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April 13, 2014
• Stadio Comunale Luigi Ferraris, Genova
Referee: P. Valeri
• Attendance: 24060
M. Icardi 13', 63'
W. Samuel 60'
R. Palacio 79'
Inter move back into fifth position, two points clear of Parma who drew with Bologna earlier today, but that is it from me, Tom Webber, for this afternoon. Thanks for joining me.
FULL TIME - Sampdoria 0-4 Inter: The hosts had plenty of chances to get on the scoresheet, including a Maxi Lopez penalty which was saved, but after being reduced to 10 men in the 20th minute the game looked beyond them. The Nerazzurri never pushed themselves too hard, but pick up an important three points thanks to an Icardi brace, which Samuel and Palacio added to.
90' + 2'
There is the final whistle! A big win for Inter!
There will be two minutes of added time to play.
Well, Inter look set to open up a two-point advantage over Parma in fifth place. The win today ends a run of four games without defeat and Mazzarri will hope they can build from this to secure their spot in the Europa League for next season.
Inter break from a Sampdoria free kick, with Alvarez leading the charge again. He checks back and then looks to race to the byeline, however his touch is too heavy and Mustafi deals with it.
POOR EFFORT! Alvarez leads a break through the middle and feeds Milito inside the box. He is unable to find space to shoot so offloads the ball to D'Ambrosio who attempts to bend it into the far corner, but completely misses the target.
Okaka has worked extremely hard since coming on and he wins a free kick as Samuel is forced to foul him because he is incapable of outmuscling the striker. Sampdoria elect to take it short, though.
CLOSE! Okaka's through-ball is picked up by D'Ambrosio but his pass back to Handanovic is short and Regini pounces. The keeper stays big, though, and blocks the left-back's poked effort at the near post.
Assist Ricardo Álvarez
Goal Rodrigo Palacio
GOOOOOOOAL! PALACIO MAKES IT FOUR! A lovely exchange of passes with Alvarez enables the striker to charge into the box from wide on the left. He closes in on and goal and opens up his body, guiding the ball past Da Costa and into the far corner.
Yellow Card Nenad Krsticic
Alvarez's energy through the middle has really caused Sampdoria problems in these closing stages. Again the Argentine is felled as he dribbles through midfield, with Krsticic picking up a booking in his first real involvement since coming on.
Soriano is a very luck boy! Another poor challenge, this time on Kovacic, results in a free kick to Inter but the referee keeps his cards in his pockets. Another yellow would see the Blucerchiati midfielder given his marching orders.
Yellow Card Daniele Gastaldello
Gastaldello is booked for a terrible challenge on Alcarez as he looked to break through the centre. That rules him out of their next Serie A outing too.
Inter are stepping off the gas now, confident that they have done enough to take all three points. It could have been so different though. Sampdoria have had more efforts on goal despite being down to 10 men, and had they been more clinical we could well be looking at a different scoreline.
Kovacic spots Nagatomo making a run down the left and picks him out with an incisive pass. The Japanese attempts to get a cross into the box but a ricochet means the last touch comes off of his boot.
Icardi is withdrawn by Mazzarri, possibly due to him being on a yellow card, and there is a torrent of whistles and boos cascading down from the stands. He doesn't look too bothered, though.
Okaka nearly makes an instant impact as he dribbles through the Inter midfielder before driving a cross into the area. It is close to the near post and Handanovic can only push it behind for a corner.
Regini picks up a yellow card for a late challenge on D'Ambrosio. It was a rather cynical one, and that booking him means he will mist the Blucerchiati's next Serie A outing.
Yellow Card Vasco Regini
MAXI LOPEZ! The Argentine receives the ball at the top of the box with his back to goal once more. He takes a touch to get it out of his feet and sends a shot at goal which just shades the outside of the post. Handanovic is furious with his defence for allowing that.
Assist Rodrigo Palacio
Goal Mauro Icardi
GOOOOOOOAL! ICARDI! It's all falling apart for Sampdoria now! Kovacic spots Palacio in space inside the box and slips him a lovely pass. The Argentine plays it across goal to give Icardi a free shot at goal and although his first touch takes him wide, he slots home from an acute angle.
Soriano cynically trips Hernanes on the half way line and the referee awards the visitors a free kick. He needs to be careful as he has already been shown a yellow card this afternoon.
Goal Walter Samuel
GOOOOOOAL! There is the second! From the resultant corner, Samuel rises highest to head Hernanes' corner back across goal and into the back of the net.
WHAT A SAVE! A lovely move from Inter sees Palacio released behind the defence. He closes in on the near post, taking his time to get his feet right, but his shot is diverted behind by Da Costa. What a stop at his near post.
Sampdoria seek some more creativity in midfield as they replace Obiang with Krsticic.
PALACIO! Inter counterattack well with the two striker's combining, but Palacio's eventual effort is fired just off target.
STAT: Samir Handanovic's first-half penalty save was his 15th in Serie A, more than any other goalkeeper since his debut.
