forward but once again Gemiti cannot pick out a white shirt with his cross. It looks as though Nicola is readying his final substitute.
There are five minutes remaining here and Inter look as though they will see out this match. The home fans get excited when Nagatomo attempts to pick out Zanetti on the edge of the box but Emerson steps in to make the interception.
Yellow Card Pasquale Schiattarella
There is a huge cheer for Javier Zanetti as he comes onto the field to replace Saphir Taider. The 40-year-old Argentine is making a comeback after being sidelined for five months through injury.
Paulinho is getting the better of Ranocchia in the air and he gets above the Inter man again to power a header from Luci's cross narrowly over the top.
Schiattarella combines neatly with Paulinho on the edge of the Inter box and his half volley takes a deflection before being comfortably saved by Handanovic. The Slovenian goalkeeper is yet to be seriously called into action.
Ranocchia is the next to test Bardi after his header from Cambiasso's corner is well held by the Livorno goalkeeper. Can Inter see out their lead? There is just under fifteen minutes remaning.
GOOD CHANCE FOR LIVORNO! Gemiti finally manages to put a decent cross into the box after getting clear down the left again but Paulinho, who had got away from Ranocchia, can only nod a header over the bar.
Yellow Card Paulinho
Paulinho picks up a booking for handball which means that he will be suspended for the clash with Juventus.
This game is becoming a little more stretched now and Cambiasso wriggles his way past a few Livorno defenders before his low shot is well saved by Bardi.
Mazzarri does opt to make an attacking change and Fredy Guarin is the man to make way for Ishak Belfodil.
Livorno win a free kick outside the box but once again Emerson cannot get his effort on target, fizzing a powerful shot over the bar.
Palacio has made some smart runs behind the Livorno defence today but on the whole, he has been well marshalled by the back trio. I wouldn't be surprised to see Mazzarri make another attacking change soon.
GOOD CHANCE FOR INTER! Nagatomo gets clear down the left and he delivers a good low cross into the box which Palacio sidefoots towards goal, drawing a smart reflex save from Bardi.
There is a second change for Livorno here and it is an attacking one as Innocent Emeghara replaces Luca Siligardi.
SAMUEL GOES CLOSE! Cambiasso delivers a corner into a good area and Samuel rises above Emerson to power a header narrowly over the bar.
Livorno are growing in confidence here and they are sensing that there is a good chance to draw level in this game. Just under half an hour remaining for Davide Nicola's side to find an equaliser.
Inter have been on the backfoot a little in the last ten minutes but they attack when Guarin's pass finds Palacio inside the box, only for the striker's touch to let him down and allow Ceccherini to steal the ball away.
Mazzarri opts to make his first change of the match as Mateo Kovacic comes on for Ricky Alvarez. The Argentine has not sparkled tonight as he has in recent weeks.
Luci looks to lead by example when he escapes from Palacio but his fierce long-range shot goes a few yards wide of the goal. Handanovic is still yet to be seriously tested.
Livorno have shown much more attacking intent in this second half and Paulinho gets in front of Ranocchia to meet Luci's cross but can only poke the ball wide of the goal.
Livorno win a free kick out on the left and Emerson opts for an ambitious shot at goal which flashes wide of the right post.
Inter win a free kick outside the box but Guarin cannot get the ball over the wall and sees his effort deflect behind for a corner which Livorno eventually manage to clear.
Gemiti is getting into some good areas at the start of the second half for Livorno and he capitalises upon a slip by Taider but his tame cross is once again easily gathered by Handanovic.
Livorno were happy to sit back in the first half but perhaps now they will show some more ambition going forward. Gemiti gets clear down the left for the visitors but his cross is easily collected by Handanovic.
Taider gets past Gemiti with ease down the right but he cannot pick out the clever run of Palacio and his pass goes straight to Valentini.
There has been a substitution at the break for Livorno and it is another on-loan Inter man coming on as Marco Benassi replaces Alfred Duncan. Inter get the second half underway.
HT: Inter 1-0 Livorno. It's hardly been a convincing performance from Walter Mazzarri's side but they lead at the break courtesy of Francesco Bardi's freak own goal. The Amaranto have looked well organised but they have failed to get forward regularly and test the Inter defence. Let's hope for more goalmouth action in the second half.
45' + 2'
GOOD SAVE FROM BARDI! We finally see one of the goalkeepers called into action and it will give the Livorno shotstopper a great deal of confidence after that earlier blunder. Alvarez fizzes an angled drive across goal and it seems to be heading for the bottom corner, only for Bardi to expertly tip it around the post.
Another penalty appeal is turned down for Inter after Palacio goes down under a challenge from behind from Luci. I've definitely seen those given in the past.
Nagatomo has not got forward as much as Inter would have liked in this first half but he does well to get past Mbaye although he cannot pick out a teammate with his cutback from the byline. The Japanese international is asking for a penalty but it does not appear that there was sufficient contact.
INTER GO CLOSE! Cambiasso produces a fantastic outside-of-the-foot pass to pick out Palacio in the box but the Argentine striker is leaning back and can only loop his header onto the roof of the net.
This is an improved spell from Livorno but they will need to do better with chances like that. Mbaye attacks down the right and the ball is worked to Luci in space on the edge of the box but the captain drags an effort wide of the target.
