The Milan giants surrendered their first-half lead after severe lapses in defence condemned Andrea Stramaccioni to his first defeat as head coach of the Nerazzurri
An attacking masterclass from Sebastian Giovinco earned Parma an emphatic 3-1 win over Inter Milan at the Tardini, as the home side came back from a goal down to respond with three in the second period.
The first chance fell to the Nerazzuri, Wesley Sneijder sending his weak scissors kick down the middle of goal and straight into the hands of ‘keeper Nicola Pavarini. Parma, urged on by their home support, were not content to sit back however; on a regular foray forward initiated by Giovinco and company, Jaime Valdez showed lovely skill in turning away from Esteban Cambiasso and curling a left-footed just over Julio Cesar’s bar.
With much of the match bogged down in the middle as either side’s midfield traded blows with the other, it would take the more patient team to gain the advantage, and it paid off for Inter in the 13th minute as they scored from a textbook counter attack that began in midfield. Ricardo Alvarez found Dejan Stankovic out wide, and the Serb subsequently squared the ball across the face of goal, finding Sneijder who finished with aplomb from a left-footed riser into the top corner of the net.
That goal evidently soothed the nerves of the away side, who settled down comfortably to snuff out the Gialloblu’s offensive movements. Joel Obi earned the first booking of the match when he upended Inter-loanee Jonathon with a late tackle from behind.
The first-half proved to be a frustrating period for Parma’s forward line, as they got little spare change out of a resolute Inter defence despite their constant endeavour pushing forwards. The home team continued probing with regularity, but Jonathan failed to be the first from Parma to test his former Inter teammate in goal with a low daisy-cutter from outside the box that spun off target the moment it was struck, as the first half was brought to a close.
The second half began with Inter coach Stramaccioni putting young Marco Faraoni on in place of Japanese international Yuto Nagatomo, who looked to have picked up a knock in the first.
Inter thought they very much had the game under lock and key, but they were to be caught out by Giovinco in the 53rd minute, the trequartista exploiting obvious complacency by Lucio as he robbed the centre back on the edge of the box. Slicing inside, the Atomic Ant coolly rolled the ball across the six-yard area for Fernando Marques, who finished low into the away side’s net for his first league goal for Parma and his team’s deserved equaliser.
Giovinco was not yet finished though. A long Parma ball over the top caught out the entire Inter rearguard to put the man co-owned by Juventus through on goal. Stepping inside again, he took the credit for himself this time, calmly chipping the ‘keeper to make it 2-1 as lady luck finally began smiling on Parma. Inter’s misery was very nearly compounded when Faraoni risked scoring an own goal as he attempted to cut out a cross, but was spared the blushes when Julio Cesar was on hand to parry and gather the ball with his second attempt.
The match had exploded into life, Inter now very much on the back foot and in need of a response to the deficit they had needlessly earned themselves. Stramaccioni opted to go for broke, reshuffling his pack as he introduced Mauro Zarate for Stankovic.
The substitution served to galvanise the Nerazzurri, who poured forward with increasing intent desperate to restore parity. Fellow introduction Giampaolo Pazzini blasted over from a good position before Zarate nearly bagged a scorcher; the Argentine’s finish whistling just over the bar. Lucio nearly made amends for his earlier mistake on Parma’s first goal in the 79th minute when his low shot was pushed wide for a corner by Pavarini.
It was Inter’s turn to suffer the lack of an end-product in the 83rd minute however, as out of nowhere, a long Parma ball was lofted over the visitor’s back-line again. This time, another former Inter man in the shape of Jonathon Biabiany took the ball around Julio Cesar, who had suicidal charged off his line, before dribbling his way into the centre of the box to slot away an easy finish and put the game to bed.
The result sees the Champions League hopefuls slip behind Lazio, Napoli and Udinese while Parma, having already secured safety comfortably, can now dream of a place in the Europa League.