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Italy - Serie A
January 27, 2013
• Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milano
Referee: D. Massa
• Attendance: 40128
C. Chivu 5'
E. Cambiasso 67'
R. Meggiorini 23', 53'
That's all from me this evening. Thanks for joining me for the action from San Siro and be sure to stick around Goal.com for reports, ratings and reaction to tonight's action. I've been Harry Slavin and until next time, arrivederci!
That point sees the Nerazzuri sit 3 points behind Lazio and Napoli, while they are 9 points of top side Juventus. Andrea Stramaccioni will have been pleased with his sides resilience to come back from 2-1 to secure the point but there are still plenty of doubts surrounding his insistence of playing three at the back, something Torino and other teams before tonight, have exploited regularly.
A captivating game to round off what has been a remarkable weekend in Serie A. Inter fail to close the gap on the teams above them but they can consider themselves lucky to have retrieved anything from their match against a plucky Torino side.
FT INTER 2-2 TORINO. That was virtually the last kick off the game and would have made for an astonishing headline. As it is Torino have to settle for a point after their heroics at San Siro this evening. They'd have taken that before kick off but 90 minutes on they might feel a little aggrieved to be leaving with another draw.
90' + 4'
That was the chance! Meggiorini is played through in the dying seconds and he fires goalwards but his sweetly struck effort is beaten away by Handanovic.
90' + 3'
A wild challenge from Pereira on the edge of his own area goes unpunished as he grazes Bianchi's face with his studs. Amazing that no free kick was given.
90' + 2'
Inter have a corner after Gillet flaps at a pretty innocuous cross. It comes to nothing though as Inter give away a foul in the box.
It looks like the draw specialists Torino are going to record their eighth away stalemate of the season. There are four minutes of added time for that to change.
Both sides aren't happy with a draw and both are still going for broke. Fredy Guarin has another shot blocked after Torino have their counter attack quickly thwarted.
Inter are trying to forge a late chance but they cannot place a meaningful effort on Gillet's goal. Palacio heads weakly in the keeper's arms before Alvarez's shot is blocked by some sturdy Torino defending.
Meggiorini is furious with Bianchi and rightly so. The former Manchester City man runs on to his own flick on and has time to look up and see his team mate free at the back post but he chooses to shoot first time and hooks his effort woefully wide. Big chance that.
That would have been spectacular! D'Ambrosio gets a bit of room down the left and he swings in an inviting cross which Riccardo Meggiorini flings himself at acrobatically but the man of the moment cannot connect with it.
Final substitution of the night for Torino as Alessio Cerci's battery finally runs out and he is replaced by Giuseppe Vives.
Yellow Card Esteban Cambiasso
Cambiasso is into the book as well now. The Argentine protests too strongly for Massa's liking after Pereira is penalised.
A disappointing couple of minutes for Cerci. The winger has been impressive this evening but he wastes a free kick in good area for his side by putting it straight behind. Moments later he loses the ball in a promising position, trying too much to get past Juan.
Cassano doesn't last the 90 minutes as usual and Ricky Alvarez comes on for the final fifteen.
Yellow Card Matteo Brighi
It's not been a dirty match in the slightest but Brighi picks up the first booking of the evening in Milan.
Big shout for a penalty from the hosts. Inter get a corner after Palacio shot is smothered behind and the ball in from Pereira sees Ranocchia fall to the ground under a challenge at the back post. There was contact, but nothing substantial.
This game is now end to end and both defences now look nervy as Rodriguez struggles to shield the ball out for a goalkick. Bianchi's shot was actually touched onto the post by Handanovic. Cracking save.
Valter Birsa's first touch is almost an assist as he slides the ball across the face of goal where Bianchi diverts the ball onto the woodwork.
That goal has changed the emphasis of this game. Inter are now flying forwards in the hope of regaining the lead they lost in the first half.
Assist Javier Zanetti
Goal Esteban Cambiasso
GOALLL!!! INTER ARE LEVEL!!! Inter are back on level terms but they have their old boys to thank. I'd just praised Rodriguez but he's just let Javier Zanetti past him far too easily and the captain's cut back finds his fellow countryman Cambiasso who slots home from six yards.
Guarin tries to fly past Rodriguez down the right but he's hounded all the way by the gutsy Uruguayan and the Colombian can't get his cross in. Great work from the Torino full back. Every one of their players has but in a shift tonight.
