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August 31, 2014
• Stadio Olimpico di Torino, Torino
Referee: D. Doveri
• Attendance: 25824
That is it from me, Tom Webber, for this evening. Have a great night!
La Granata's winless run against Inter extends to 21 games, but for Mazzarri he will be disappointed at his side's inability to turn possession into goals.
FULL TIME - Torino 0-0 Inter: The Turin side hold the Nerazzurri to a goalless draw at the Stadio Olimpico, though Larrondo will surely rue his missed first-half penalty which could have been decisive. Vidic was sent off in second-half stoppage time but the hosts did not have time to take advantage of their extra man. The points are shared, and it's probably a fair result.
90' + 3'
And there is the final whistle! It ends all square!
90' + 2'
Red Card Nemanja Vidic
90' + 2'
VIDIC IS SENT OFF! The Serbia international sarcastically applauds a decision by the referee and he is dismissed. An acrimonious end to his Serie A debut.
90' + 1'
We are into the first of the additional three minutes.
Torino catch Inter unawares with a quick throw on the left. They use it to send Molinaro down to the byline but with bodies in the box he sends his cross over the top of all of them. What a waste!
Time is running out for both sides now. Are we going to have a winner in the dying stages of the game?
Bovo is given acres of space to stroll into and the home crowd egg him on. He decides to have a go at goal but his shot takes a wicked deflection which absorbs all the pace and directs it well away from Handanovic's goal. Unwilling to concede a corner, the keeper races out and claims it before looking to send his team up the other end.
The final throw of the dice for Mazzarri sees him introduce Nagatomo in place of Jonathan. A poor display from the Brazilian tonight.
D'Ambrosio is too eager to get his head to a cross from the right and absolutely clatters into the nearest opponent. Having failed to get anywhere near the ball it is a clear foul and the referee acknowledges that.
Larrondo does brilliantly to get away from his marker on the near side and find Quagliarella. The new signing has showed signs of fatigue in the last few moments though, and fails to pick out a team-mate on the right and instead hands possession back to the visitors.
Lovely play from Sanchez Mino! He lifts the ball over the head of Medel out on the left and then surges into the area. He tries to square it into the danger area but Ranocchia gets his body in the way and sends it out for a corner.
A hopeful ball into the box from Hernanes is too high for the head of Icardi and Padelli is able to claim it competently. Signs that Inter are becoming a little bit desperate now.
Molinaro does brilliantly to create space for a cross on the left and he uses it well, dinking the ball to the back post. Larrondo makes a run to get on the end of it but he is a little too late and is unable to reach it. This game remains very much in the balance.
Things just aren't going Inter's way! Jonathan's looping cross is met by the head of Icardi but there is barely any pace on the ball and he only manages to direct his ball off target.
HERNANES!! The Brazilian shifts the ball onto his right foot and attempts to bend it into the far corner. The shot bounces before it reaches Padelli making the save a little bit more difficult, but the keeper jumps to his right and parries it aside.
There are under 20 minutes remaining now and the game remains deadlocked. The introduction of Osvaldo seems to have breathed new life into the visitors, while La Granata are not posing the same kind of threat on the break as they did in the first half.
It looks as though Maksimovic has picked up an injury while helping his side keep Osvaldo out there and he is carried off the pitch on a stretcher. Molinaro will be his replacement.
GREAT SAVE PADELLI! Finally the Torino keeper is forced to do something! Hernanes slices through the defence with a delightful through-ball so he races off his line and gets a hand to Osvaldo's poked shot. Medel looks to latch onto the loose ball but a sublime challenge from Gazzi denies him the opportunity.
Yellow Card Hernanes
Torino launch another counterattack but as Darmian dribbles in from the left the momentum slows down. Inter manage to get themselves back into position and Nocerino's eventual shot is blocked by Vidic. That is better defending from the visitors.
Osvaldo and Icardi link up well, as the former knocks a first-time pass into the latter who lets the ball run and spins into space. Moretti does well to recover and fling his body in the way of the shot, ensuring it doesn't hit the target and instead goes out for a corner.
Mazzarri pulls Jonathan over to the touchline to give the Brazilian some new instructions. He's found it difficult to influence the game tonight, with Dodo on the opposite flank far more influential.
Quagliarella is given some space by Vidic and he continually shifts the ball, hoping to eke out a yard for a shot. He finally manages it but does not get the requisite whip on his effort to come close to worrying Handanovic.
Dodo once more receives the ball on the left and this time he attempts to work his way into the box. He is stood up by both Maksimovic and Nocerino, who get tight to the Brazilian and manage to dispossess him before he can get a cross into the box.
OSVALDO! He almost has the perfect impact as he leaps up to get his head to Dodo's cross. He glances the header and it drops wide of the far post. He claims Moretti got the last touch but the officials aren't having it and signal for a goal kick.
Mazzarri responds with a change of his own: Osvaldo replaces M'Vila. You would expect one of Kovacic or Hernanes to drop deep now with the former Juventus man joining Icardi up top.
