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Serie A

  • November 19, 2011
  • • 17:00
  • • Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milano
  • Referee: A. Damato
  • • Attendance: 56000

Inter 2-1 Cagliari: Thiago Motta and Coutinho fire Ranieri's men to victory

A close range strike from the Italy international before a great finish from the young Brazilian ensured the Nerazzurri took the points despite late strike from Larrivey

Inter defeated Cagliari 2-1 at San Siro on Saturday evening, despite a late strike from substitute Joaquin Larrivey, courtesy of goals from Thiago Motta and Phillipe Coutinho as the Milan side move up to 11 points in Serie A.

The match began at slow pace, however in the fifth minute the visitors wasted a decent opportunity to open the scoring, when Albin Ekdal burst past Walter Samuel in the box, but the Swedish midfielders effort crashed into the side netting.

The hosts had now started to control the game and in the 20th minute, Michael Agazzi pulled off a fine save to deny Giampaolo Pazzini, the Italy striker’s neat turn on the edge of the box created enough space to unleash a powerful drive, which the former Triestina goalkeeper stretched to tip the ball against the bar.

Minutes later the home side were denied again, after a curling freekick from Mauro Zarate was again tipped onto the bar by Agazzi.

The hosts were still dominating possession but struggling to create any real chances, as the first half drew to a close, perhaps missing the creativity of Wesley Sneijder who was replaced by Phillipe Coutinho at the last minute after sustaining an injury during the warm up.

The second half began and the hosts were still controlling the game and it didn’t take long before they took the lead when in the 52nd minute: a great cross from substitute Ricardo Alvarez fell to Motta who made no mistake in poking the ball past Agazzi.

Then on the hour mark, the hosts doubled their lead through a fine goal from Coutinho, the young Brazilian picked up the ball from Alvarez just outside the box before his well placed strike found the bottom corner to double the home side's advantage.

The match then slowed down again with the hosts seemingly content with their lead and still dominating possession, but not creating any clear cut chances.

However with just under five minutes to go the visitors pulled one back, a cross from Radja Nainggolan found Larrivey, who poked the ball past Julio Cesar to put the away side back into the game with minutes to go.

The hosts were now under considerable pressure, but managed to hold on to their slender lead to pick up all three points for a deserved three points.

This result sees Inter climb one place to 16th, the Nerazzurri will now hope to build on this result next Sunday away to Siena, while Cagliari host Bologna in the next round of Serie A.

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