WHAT A CHANCE! Palacio drifts out to the right and whips a cross in from the corner. It bounces in front of Da Costa and he is unable to collect it, instead palming the ball into the danger area. Icardi is waiting to add the finish but De Silvestri manages to hook away the danger.
Maxi Lopez and Samuel have a coming together down on the nearside but nothing is given. The centre-back does well to keep pace, and strength, to make a challenge at the byeline.
PALACIO! The Argentine goes close to his 15th Serie A goal of the season but his powerful shot flies just wide of the near post. Da Costa was diving that way, but it may have been too forceful for him to keep out!
Well we saw what Sansone can do from range in the first half, but this time he fails to produce the same quality. His effort from 20 yards swerves well high, and wide, of target with Handanovic untested.
Nagatomo makes a clever overlapping run on the left and he whips a dangerous cross down the corridor between the defence and their keeper. D'Ambrosio is racing in at the back post to supply the finish but Mustafi clears it behind for a corner.
We are back underway!
The teams are making their way back out onto the pitch, so the second half will begin shortly.
This game is far from over, though, so be sure to join me in 15 minutes for the second half.
HALF TIME - Sampdoria 0-1 Inter: What a half of football that was! Icardi put the visitors ahead with an accomplished finish early on, but Maxi Lopez was unable to pull the Blucerchiati level from the penalty spot. Things went from bad to worse for the hosts, who were reduced to 10 men two minutes later as Eder received two yellow cards in one minute. They've still had plenty of opportunities to equalise, but Handanovic has thwarted them at every turn with a string of fantastic saves.
45' + 1'
There is the half-time whistle!
BRILLIANT SAVE FROM HANDANOVIC! Sampdoria just can't find a way through him! De Silvestri's cross falls to Soriano but the midfielder sees his attempt from close range batted away by the Inter keeper.
Despite his missed penalty, Maxi Lopez has had a decent half. He has worked exceptionally and has impressed with his back to goal. Again he draws a foul, this time from Cambiasso, which relieves the pressure on his side's defence.
Hernanes strikes it... straight into the wall! That is a poor effort from the Brazilian who has struggled to influence the game so far. His attempted through-balls have only found the blue shirts of the opposition defence.
Yellow Card Roberto Soriano
Icardi wins a free kick just outside the area as he is brought down by Soriano in the process of shooting. Another goal before half time would surely make Walter Mazzarri's half-time team talk a lot easier!
Cambiasso picks up the ball on the centre circle and decides to drive at the Sampdoria defence. He slips a pass into Palacio and continues his run, but his compatriot is unable to find him with his return flick.
From the ensuing corner Mustafi has the ball taken off his toe when he looked sure to fire in a simple finish. Another corner is awarded but Handanovic comes to claim it. What a half he has had!
STUNNING SAVE! Sanso lashes a delicious free kick towards the top corner from 25 yards but somehow Handanovic manages to get his hands to it, clawing the ball behind when it seemed destined for the net.
GREAT SAVE! Maxi Lopez has been immovable with his back to goal so far, and he shields the ball from Ranocchia before spinning and sending a low shot towards the bottom corner. Handanovic has to dive down to his left to stop it from nestling in the net and he does so gloriously, palming the effort around the post.
Kovacic whips it in but it fails to beat the first man, De Silvestri, who heads the ball out to safety.
Inter finally get the ball out of their half and win a free kick as Nagatomo's deflected cross goes behind. Can they make anything from this?
Yellow Card Andrea Ranocchia
Ranocchia picks up a booking now as he shows dissent with the challenge from Maxi Lopez as the pair chased a ball in behind the defence. That means he will be suspended for Inter's next Serie A outing.
Sampdoria have a good spell in possession inside the Inter half but the eventual cross into the box is sent far too long and goes out for a throw on the far side.
Walter Mazzarri took Sampdoria into European competition as coach with a sixth-placed finish in 2007-08. A win today would go some way to attaining the same achievement for his current Inter side.
The Blucerchiati have gone from being on the bring of equalising to being behind and down to 10 men in just two minutes. Inter need to ensure they do not get complacent now, though.
Yellow Card Eder
Yellow Card Walter Samuel
Things are beginning to boil over here, with tempers extremely fraught! AND EDER IS OFF! The Brazilian was booked for diving and a scuffle with Samuel ensued, for which both players were booked. Sampdoria are down to 10 men as Eder receives two yellow cards in the space of under a minute.
Missed Penalty Maxi López
Penalty save Samir Handanoviç
SAVED! Handanovic dives down to his left and parries a poor penalty from Maxi Lopez behind. You have to wonder whether the Argentine would have been in the right frame of mind to take that one given his ongoing conflict with Icardi.
PENALTY TO SAMPDORIA!! After Samuel blocked Soriano's effort, Ranocchia races out and puts in a clumsy tackle on Gastaldello.
Sansone is not closed down as he dribbles towards goal and opts to loose an effort from 25 yards, but it is always rising and Handanovic watches it fly over the roof of his net.