Omar El Kaddouri
Juan Sánchez Miño
Venturi makes the first change of the night with Argentine Juan Sanchez Mino replacing El Kaddouri, who has been rather quiet.
JUST WIDE! Darmian gets to the byline and stands the ball up at the back post where Larrondo knocks it down. Quagliarella is quickest to react and connects with the ball on the spin and as he drops to ground he watches his effort drift outside the post.
BOVO! That is a great strike from the centre-back! His powerful, bending shot from 25 yards looks to be heading for the bottom corner but Handanovic gets low and holds it at the first attempt.
Handanovic comes off his line to punch clear a corner and Inter attempt to hit Torino on the break. Kovacic slides Icardi through one-on-one but his first touch is absolutely shocking and it allows the defender to recover and kill the threat. Perhaps Mazzarri will decide to introduce Osvaldo soon.
Bovo attempts a raking pass from the half-way line, searching out Quagliarella as he spins in behind Juan. He gets too much power behind the ball and contrives to blast it out for a goal kick.
An early chance for Larrondo as he gets in behind the defence but with his marker closing in quickly he has to shoot early. He fails to wrap his foot around the ball, though, and fires straight into the side netting.
Here we go! Time for the second half in Turin.
Welcome back! The teams are back out on the pitch at the Stadio Olimpico and the second half will be underway momentarily.
Torino will be content with that half of football, though. Their organisation has been commendable and the visitors have subsequently struggled to create any meaningful openings. Join me in 15 minutes for the second half to see how this one turns out!
HALF TIME - Torino 0-0 Inter: The Nerazzurri have dominated possession from the outset but Padelli in the Toro goal has yet to make a strenuous save. The hosts, however, have threatened with their counterattacking football and would be ahead had Larrondo not had his penalty saved by Handanovic.
45' + 1'
It is the final act of the half as after a second of stoppage time the referee blows for the interval!
Two chances for Inter in quick succession! First, Ranocchia watches his close-range header balloon over the roof of the goal and moments later Kovacic drills an effort from 25 yards skid wide of the post.
Nocerino goes into the book for a challenge on the left and Dodo flights the resultant free kick into the middle. It finds the head of Icardi but the striker fails to angle it towards goal and it is instead cleared away at the back post.
Yellow Card Nikola Maksimović
Venturi will be delighted if his side can get to half time with a clean sheet given the nature of their game tonight. He may lament that Larrondo did not convert the earlier penalty, though, as had he dones so his strategy would be working perfectly.
Medel is the latest player to concede possession for the visitors and in his haste to win it back he clatters Quagliarella from behind. The referee gesticulates that there should be no more of that from him, meaning he could well find himself in the book following his next illegal challenge.
The Nerazzurri's confidence is beginning to shake and they are not knocking the ball about as comfortably as in the opening stages. Possession is lost and Torino break by sending the ball up to Quagliarella who draws a foul from Juan.
OVER THE TOP! The corner is pinged in from the right and Quagliarella connects with it. He is leaping backwards as he does so which makes it extremely difficult to direct the ball towards Handanovic's net, and that is something he cannot do.
The hosts actually look the far more dangerous side, despite not seeing that much of the ball. Larrondo manages to find space on the near side and his attempted cross is deflected behind for a corner.
Kovacic continues to drift out to the left and attempt to link with Dodo, but they only have Icardi and Hernanes, who are both static, to aim for in the box. They move possession about a bit more before the ball is finally sent into the middle where Hernanes connects with a bullet header that does not find the target.
Nocerino makes a run between Dodo and Juan and the wing-back fails to track him. He receives the ball and cuts it back into the middle but sees his cross cleared away. It drops for Quagliarella 20 yards out but he slices a volley harmlessly wide of goal.
Inter continue to control possession but the Torino keeper's night has yet to be troublesome. Kovacic spots Dodo's run into the box from the left and scoops a pass over the defence for him to latch onto. It is overhit and drops behind for a goal kick.
Icardi has the ball in the back of the net, but it is ruled out for offside! M'Vila's pass was headed through to the striker by Hernanes but he had made his run far too early and it was a simple decision for the official on the far side to make.
Kovacic climbs over the back of Moretti to get his head on a cross from the right but he fails to steer his header at Padelli's goal. The defender stays down and appears to have taken a knock following his collision with the Croatian. He will be fine to continue, though.
Inter should certainly heed the warning of that penalty. They are vulnerable on the counterattack so need to be more productive at the other end. For their part, Torino are proving very resolute and are making the middle of the field very congested.
Dodo wins a corner on the left which he takes himself, but he sends it in far too deep for a meaningful effort to come of it. Mazzarri will be eager for his team to test Padelli soon given the amount of possession they have enjoyed so far, as the keeper remains untested.
Missed Penalty Marcelo Larrondo
Penalty save Samir Handanoviç
SAVED BY HANDANOVIC! Larrondo is given the responsibility of taking the spot-kick but he fires a poor one, low to the keeper's left. Handanovic dives the right way and comfortably blocks the shot, turning it behind for a corner.