Another chance for Inter and this time the chance falls to Cambiasso but the Argentine can only spoon the ball over the bar while sliding in. Much better from the hosts.
Paulo Vitor Barreto
A few eyebrows were raised when Rolando Bianchi was left out the starting line up but he joins the action now as he replaces Barreto.
Dangerous ball from Cambiasso across the 6-yard box but Palacio can't get on the end of it.
Meggiorini is playing like a man possessed! The striker is on a hat-trick and seems hungry for more action. He picks up the ball in the Inter half and dances past a couple of challenges before sending in a dangerous cross but no one can connect with it.
Good stop from Gillet. Guarin manages to manufacture a bit of space for a shooting opportunity but the Belgian does well to get down low and keep the effort out. Can Inter mount a sustained response?
Cerci causes yet more problems for Inter down the right. This time he's allowed to cut into the box but the wide man cannot get his shot away and Barreto blazes over when the ball drops to him. Inter are struggling here!
Inter make a change after going behind as Mudingayi is unable to continue. Esteban Cambiasso comes on in his place.
Assist Alessio Cerci
Goal Riccardo Meggiorini
GOAAALL!!! TORINO TAKE THE LEAD!! Goals are just like buses eh? Meggiorini couldn't hit a barn door before tonight but his surprise inclusion ahead of Rolando Bianchi is completely justified as he gives Torino the lead, turning home Cerci's low cross.
More problems for Inter. Midfielder Gaby Mudingayi is hobbling after landing awkwardly. Stramaccioni wont want to lose another player to injury.
Fredy Guarin is the first to try his luck in the half but it's an audacious effort from a difficult angle and it flies wide. Possibly not the best decision the Colombian has made tonight.
Torino get us started in the second half. Inter definitely have reverted to four at the back but will they still struggle to contain their opponents?
OK, the players are back out in Milan and the action is about to resume. Can Inter find any fluency in this second half? Or will Torino manage to pull off a shock result?
An interesting little aside to tonight's game; this evening's match sees the oldest manager in Serie A (Giampiero Ventura) pit his wits against the League's youngest (Andrea Stramaccioni). I think it's fair to say that experience is winning the day so far. But there is plenty time for Stramaccioni to turn that around.
He may have taken that goal like any in form forward but Meggiorini's goal today was his first strike in 20 games for Torino. Still, that's a little better than Chivu's barren spell. His free kick was his first appearance on a scoresheet in over two years. Hist last strike before today was against Cesena back in Januray 2011. About time.
HT INTER 1-1 TORINO. Inter got off to the perfect start thanks to Chivu's opener but there has been very little cheer for the Nerazzuri since then. Their golascorer has had to depart proceedings with an injury and their visitors have deservedly got back on level terms. A lot for Stramaccioni to mull over at the break.
Torino are awarded a corner right at the end of the half but Giampiero Ventura's side took so long over it that referee Massa gets fed up and calls an end to the half. Much to Inter's relief I imagine.
Nagatomo has a couple of chances to get the ball into the box but he can't find an Inter player in there. The first is just over Palacio's head and the next is turned behind for a corner. More promising from the hosts.
Torino's movement has been exceptional this half but a few touches and passes have let them down in promising areas. If they can improve on that, they can cause Inter endless problems.
It's been a frustrating opening period for Inter's front two. Cassano and Palacio have had very little service from midfield but they try to bring in their team mates after nice link up play between the pair, which only results in Nagatomo harmlessly rolling the ball into Gillet's arms. Wasteful.
Inter had to change their tactics at halftime on Wednesday as they struggled to cope with Roma's persistent attacks and they are having much the same problem this evening. Will Stramaccioni change it up at the break again?
Inter are still creating chances too though. Lovely movement from Palacio sees him wriggle past two Torino defenders but his eventual effort on goal is high and wide.
Cerci again gets down the right and has the chance to cross but it is straight into the arms of Handanovic. Inter haven't changed their shape after the change, they're still persevering with three at the back. Strange decision.
Yuto Nagatomo bursts into the Torino's box and goes down under the challenge of D'Ambrosio but in truth it was great defending by the fullback.
No Chivu this time so responsibility is passed onto Fredy Guarin. The Colombian cant atone for his earlier error though, firing straight into the wall.
