Inter 2-0 Parma: Eto'o & Milito Break Down Dogged Parma

The Nerazzurri earned a slim victory through a superb strike from Samuel Eto'o and an insurance goal from Diego Milito.

Inter were blanked by promoted outfit Parma in the third round of Serie A, ahead of their high-profile midweek Champions League clash with Barcelona.

The home side had the lion's share of the play, but took 70 minutes to open the scoring against a hard-working Parma, before Milito scored their second with just minutes to go and seal the three points at the San Siro.

The game began in haphazard fashion with the ball being caught in midfield and the first real action of the match was Patrick Vieira earning a yellow card after a series of fouls.

Antonio Mirante made a fantastic save on Wesley Sneijder, finger-tipping the Dutchman's fierce volley away from the bottom corner of the net on 11 minutes.

Inter were beginning to take a strangle-hold on the match with Parma camped out in their own half. Javier Zanetti skipped past two defenders on one of his trademark runs, but the promising move was halted as Diego Milito was deemed offside on the edge of the area.

The visitors only managed their first chance after 25 minutes, with McDonald Mariga slamming a loose ball high into the stands from 20 yards away.

A long ball into the box found Samuel Eto'o open at the back post, but he hit the crossbar from a tight angle! Sneijder then played a through-ball to Milito in acres of space, but he was correctly called offside with just the goalkeeper to beat.

Stefano Morrone and Zanetti traded long range efforts that failed to trouble either shot stopper as the half came to a close without anyone breaking the deadlock.

The ex-Ajax star came closest after 45 mins

At the outset of the second-half in search of a goal, Mourinho brought in starket Mario Balotelli for the ineffective Thiago Motta - forming a trident attack with Eto'o and Milito.

After a couple of dangerous set-piece by Parma, the substitute Balotelli missed an absolute sitter when picked out by Eto'o at the back post! The Italian Under-21 international one-timed the ball over the net from just three yards out!

Zanetti recovered the ball in midfield, laying off for Santon, who beat a defender before an Eto'o dummy allowed Milito into open space, but he tried one move too many and the opportunity went begging as the match was opening up considerably in the second period.

Sneijder was once again involved, when in the centre of the area he failed to make decisive contact with the ball and it bobbled into Mirante's hands.

The Gialloblu were defending in numbers, content to play on the counter-attack, but Bianbiany, a Nerazzurri youth product, nearly made his parent club pay after getting away from Lucio, firing the ball across the face of goal.

The home side finally made their pressure count with a fantastic effort from summer signing Eto'o! The Cameroon star collected the ball at the top of the box and beautifully curled it into the top corner for a 1-0 scoreline.

It was nearly two goals soon after, as a cutback found Sneijder, but he once again misfired.

Mourinho's men were in good spirits and a spectacular Balotelli spin nearly set up Milito. Sneijder was then removed from the match for young Slovenian Rene Khrin.

Finally, after a frustrating afternoon, Milito sealed the points on the counter as Balotelli found the Argentine in space and he finished the move off with a tap-in with two minutes remaining.

Incredibly, Balotelli missed a one-on-one opportunity with Moiante, trying to fool the goalkeeper, but the Parma man stood his ground and plucked the ball from the feet of 'Super Mario.'

The win keeps Inter within two points of Juventus at the top, who earned a win against Lazio on Saturday.

Adam Scime,

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