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Internazionale v Palermo Live Commentary, 06/03/2016

3 - 1
A. Ljajić (11)
M. Icardi (23)
I. Perišić (54)
F. Vázquez (45)
Stadio Giuseppe Meazza


The referee blows his whistle for the final time and brings an end to a game that, bar a few nervy moments, was largely comfortable for Inter, who were able to pick up three much-needed points as a result. The hosts continually caused problems for Palermo's struggling defence, who, as has been the case for the majority of this season, let themselves down with poor positioning inside their own penalty area. After Perisic scored his side's third goal it never looked as if they were going to falter, and the final 36 minutes proved to be easy ones for the Nerazzurri, who are still in with a chance of securing a top-three finish come the end of the season.
Inter push forward on one last attacking move, and again it's Perisic who gets himself into a good position deep inside the Palermo half of the pitch. He does well to beat Balogh for pace before firing a low cross into the penalty area, but his attempted pass misses Brozovic by the narrowest of margins before being cut out by Pezzella.
What a chance for Perisic to score his second goal! Icardi breaks forward and jogs towards the visitors' penalty area, and despite being all alone he's put under very little pressure by the Palermo defenders. He holds up the ball for a moment before teeing up Biabiany, who then whips a lovely cross towards the back post, where it finds the Croatian. He sticks out a foot and sends a first-time strike towards goal, but it's slightly scuffed and ends up flying a few yards wide of its intended target.
The fourth official has indicated that there will be four minutes of added time.
Biabiany is pushed to the ground as he tries to break down the right flank, and the referee awards Inter a free-kick that, unsurprisingly, they take their time with. They eventually send it short and pass the ball back to the Frenchman, who holds it up well as he tries to run down the clock as much as possible.
Felipe Melo
G. Medel
Inter have made their final substitution of the evening, with Melo coming on to replace Medel.
Perisic breaks down the right flank on a determined run before heading to the corner flag, but Balogh does well to keep up with the marauding Croatian before poking the ball out of play. Inter don't seem to be in a huge hurry to push forward but are just looking to keep the ball as far away from Palermo as possible for the final few minutes of the game.
N. Balogh
A. Rispoli
Palermo have made one last alteration, with Rispoli making way for Balogh.
What an opportunity for Djurdjevic! Quaison uses his great pace to dart into the left-hand side of the Inter penalty area before firing an excellent low cross into the middle of the box. It finds the Serbian striker in front of goal, but he's quickly closed down by Carrizo and is unable to poke his first-time shot under the body of the Argentine goalkeeper.
Vazquez twists and turns as he tries to muscle his way down the left wing, but he quickly finds himself outnumbered by Inter players and ends up pushing D'Ambrosio to the ground near to the corner flag, resulting in a free-kick for the hosts despite the protestations of the Palermo striker.
J. Biabiany
R. Palacio
Biabiany comes on to replace Palacio, who receives a warm ovation from the home fans as he makes his way off the pitch, for the final 10 minutes of the game.
Perisic steps up and curls a wonderful cross-cum-shot that flies towards the edge of the six-yard box, where Sorrentino meets it with his fist. His attempted clearance isn't at all convincing, however, but luckily it takes a deflection off a black and blue shirt that sends it bouncing away from danger and over to the left flank.
A poor attempted clearance by Maresca can only find Medel, and the Chilean immediately charges forward before playing a quick one-two with D'Ambrosio deep down the right wing. He then tries to penetrate the penalty area, but the Palermo defensive midfielder is there to stop his run with a cynical block, which results in the referee awarding Inter a free-kick in an extremely dangerous position just outside of the box.
And now Vazquez goes close! Palermo are awarded a free-kick of their own on the right flank, but theirs fails to trouble the sea of black and blue shirts camped inside the Inter penalty area and is easily dealt with by Icardi. The visitors come back once again, however, before the ball bounces over to the striker on the edge of the box, but his thumping low strike ends up flying just a few yards wide of the far post after beating everybody in front of goal.
Excellent save by Sorrentino! Inter win themselves a free-kick on the right wing, which Perisic curls into the heart of the penalty area. It finds Palacio completely unmarked in front of goal and the striker quickly sends a bullet header towards the right-hand side of the net, but the Palermo goalkeeper is there to push it away with a brilliant diving stop.
U. Đurđević
A. Gilardino
Palermo have made their second change of the night, with Gilardino, who has been largely ineffective, making way for Djurdjevic.
G. González
Yellow Card
Icardi tries to break down the right wing after latching on to a pass forward from Kondogbia, but as soon as he makes contact with the ball he's clattered into by Gonzalez, who receives a yellow card as a result.
R. Quaison
I. Chochev
Palermo have made their first substitution of the evening, and it's an attacking one, with Quaison coming on to replace Chochev.
Once again, Inter find plenty of joy when breaking down the right wing. D'Ambrosio comfortably jogs down the flank before teeing up Palacio with a simple pass that completely takes Pezzella out of the game, but the Argentine's thumping low cross from the byline is well blocked by Andelkovic before it can penetrate the penalty area.
M. Brozović
A. Ljajić
Ljajic receives a rousing round of applause from the Inter fans as he makes his way off the pitch to be replaced by Brozovic.
A half-hearted Inter attacking move breaks down, allowing Palermo to break forward on a determined counter-attack. They initially do well to push deep into the hosts' half of the pitch but a poor pass from Vazquez gifts the ball back to their opponents, and they then break away on their own attack. Palacio charges down the right wing before firing a wonderful low cross towards the back post, but it misses Perisic by the narrowest of margins before rolling out of play for a goal-kick.
