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Italy - Serie A
April 3, 2013
• Stadio Comunale Luigi Ferraris, Genova
Referee: L. Banti
• Attendance: 25258
R. Palacio 43', 90'+
That's all folks, it's been a blast. See you next time.
Inter take a crucial three points from their game in hand to move up to fifth place in the Serie A table. They're back in the European places, but still have seven points to make up on arch-rivals AC Milan for the third and final Champions League spot.
90' + 4'
And that's it! Full time.
90' + 3'
90' + 3'
PALACIO WRAPS IT UP! Straight from Handanovic's save, Inter go streaming forward on the break. The ball is played into Palacio, who does brilliantly to split both centre backs and tuck calmly under Romero. Game over, if it wasn't already!
90' + 3'
Poli wriggles free against Zanetti, and finds space for a shot, but Handanovic again is assured, and gets down low at the near post to save.
90' + 2'
We're into our second of four minutes of added time. Sampdoria need to throw caution to the wind now.
GUARIN SHOULD HAVE SCORED! Munari loses the ball to Pereira, sparking Inter immediately on the counter. Palacio advances into the box, and squares across goal to Guarin, who has space and time from close range, but blasts high over the bar. Terrible.
Not for the firs time today, Palombo's delivery is very disappointing, well below what was required. The Inter defence clear easily.
Yellow CardMateo Kovačić
Kovacic goes into the back of Obiang, gives away a free kick, and picks up a yellow card. A tad immature from the youngster, and a good opening for Sampdoria.
For me, Handanovic has been the man of the match. He has pulled off excellent saves on Icardi, Krsticic and Sansone, and has made no mistake with the less demanding routine tasks required of him. Who do you think deserves the man of the match honor? Get in touch on Twitter @keeghann to share your thoughts.
Now Gargano's got a problem, and goes off to the side for a quick dosage of magic spray. Again, this stop-start tempo is playing right into Inter's hands.
Maxi Lopez strikes the set piece, but it's too close to Handanovic who makes the catch.
Gargano with a needless trip on Poulsen right outside the box. Freekick to come - careless play from the Uruguayan. Will it come back to haunt his team?
Replays suggest that the defender has just tweaked his knee trying to change direction quickly. He goes off the field for a spot of treatment.
Mustafi has gone down off the ball here. Guarin was the player closest to him - was it any kind of contact? Or was it an injury?
Kuzmanovic tries to pick out Palacio, but fatigue must be catching up with the Argentine, who makes little effort to stay onside. The linesman duly flags.
Yellow CardNenad Krsticic
Things have ground completely to a halt on the pitch. Sampdoria are struggling to get a hold of the ball, as Inter's snail-like pace is frustrating them to no end.
Yellow CardSamir Handanoviç
And its Handanovic on troll duty again from the goalkick, attracting the wrath of the fans for his complete lack of urgency.
The boos are raining down from the stands as Handanovic milks every second off the clock from a goalkick. A hint of a smirk there from the keeper, he knows exactly what he's doing.
The tempo of the match has just dropped a little in the last few minutes as Inter have forced the game into a midfield battle. This will suit them just fine as they look to close out the points.
Obiang with another excellent pass forward that De Silvestri fails to bring under control. The 21-year-old midfielder really has had a complete performance in the centre of the park today - winning the ball back constantly, and making good use of it with some excellent distribution.
Obiang and De Silvestri have crosses in quick succession from the right hand side that just fail to find targets in the box. Promising stuff from Sampdoria, but they need to convert that promise into goals - time keeps ticking.
Yellow CardWalter Gargano
Maxi Lopez with another promising layoff, into he path of Obiang, whose shot is well hit, but comfortably saved by Handanovic.
We're just about to enter the latter stages of this game, what are your thoughts on how the match will end? Get in touch directly with me on Twitter @keeghann, or use the chat box in out live match centre.
Lopez, the substitute, almost has an instant impact, flicking a pass from Obiang, but it's just, just too far in front of Icardi.
Obiang with another purposeful long ball out of the back to pick out Icardi high up on the right flank. But Juan is quickly across to cover, and makes the tackle, winning the ball back for the Nerazzurri.