Livorno make a rare venture into the final third but Handanovic is there to prevent Siligardi from reaching Paulinho's cross from the left. I can not actually remember either goalkeeper making a save.
It's hardly been a convincing performance from Inter so far but crucially they are in front. I think Mazzarri will be hoping for more from his players as the tempo has been rather sluggish.
Yellow Card Walter Samuel
Samuel joins Ranocchia in the book for Inter after a poorly timed challenge on Mbaye.
Yellow Card Andrea Ranocchia
Inter are already short at the back and Ranocchia's mistimed tackle on Duncan ensures he is shown a yellow card which means he will miss the next match against Bologna.
Own Goal Francesco Bardi
INTER TAKE THE LEAD! Bardi has hardly had anything to do so far and he has just had a howler against his parent club. Jonathan races down the right wing and his low cross into the middle does not appear dangerous but it strikes the Livorno goalkeeper who misjudges the flight of the ball and ricochets into the net. 1-0 Inter!
Livorno have looked very organised in the opening 28 minutes and Inter are finding it difficult to penetrate their backline. It's been rather comfortable for Bardi so far.
PALACIO GOES CLOSE! Taider produces a fine piece of skill to get past Duncan on the right and his left-footed cross into the box is met by the head of the Argentine striker who glances an effort just wide.
Yellow Card Joseph Duncan
Duncan picks up the first booking of the game for a rash challenge on Guarin. He certainly wants to make an impression against his parent club.
Inter win the first corner of the game when Guarin intelligently plays the ball off the legs of a Livorno defender. However, MBaye clears from the resulting set piece.
Inter threaten when Taider picks up the ball on the right side of the box but his cross into the middle is too high for Jonathan who cannot direct a header on target.
Inter need to step up the tempo a little more here and try and get the likes of Guarin and Alvarez on the ball to create chances. It's been a rather lackadaisical start from Mazzarri's side.
There is an injury concern for Inter now as Cambiasso kicks the ball out of play and goes down inside his own half. He signals that he is feeling a bit dazed after an earlier challenge.
Livorno threaten for the first time when Schiattarella comes forward with the ball. He threads a teasing pass in behind Ranocchia but Handanovic is off his line quickly to deny Paulinho.
Guarin is hoping to impress in an advanced role behind Palacio and he looks to tee up Cambiasso on the edge of the box. However, Ceccherini anticipates the danger brilliantly and makes a crucial interception.
There is a pause in play here as Schiattarella goes down after buckling his knee and requires treatment. It seems he should be able to continue however.
Inter are looking bright but they are yet to test Bardi in the Livorno goal. Palacio finds Taider with a pass into the box but the Algerian gets the ball stuck between his feet and Mbaye nips in to clear the danger.
Jonathan has surprised many people by recovering from a knock sustained in the victory over Udinese last week and he bursts forward down the right before his low cross is deflected into the gloves of Bardi.
Inter are beginning to assert their authority on the match here and Samuel comes up from the back before his ambitious strike is well blocked.
Rolando clips a brilliant ball over the Livorno defence for Nagatomo and the Japanese wide man skips past the challenge of Mbaye but can only run the ball out of play.
It's been a rather scrappy start at the Giuseppe Meazza with neither side getting into an early rhythm. Davide Nicola will be hoping his team can keep it tight for the first 15 minutes or so.
The Amaranto's task is not helped by the fact they are missing several key players. Leandro Greco, Andrea Coda and Leandro Rinaudo are all suspended, while Marco Biagianti is injured.
The referee blows his whistle and Livorno get the game underway. Inter are in their traditional blue and black jerseys with Livorno in their away white strip.
No team has scored more goals in Serie A this season than Inter with 27. Can they fire their way to a seventh league win? Kickoff is moments away...
Juan Jesus is suspended for Inter but Javier Zanetti makes a return to the bench. Livorno have three Inter-owned players in their starting lineup: goalkeeper Bardi, Ibrahima Mbaye and Duncan.
LIVORNO (3-5-1-1): Bardi; Ceccherini, Valentini, Emerson; Gemiti, Luci, Duncan, Schiattarella, Mbaye; Siligardi; Paulinho.
INTER (3-5-1-1): Handanovic; Ranocchia, Rolando, Samuel; Jonathan, Taider, Cambiasso, Alvarez, Nagatomo; Guarin; Palacio.
Without further ado, here are the lineups...
Inter have won nine of the last eleven meetings between the two sides, scoring 24 goals to Livorno's four. The last time they met in the league was back in March 2010 when a Samuel Eto'o double inspired the Nerazzurri to a 3-0 win.
Inter currently sit fourth in Serie A, six points adrift of Napoli and Juventus in second and third respectively whilst Livorno occupy 14th position, just three points above the relegation places. Who will seal the crucial three points this evening? Bringing you all the action from the Giuseppe Meazza, my name is Max Bentley.
Having lost only once from their first eleven league matches, there is a growing confidence around the Giuseppe Meazza that Inter are becoming a serious force again in Serie A. The Nerazzurri have looked impressive under Walter Mazzarri and last week's impressive 3-0 victory away to Udinese was another indication of their progress. Today they face a Livorno side who are still finding their feet in Italy's top flight though their 1-0 win over Atalanta last Sunday ended a streak of seven league games without a win.
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