PENALTY TO TORINO! Vidic tugs the arm of Quagliarella as he attempts to turn in the area and the Italian drops to the ground and the referee points to the spot!
A stray pass from Inter is picked up by Larrondo in the centre circle but Medel is instantly on him, attempting to regain possession for his side. Granata shirts stream forward in anticipation of a break but the Chilean keeps hacking away and eventually has a free kick awarded against him. He won't worry about that, though!
The referee has some words for Moretti and Ranocchia as the pair clearly get a bit too rough ahead of a corner delivery for Inter. When Jonathan eventually whips it in from the right it's a poor cross which is cleared away by the first defender.
Larrondo shows great determination to put Vidic and Juan under pressure just outside the box on the near side. He almost comes away with the ball but M'Vila steps in and draws a foul from the striker, easing the pressure on his defence.
It has been all Inter in the early stages, but once more Torino look to break. Quagliarella runs in behind Ranocchia on the right flank and charges up the other end. He has Larrondo in support in the middle but his attempt to pick him out is knocked behind for a corner, which Handanovic claims easily.
Kovacic pulls out to the left and flights a lovely diagonal pass into the box for Icardi. The striker controls it with his chest and attempts to tee up Dodo as he races to the top of the box but Maksimovic tracked his run and made a vital interception.
La Granata have a chance to hit the Nerazzurri on the break with Nocerino surging into the box on the right. He receives the ball from Gazzi but his first touch is poor and his chance to test Handanovic evaporates. The former AC Milan man ought to have done better there.
Kovacic has been handed greater freedom tonight as he helps recycle the ball from right to left. He feeds Dodo but the on-loan Brazilian's cross is dealt with comfortably by the Torino defence. Kovacic has already seen a lot of the ball and looks capable of creating things tonight.
Darmian brings the ball forward on the left and lays it off to the overlapping El Kaddouri. The Moroccan moves towards Jonathan and tries to beat him to the byline, however his touch is poor and he knocks the ball out for a goal kick.
Torino have every man behind the ball when it enters their half so Kovacic has to drop deep to receive it off the defence. The first man he has to beat is Larrondo and he does so successfully, but the Argentine pulls him back and concedes a free kick.
Inter have monopolised possession from kick off and have since been stroking it about just inside the Torino half. It is sent left to Dodo and he attempts to play a diagonal ball up to Icardi, but Bovo gets his head to it. A similar pass is angled in moments later and it is not cleared properly, but M'Vila fails to take advantage as he side-foots a shot wide of the target.
We are underway at the Stadio Olimpico!
The teams are making their way out onto the pitch in Turin now so just the final pre-match formalities stand between us and the game commencing.
Both Juventus and Roma got their respective campaigns off to a winning start yesterday and Walter Mazzarri will want his men to match them and pick up the three points in Turin tonight. Kick off is just five minutes away!
This fixture last season was a footballing feast, with the teams sharing the spoils in a six-goal thriller. Nicola Bellomo's last-gasp equaliser earned La Granata a point early in a memorable campaign, but it will be interesting to see how they do this term without their two stars of last season: Immobile and Cerci.
Torino have not beaten Inter for over 20 years, with their last victory a 2-0 win at home back in February of 1994. In the pair's following 20 encounters, the Nerazzurri have won 15 while five draws have been played out. It is a run that Giampiero Ventura will be keen for his charges to bring to an end and get their campaign off to the perfect start in the process.
Inter (3-4-2-1): Handanovic; Ranocchia, Vidic, Juan; Jonathan, M’Vila, Medel, Dodo; Hernanes, Kovacic; Icardi.
Torino (3-5-2): Padelli; Bovo, Glik, Moretti; Maksimovic, Nocerino, Gazzi, El Kaddouri, Darmian; Larrondo, Quagliarella.
INTER TEAM NEWS: Nemanja Vidic makes his Serie A debut at the heart of a three-man defence with Ranocchia and Juan Jesus accompanying him. Yann M’Vila and Gary Medel form the central midfield partnership with Kovacic and Hernanes playing behind Mauro Icardi, who leads the line with Rodrigo Palacio injured.
TORINO TEAM NEWS: La Granata are without Migjen Basha, Barreto and Alexander Farnerud who all miss out due to injury, while Giuseppe Vives is also unavailable due to suspension. Fabio Quagliarella, replacement for last season’s Capocannoniere winner Ciro Immobile, starts up top but Alessio Cerci is not in the squad with his departure from the club imminent.
Both of these sides qualified for the Europa League group stages in midweek. The Turin side ensured they would participate in continental competition for the first time since 1993 with a 1-0 aggregate win over RNK Split. In stark contrast, Inter dispatched of Stjarnan with a cumulative score of 9-0. Mateo Kovacic, who featured in a more advanced role in the second leg, netted a hat-trick in a 6-0 victory against the Icelandic side on Thursday. Tonight their tasks are more familiar.
Hello and welcome to this evening's live commentary on the opening weekend of Serie A! Tonight we will be watching Torino take on Inter at the Stadio Olimpico in Turin and I, Tom Webber, will be guiding you through all the action.
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