Cassano is double teamed by two Samp defenders near the left byline. He could have released Guarin at the top of the box earlier, but decided to take it on himself and as a result, loses the ball.
Great defending from Mustafi, who does just enough to put Cassano off his shot after he was slipped in cleverly by Palacio. Corner upcoming, but it does not amount to anything.
The crowd are certainly doing their part to ensure that Sampdoria keep plugging on to find a way back into the game. Raucous atmosphere here in Genoa.
Juan does exceptionally well to win the ball of Sansone, and spark Inter immediately on the counter. Guarin drives and plays into Palacio at the top of the box, who slips in Pereira on the left, but the full back is frustratingly offside. A disappointing end to a potentially devastating move.
Sampdoria have looked the stronger side in the second half so far. Inter are struggling to hold any sort of possession in the opposition half.
GOOD TRY FROM SANSONE! The forward takes aim from the edge of the box, and angles his shot towards the bottom left corner, but Handanovic AGAIN is on his game to tip the effort wide.
Send your thoughts and comments in to me on Twitter @keeghann - best ones get a mention in the live!
Icardi looks for Sansone with a ball over the top. It's a little to ofar away from the striker, but Pereira still has work to do to cut across and clear the ball. Good defending.
Palombo goes for glory from 30 yards out, but though his shot is kept low with plenty of power, it is comfortably wide of Handanovic's far post.
Foul on Obiang by Guarin. The two No. 14's challenge for a loose ball, but the Inter man is a second too late.
In the other Serie A meeting between these sides this season, Sampdoria lead at half-time, but ended up losing. Will history repeat itself with Inter in front? We'll find out as the second half kicks off!
Well, if anyone was to strike first, it had to be Palacio, who has had multiple sights on goal from decent positions. Inter in front by that solitary goal just before the end of the half. Credit to Sampdoria, who have put them under pressure at times, but need to sort out their final ball. Handanovic has been excellent in goal so far for the visitors. Second half in just a bit, so stay tuned.
45' + 2'
We're at half time.
45' + 1'
BACK AND FORTH! Palacio streams forward again, and takes a pass from Guarin in his stride. The angle is against him, but he still manages to squeeze in a shot across goal that flashes dangerously close to the far post!
SAMPDORIA NEARLY RESPOND RIGHT AWAY! Poli wriggles past one challenge and takes aim from inside the area, but Gargano gets down well to make the block!
OUT OF NOWHERE INTER TAKE THE LEAD! Pereira with a perfectly-weighted cross to the near post, where Palacio streaks between both centre backs to guide a header into the opposite corner, despite a hand from Romero.
It's been a while since Inter have had any kind of sustained possession in the opposition half, but after a brief respite where Gargano and Jonathan exchange passes, the move ends quickly when Estigarribia pulls off a piece of unorthodox defending to recover the ball.
Get in touch on Twitter @keeghann to send me any of your comments on the game!
Estigarribia takes responsibility for the set piece, tries to pick out Sansone at the far post, but Handanovic is there to snare the ball.
And as I say that, Ranocchia carelessly throws his weight into Icardi about 30 yards from goal. Free kick to come...
This is really encouraging stuff from the home team in the last five minutes or so. They are putting the Inter defence under pressure from both flanks, but so far, Handanovic and his backline have stood firm.
Icardi is double teamed by Ranocchia and Jesus, and sends in a shot that takes a pinball deflection off both defenders, and goes out for a throw in.
FANTASTIC SAVE BY HANDANOVIC! Krsticic takes aim from 25 yards out, and aims perfectly for the top corner. But the keeper is ready, he springs to his left and tips the ball away with his right hand!
Thoughts, comments, questions or wisecracks? Reach me on Twitter @keeghann.
The set piece is absolutely wasted by Inter, as the Sampdoria wall is enough to block the attempt.
Estigarribia is currently getting chewed out by his coach Delio Rossi, as the winger, not for the first time, fails to track back. As a result, Krsticic is forced to cover his position, and brings down Zanetti late. Freekick.
Guarin has a good run at the defence through the middle, but with options either side of him, he takes too long to make up his mind, and Palombo is able to step in to nick the ball off his toes.