Yellow Card Andrea Costa
Things get a bit heated following that goal, and Sampdoria substitute Andrea Costa is booked for his conduct from the bench.
Assist Rodrigo Palacio
Goal Mauro Icardi
GOOOOOOAAL! It had to be him didn't it! Icardi breaks the deadlock! A bouncing cross in from the right by Palacio is buried into the bottom corner by Icardi, who celebrates by cupping his ear to the Sampdoria fans behind the goal. He receives a yellow card but he won't mind! Inter lead.
Yellow Card Mauro Icardi
Sampdoria push straight up the other end and Maxi Lopez skips into a shooting position, however, he sends his effort straight down the middle.
Another great tackle from Mustafi! Inter attempted to break but with Palacio streaming forward to give Icardi an option, the Inter striker hesitated and Mustafi took full advantage to wrest the ball away from him inside the box.
Samuel pushes up from the back before laying the ball off the Kovacic to his left. The Croatian cuts inside onto his right foot and lets fly with an effort on goal, however it dribbles comfortably into Da Costa's arms.
Excellent challenge from Mustafi! The Germany international had to time his tackle experty as Palacio skipped into the area, and he did just that! Icardi was up in support but the Inter man was forced wide by the Blucerchiati defender's tackle.
Maxi Lopez is really putting himself about at the moment, closing the Inter players whenever he can and looking full of energy. He attempts to run onto Soriano's pass over the top but Rolando is able to clear away the danger.
Kovacic nearly releases Icardi in behind with a looping ball over the defence from deep, however the striker cannot get his head to it in order to bring it under control. Boos ring out from the home fans whenever the Inter striker gets near the ball.
Sampdoria attempt a training ground move but the pass to Eder is poor and he can only send a hopeful chip into the centre of the area. A wasted chance for the hosts, there.
Regini strides up from the left and slides a pass into Maxi Lopez. The Argentine has his back to goal and goes down under a push from Walter Samuel. Free kick to Sampdoria in a dangerous area.
We are underway!
There is no handshake between Icardi and Lopez! The Sampdoria man simply jogged off as his former team-mate and held out his hand.
The teams are making their way out onto the pitch now. Sinisa Mihajlovic will not be on the touchline for the hosts today as he continues to serve a suspension from the dugout.
We have just five minutes to go until kick off at Stadio Luigi Ferraris now. Parma's draw with Bologna earlier today means Inter can now move two points clear of their rivals for fifth position with a win.
It will by no means be a stroll in the park for the visitors, though. Sampdoria have only been defeated once in their last 10 home games and that loss came courtesy of Inter’s city-rivals, AC Milan.
Inter's recent form, drawing their last three Serie A matches and not winning in four, means the pressure is really on if they want to qualify for the Europa League. They still sit in fifth place but are only ahead of Parma on goal difference. However, Sampdoria are a team they have enjoyed a good record against in the league. The Nerazzurri have lost to the Genoese outfit just once in their previous 19 meetings.
Inter bench: Castellazzi, Carrizo, Zanetti, Andreolli, Campagnaro, Alvarez, Guarin, Kuzmanovic, Taider, Botta, Milito.
Inter (3-5-2): Handanovic; Ranocchia, Samuel, Rolando; D'Ambrosio, Hernanes, Cambiasso, Kovacic, Nagatomo; Icardi, Palacio.
Sampdoria bench: Fiorillo, Costa, Salamon, Fornasier, Renan, Sesti, Bjarnason, Lombardo, Krsticic, Wszolek, Mati Rodriguez, Okaka.
Sampdoria (4-3-3): Da Costa; De Silvestri, Mustafi, Gastaldello, Regini; Soriano, Palombo, Obiang; Sansone, Maxi Lopez, Eder.
INTER TEAM NEWS: Juan Jesus is out for the remainder of the season with a knee problem and so Walter Samuel starts in a three-man defence with Andrea Ranocchia and Rolando. Mauro Icardi starts up front against his former club and is partnered by Rodrigo Palacio, while Mateo Kovacic is awarded a rare start in midfield.
SAMPDORIA TEAM NEWS: Manolo Gabbiadini is absent due to a shoulder injury so Ginaluca Sansone takes his place in the starting line-up. Gaetano Berardi is also ruled out of action but captain Daniele Gastaldello is back in action after missing last week’s 2-0 loss to Lazio.
My name is Tom Webber, and I will be guiding you through all the action today. Inter boss Walter Mazzarri has come under increasing pressure having guided his side to just four victories in their 15 Serie A games since the turn of the year. However, the Nerazzurri are undefeated in their last six matches against Sampdoria in all competitions so will be hoping for a change in their fortunes.
Hello and welcome to this afternoon's play-by-play analysis as Inter tavel to the Stadio Luigi Ferraris to take on Sampdoria. Both coaches have previous ties with their opponents today, while Maxi Lopez and Mauro Icardi go head-to-head following the much-publicised parting of the Blucerchiati forward and his wife, Wanda Nara, who then moved in with the Nerazzurri striker. Expect a fiery afternoon!
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