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March 27, 2014
• Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milano
Referee: A. Gervasoni
• Attendance: 36840
That's it from me, it's been a pleasure.
Yet another draw for Inter at home, in an incredibly frustrating draw against Udinese. Take nothing away from the visitors though, who ground it out defensively and fully deserve their point.
90' + 5'
That's it! Stalemate!
90' + 4'
90' + 3'
Into the third of five minutes of added time as both Samuel and Juan send half chances off the mark. Too little too late from an Inter perspective?
90' + 1'
Inter counter and Icardi's hooked cross hits the arm area of an Udinese defender. Frantic appeals for a penalty follow, but the referee correctly decides to wave play on!
Yellow Card Walter Samuel
OFF THE LINE! Cambiasso's rebound is saved by Scuffet in some style, before Milito whacks the second rebound towards goal. It appears to be heading in, but Domizzi hooks it away from danger!
CHANCE! Madness in the Udinese box as Palacio hooks a cross into the mixer, Icardi heads back across goal but Cambiasso can't steer the finish home as Badu and Scuffet somehow contrive to keep the cross out! It appears that Scuffet has hurt himself in that play.
The referee's whistle blows during a scramble in the box has the Inter fans screaming for a penalty for one glorious second, but replays then show that it was a clear foul on Danilo by Ranocchia. The referee awards Udinese the free kick.
It's become a little bit ragged and restrictive all of a sudden in the middle of the park with the game winding down, which will suit Udinese just fine. It's all one way traffic at the moment.
Fernandes puts and end to a hardworking shift as he departs for Lazzari in a like for like change at the heart of the midfield.
Heartaux has been an absolute rock at the back, and for the umpteenth time he wins the ball off Palacio. He strides forward into the opposition half, but he doesn't even come close to picking out Muriel with his pass. Too bad his offensive output hasn't matched his defensive work.
Ohh he's slipped. Palacio's loss of balance under pressure from his marker sees a great Inter counter attacking chance dry up as soon as it had appeared. They had the defence back pedaling, but Palacio could not bring Nagatomo's pass under control.
Alvarez has dominated the ball for Inter since coming on for Guarin, but once again, his end product is lacking. He skies a shot into the stratosphere from an unenviable position deep on the right flank.
Corner after corner have fallen Inter's way recently, but they can't make any of them count. But the momentum is clearly in their favour, and Udinese are going through their toughest defensive period of the match.
SOMEHOW IT STAYS OUT! Nagatomo cuts in from the left onto his right foot and drills a shot towards goal. Icardi is primed to deflect it into the back of the net, but somehow, he contrives via the intervention of Domizzi to put the ball over the top of the crossbar!
Bruno Fernandes wasted a great chance on the break for Udinese, as he bends an effort into a defender on a three on three break for the visitors. He could have picked out a teammate there easily.
Nagatomo is played into space down the left hand side by Hernanes, and he whips in a pinpoint cross into the area that Palacio rises to attack, but he should have done a lot better, instead of planting the ball well over the top.
Scuffet great save! Inter are really coming into this game now, and they test the Udinese keeper on the counter! Hernanes is the man to pull the trigger, and he leaves Scuffet's hands stinging with his drive from the top of the box! Great play all around!
Palacio takes a shot on the turn, but Scuffet is there to meet it at his near post. Still, the signs persist that Inter are edging closer to a breakthrough in this game.
Yellow Card Simone Scuffet
Scuffet picks up a booking the first of the game for any side, for taking too long to proceed with a goalkick. Udinese are already timewasting it seems, and I don't really blame them, this is a good result.
They're getting closer...Hernanes curls a long range free kick just wide of the far post. That was a good opening and a good strike from the Brazilian, though Scuffet looked to have had it covered.
That could and should have been the opening for Inter there. Alvarez had time and space down the right and side to pick out a teammate for a cross, but he instead slams the ball well over the head of any interested parties, to an audible groan from the home fans.
Pereyra simply walks into a shooting opportunity through the centre of Inter's midfield. He manages to work Handanovic with a strike from just outside the box, but the keeper reads it well and gets down to make the save. Still, a positive sign for the visitors.
Guarin's number is up, and his night is over. On comes Ricky Alvarez to replace him for the final 35 minutes or so. Not the greatest game for the Colombian.
Cambiasso charges down a shot at the expense of a corner. Could have been an awkward one for the keeper to deal with, but fortunately for him, it bounces over the bar instead of sneaking in under the post.
Udinese are closing the ball down higher up the pitch than in the first half, where they sat deep, all men behind the ball, and allowed Inter to hold the ball in their half. They had a few counter attacking chances in the first half and the new higher line will seek to exploit that trend further.
Inter continue to dominate possession coming out of the half time break but Scuffet has been assured between the posts, smothering two crosses and taking great command of his area so far.
Here we go again.
Guidolin's men have frustrated the hosts so far. There's not really been a chance of note, with one save from Handanovic on a Fernandes half chance about the best we've got in this half. Stay tuned for the restart in just a bit.
45' + 1'
The lone minute of injury time passes without incident and we're at half time.
OOOH, Muriel just misses connecting with a low centre into the six yard area as the Inter defence falls asleep for a second. If anything, its the visitors who are looking the stronger as the first half winds to a close.
Inter have a half chance of their own at the other end of the pitch as they break. Nagatomo makes inroads and tees up Icardi at the top of the box, but his effort goes nowhere near the target. Could and should have done a lot better.
Heartaux tees up Fernandes at the top of the box, and the Udinese man draws an unorthodox save from Handanovic with his eventual effort. Some action finally as the half winds down.
Guarin, who signed a new three year contract with Inter on Monday, takes charge of a free kick but hammers it clean into the night sky. Poor effort that from the Colombian.