Icardi and Sansone finally link up effectively together. The former drops deep and plays a diagonal pass into the latter, who, under pressure from Juan, snatches at his shot from 20 yards out, nothing more than catching practice for Handanovic.
Estigarribia is down on the deck, and the physios have been summoned. It was a 50-50 in midfield with Guarin, nothing malicious, but there's a brief pause as the winger receives treatment.
Handanovic sold a little short by Juan's back pass, but manages to put his foot through the ball just before Sansone rushes in to pick off any scraps.
Inter have just about found their bearings again after a spell of Sampdoria pressure. They win their second corner of the match, but it's an absolutely poor delivery that barely makes it past the first man.
Yellow CardAndrea Poli
Was that a yellow card? Poli seems to have beaten Juan on the right, but the defender barges him slightly, forcing him to lose his balance. It looked like a foul from where I stand, but the referee, perhaps taking Poli's previous theatrics into account, decides to book him for simulation. He will now miss the weekend match against Palermo through suspension.
SMART SAVE FROM HANDANOVIC! From a corner, Icardi beats everyone to the ball at the near post. This time, his header is steered on target, but the Slovenian keeper gets across his line well to tip over the bar!
Cassano goes twisting and turning at the top of the opposition box, but he soon attracts a swarm of defenders, and is robbed of the ball. There was no movement from Inter to give him a passing option.
GREAT DELIVERY FROM OBIAING! The midfielder drifts out to the right and whips in a precise cross right onto the head of Icardi. But the Samp striker reads the play a second too late, and is not high enough into his leap to meet the cross, and heads over.
Poli goes charging through the Inter ranks and flings himself at a nonplussed Ranocchia. The referee correctly decides against awarding a free-kick, and instructs Poli to get to his feet.
Palacio for the third time this game breaks free of the last defender. The angle is against him this time, however, and he can only find the side netting with space diminishing by the second.
Remember folks, you can get involved in the discussion through the chat box right on the side of our Live Match Centre, or send your comments directly into me on Twitter @keeghann - best ones get posted in the live feed.
And it's rather wasted by Palombo, who comes up with neither a cross nor shot and sends the ball into the stands.
Sansone is tripped up by Gargano on the left side after attempting to cut infield. A free kick to come in a decent position. Handanovic is trying to get his defence organized.
Jonathan and Pereira, the Inter full backs, are getting forward a lot in the early exchanges. They've each had crosses into the box, but have not been able to pick out a teammate - the Sampdoria defence has reacted well.
A feisty end-to-end beginning to the game here in Genoa. The tempo is upbeat, the stadium is rocking, and it's shaping up to be an entertaining contest!
GOOD CHANCE FOR PALACIO! The forward is robbed of the ball by the sprawling arms of Romero after running in behind the defence once again from a long ball. Early signs of Inter's intent to exploit any high lines played by the home side.
Not a bad start from the hosts as Sansone flicks a header goalwards, but Handanovic claims the attempt comfortably.
Early offside against Rodrigo Palacio, who tried to run onto a long ball from Juan Jesus out of defence.
The nets are adjusted, the players are ready, and off we go!
We're just about to get underway as the teams make their way onto the field.
Still, the Nerazzurri can move up to fifth place with a victory here tonight. Sampdoria meanwhile seemed destined for mid table mediocrity - 10 points off the relegation zone, but 14 points behind the final European place.
This fixture, lest we forget, was originally scheduled for March 17, but heavy rain and flood warnings forced it to be rescheduled for today. Since that match, Inter's Serie A fortunes have taken a downturn, as they have suffered home defeats in their last two games to Bologna and Juventus.
Inter: Handanovic; Zanetti, Ranocchia, Juan Jesus, Pereira; Gargano, Kovacic, Kuzmanovic; Guarin; Palacio, Cassano
Sampdoria: Romero; Mustafi, Palombo, Gastaldello; De Silvestri, Poli, Krsticic, Obiang, Estigarribia; Sansone, Icardi.
The lineups are in...
Greetings one and all, and welcome to the Serie A clash between Sampdoria and Inter at Stadio Luigi Ferraris! I'm Keeghann Sinanan, bringing you the play-by-play.
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