Another free kick right on the edge of the area for Inter. This is a lot more clear cut as Glik gets a bit too close to Palacio.
Andrea Stramaccioni is already making his first change. It is for an injured Cristian Chivu but Inter will probably want to shake things up tactically as well. They have been overrun by Torino in this opening quarter. Pereira is the man to come on.
That goal was nothing less than the visitors deserved. Guarin's moment of madness will have done nothing to help his side's confidence and there's a big chance here for Torino to rattle a few Inter feathers.
Assist Paulo Vitor Barreto
Goal Riccardo Meggiorini
GOALLL!!! INTER'S DEFENCE SELF IMPLODES!!! What on earth is Fredy Guarin doing? He comes short to receive the ball on the edge of his own box but is immediately caught in possession and Riccardo Meggiorini capitalises to fire beyond a hapless Handanovic.
The home side's last two attacks have come from long punts up field. They don't look like a team with many ideas at the moment and Torino's terrific response to going behind has rocked the hosts.
Torino are playing more like the team with a one goal lead at the moment. Cerci and D'Ambrosio have had a good amount of early joy down the right hand flank as Inter once again look shaky in defence.
D'Ambrosio tumbles in the box during the ensuing melee that follows the corner but referee Massa isn't interested. Inter break and it takes an important interception to stop Cassano finding Fredy Guarin in Torino's area.
Torino continue to come forward here and Cerci works himself some space for a shot that is deflected behind for a corner.
The visitors are managing to get forward though and they create a couple of chances in a minute. D'Ambrosio sends a wicked cross along the face of the Inter goal before Meggiorini's scuffed shot almost falls at the feet of Santana. It wont be all plain sailing for the hosts.
So a complete change of plan for Ventura's draw specialists. They now have to find some way to get back into this game but they're struggling to contain the home side just now.
Half a chance for Rodrigo Palacio as the ball break to him in the box but the Argentine didn't connect properly and he scuffs wide.
Torino might be a little bit aggrieved about the awarding of the free kick. Antonio Cassano did go to ground a little softly after taking the ball off of Brighi's toes.
Goal Cristian Chivu
GOAALLL!!! BRILLIANT STRIKE FROM CHIVU!! We've seen the central defender hit them from here before and this another one to add to the collection as the Romanian curls the dead ball beyond Jean-Francois Gillet. Just the start Inter needed.
Free kick on the edge of the area for Inter as Cassano nips in front of Matteo Brighi. A great early opportunity for the hosts here.
Torino have built their reputation this season on a strong defence away from home and Inter will have a job on their hands breaking down a sturdy Granata back four this evening.
Referee Davide Massa blows his whistle to signal the start of the match and we're underway.
The sides are out on the pitch at San Siro and we're not far from kick off. Torino have only lost twice away from home this season. Can they take a precious point from tonight's action?
So Inter coach Andrea Stramaccioni makes a number of changes from the side that lost their Coppa Italia Semi Final first leg away at Roma midweek. Cassano, Gargano, Nagatomo and Mudingayi all come into the starting XI as the hosts look to get back to winning ways.
And here's the team Giampiero Ventura has chosen to take the pitch at San Siro. TORINO: Gillet, Rodriguez, D'Ambrosio, Masiello, Glik, Santana, Cerci, Gazzi, Brighi, Barreto, Meggiorini. SUBS: Gomis, Di Cesare, Caceres, Darmian, Basha, Suciu, Bakic, Vives, Birsa, Bianchi.
Let's take a look at the starting line-ups before kick off. Here's how the hosts shape up. INTER: Handanovic, Zanetti, Ranocchia, Chivu, Juan, Nagatomo, Guarin, Mudingayi, Gargano, Palacio, Cassano. SUBS: Belec, Di Gennaro, Silvestre, Pereira, Jonathan, Alvarez, Mariga, Cambiasso, Benassi, Bessa, Rocchi, Livaja.
Inter go into tonight's action with the chance to make up some ground on the teams above them but they will have to get past an improving Torino side if they are to close the gap on Lazio above them in 3rd.
It's been quite the weekend in Serie A with league leaders Juventus being held at home by Genoa, high flying Lazio stunned at home by Chievo and a scintillating Sampdoria smashing six past Pescara. What can Inter and Torino serve us up in this weekend's final fixture? I'm Harry Slavin and I will take you through all of tonight's action.
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