Not much has changed in the last few minutes as Inter struggle to create chances in the face of stern defensive resistance from the visiting side. Udinese have only just begun to show signs of attacking on the break.
Jonathan's been camped high up the right flank since the first whistle, but this time, he can't escape the attentions of Silva. The ball is swapped to the opposite flank, but Hernanes shows no patience, curling a ball well over the goal when he had teammates in the box to aim for.
Good few minutes for Udinese here as Inter fail to clear their lines from a cross with the ball deflecting off Jonathan's heel. Heartaux, not for the first time, takes aim from distance but not for the first time, he doesn't even come close to troubling Handanovic.
A fantastic no-touch turn and searing pace takes Muriel away from Ranocchia. There's daylight between the pair as the Colombian bears down on goal, but instead of picking out a teammate, he tries to drive all the way and is blocked.
Udinese currently sit in 14th place, which has been a disappointing season for Guidolin, who usually has his team challenging for the European places season after season. They're in little danger of relegation though, as they sit 10 points above the drop zone.
Hernanes is faced by Badu, who does well to block the Inter man's shot from the edge of the box. Udinese are certainly very defensive, perhaps too much so. Muriel hasn't had so much as a kick to my recollection.
Pretty difficult down there on the pitch at the moment, with no shots on goal or goalscoring chances with just over half of the first half elapsed. Inter have been the better side in terms of possession and traffic, but they haven't fared any better than the visitors in terms of threat.
Certainly, Inter are concentrating their attacks through their pair of wing backs, Jonathan and Nagatomo. It's all a little sparse centrally, as Icardi has barely touched the ball, while Palacio, though eager, hasn't gotten himself into a goalscoring position.
We're looking at a bit of a stalemate developing as things stand, with Udinese just about able to shore up their early defensive wobbles to perform more consistently on that front. No sign yet of where the opener will come from as Heaurtaux, fit again, blasts a pile driver into orbit.
The French defender has been helped to the sidelines, where he's still receiving treatment as the referee decides to restart the game. He looks like he'll be able to continue though.
The game has to be halted here as Heartaux and Palacio challenge for a high ball, with the latter just glancing the former on their way down. Heartaux needs a bit of treatment from the physios, and the referee stops the game given that it's a head injury.
Widmer flicks the ball the wrong side of Juan, and beats the Brazilian to the byeline. He cannot, however get past Samuel, who uses all of his experience to close the gap with his frame and shepherd the Udinese wide man over the byeline. Solid defending.
Inter are dominating the ball, and have been since the first whistle. They've held almost two thirds of the possession, which would not be so bad for Udinese, except that they've done nothing with the time on the ball that they've had.
Luis Muriel, finisher extraordinaire and once touted to be the next big striking sensation in Serie A, has come under fire from some quarters this season for his inconsistency and general lack of form. The Colombian is still only 22 years old, mind, and will want to pick up some form heading into the World Cup.
The crosses continue to be peppered into the Udinese box by the home side, and Nagatomo is the latest Nerazzurri player to have a go at swinging one into the danger area. He does end up releasing a nice ball, but not a single one of his teammates made an effort to get in the box and on the end of it.
Scuffet scoops a dangerous Inter cross away from danger as the Nerazzurri continue to apply pressure to the Udinese penalty area down the right hand side. Jonathan has seen a lot of the ball in the early goings here, and it's already a challenge for Silva to keep up with him.
Joathan takes on Gabriel Silva, and successfully distracts the Udinese defence from the ghosting run of Guarin to the byeline. The Brazilian full back finds his teammate, who drills in a low cross towards the six yard box, but Domizzi is there to clear.
Udinese are comfortable in possession early on, with Inter content to allow them the run of the ball. Both teams are set up with three at the back, essentially mirroring a 3-5-2 formation. It will be interesting to see how that plays out, particularly the battle between the opposition wing backs.
Here we go!
Inter meanwhile were beaten at home for just the second time this season, losing 2-1 to Atalanta thanks to a last minute winner from the visitors, despite dominating the second half and hitting the woodwork twice. The fans applauded their team off the pitch despite the result, and the Nerazzurri still sit only four points off Fiorentina in fourth place.
Udinese won 1-0 against Sassuolo at home over the weekend, a result that stretched their unbeaten run at home to four games. However, their mark away from Stadio Friuli is less than spectacular, winning only three of their 15 away games in Serie A this season.
These two sides have already met twice in competitive fixtures this season. Inter won the reverse league meeting with a 3-0 away triumph in November, but Udinese hit back with a 1-0 win in the Coppa Italia round of 16 - though Francesco Guidolin's men did not make it past Fiorentina in the semi finals.
Udinese are without suspended defender Sudan Basta, but still line up with their familiar three man backline consisting of Thomas Heurtaux, Danilo and Maurizio Domizzi. As expectd, Samir Handanovic starts between the posts against his former club, who he left nearly two seasons ago.
Juan Jesus is available again for the Nerazzurri following a three match suspension and is immediately thrust into the starting XI. Walter Mazzarri also recalls Yuto Nagatomo to his starting lineup, with Argentine duo Rodrigo Palacio and Mauro Icardi leading the line for the hosts.
UDINESE (3-4-2-1): Scuffet; Heurtaux, Danilo, Domizzi; Widmer, Badu, Allan, Pereyra; G.Silva, Bruno Fernandes; Muriel.
INTER (3-5-2): Handanovic; Ranocchia, Samuel, Juan Jesus; Jonathan, Guarin, Cambiasso, Hernanes, Nagatomo; Palacio, Icardi.
Hello and welcome to another round of Serie A action, where Inter host Udinese at San Siro. I'm Keeghann Sinanan your guide for all the action.
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