Miranda does wonderfully well to charge forward on a marauding run as he easily weaves his way past three Palermo players. He then breaks through the middle of the pitch before sending a simple pass out to D'Ambrosio on the right wing, but the full-back's attempted first touch is poor and sends the ball bouncing out of play for a throw-in, much to the Brazilian defender's frustration.
Inter work the ball around well before Medel finds himself in space 30 yards away from the Palermo goal. He decides to unleash an audacious strike in an attempt to catch Sorrentino by surprise, but it's poorly hit and sails comfortably wide of the veteran goalkeeper.
Awful defending by Palermo! The visitors try to play out from the back but Gonzalez ends up losing possession on the edge of his own penalty area. Perisic picks up the ball and quickly tees up Palacio, who then sends a rocket of a low cross towards the near post, but the Costa Rican defender is just about able to cut out the danger with a vital sliding interception to make amends for his error.
G. Medel
Yellow Card
A poor pass from Medel sends the ball straight into the feet of Gilardino, and the striker immediately tries to break away on a quick counter-attack. He initially does so well before being cynically fouled by the Chilean, who leaves the referee with no choice but to show him a yellow card.
Inter quickly win back the ball and push forward once again, but Icardi and D'Ambrosio are unable to find a way past Pezzella and Chochev and end up having to settle for a throw-in due to good defending by the Palermo duo.
M. Icardi
Assist Mauro Emanuel Icardi Rivero
I. Perišić
GOAL! Inter have re-established their two-goal lead! Completely against the run of play, the hosts fly forward on a brilliant counter-attack as they take advantage of sloppy defending by Palermo. Icardi breaks down the right wing before curling an absolutely beautiful cross over to the far post, where Perisic is completely unmarked and easily able to send a diving header past Sorrentino and into the back of the net.
It's been a great start to the second half for Palermo, who are continually pushing forward with purpose. Once again, they try to break down the right flank on a determined attacking move through Rispoli, but Murillo does well to dart across and cut out the danger before the wing-back can whip a cross into the box.
Palermo swarm forward again and win themselves a corner on the left wing that quickly results in another on the opposite flank. They decide to take the second short before Maresca curls a low cross into the heart of the Inter penalty area, but it's underhit and fails to find a white shirt in front of goal.
What a chance for Palermo! Chochev cuts inside from the left wing and heads towards the edge of the Inter box before whipping a beautiful pass across the face of goal. It flies past two defenders before reaching Hiljemark, but the Swedish midfielder misses the ball before Gilardino does the same at the far post. Any sort of contact would have resulted in an equaliser for the visitors.
Palermo start the second half in positive fashion as they quickly work the ball down the right wing before earning themselves a throw-in. It's taken swiftly before Vazquez is teed up on the edge of the penalty area, but the goalscorer ends up firing his first-time strike several yards over the top of the crossbar.
And we're underway once again!
The two teams are making their way back out onto the pitch ahead of the start of the second half. Neither side have made any substitutions during the half-time break.
And just like that Palermo are back in the game! It looked as if it was going to be plain sailing for Inter, who have constantly found plenty of joy when swarming into the visitors' half of the pitch. Perisic, Icardi, Palacio and, in particular, Ljajic have all looked excellent with the ball at their feet, but at the back they switched off momentarily and were made to pay by the pace of Rispoli and the goal-scoring instinct of Vazquez. As a result, what was once a comfortable lead is now just a slender one, meaning that we're set for a frantic final 45 minutes.
A. Rispoli
Assist Andrea Rispoli
F. Vázquez
GOAL! Palermo have pulled one back! Rispoli charges down the right wing on an excellent run and beats Nagatomo and Murillo before whipping a low cross into the heart of the Inter penalty area. It perfectly sets up Vazquez, who darts in front of Miranda with ease before firing his first-time strike into the roof of the net. Game on!
Medel charges into Maresca and catches the Palermo midfielder on the ankle with his studs raised, and the referee immediately awards the visitors a free-kick in a very dangerous position 30 yards away from the Inter goal. The 36-year-old steps up and unleashes a strike from the set-piece, but it's poorly hit and fails to beat the wall of black and blue shirts camped in front of him.
Icardi almost makes it 3-0! Perisic charges down the left wing and beats Rispoli with ease before sending a wonderful low cross towards he near post. It almost meets the striker but ends up flying just past his outstretched foot before bouncing off the body of Gonzalez and away from danger.
Nagatomo has swapped wings with D'Ambrosio and is continually causing problems for Rispoli down the left flank. Once again, he links up well with Ljajic and skips past the Palermo wing-back before curling a looping cross into the penalty area, but Gonzalez is there to thump the ball away from danger with a vital clearance.
The resulting corner is flung into the middle of the penalty area, where it finds Miranda, but the Brazilian defender is unable to direct his header towards goal. It instead loops over to Murillo, but his fellow centre-back is also unable to test Sorrentino and instead sends his tame effort flying comfortably wide of the near post and out for a goal-kick.
And now Perisic goes close! The Croatian cuts inside from the right wing and heads towards the edge of the Palermo box before unleashing a thumping low strike from 25 yards out. It looks set to find the bottom right-hand corner of the goal, but Sorrentino is there to push it round the near post with an excellent one-handed save.
Chance for Vazquez! Palermo are finally able to push forward on a determined attacking move that results in an opportunity on goal. Quick passing ends with Hiljemark on the edge of the Inter penalty area, and the Swedish midfielder then flicks a lovely pass back to the Italian striker. He immediately fires a rocket of a strike towards the top right-hand corner of the net, but Carrizo does well to push it away from danger with a diving save.
Another great tackle inside the Palermo penalty area! Icardi receives the ball with his back to goal, and he quickly spins round Vitiello before teeing up Palacio. The Inter number eight charges towards the byline and looks set to unleash a thumping shot, but just as he's about to he's dispossessed by an excellent sliding interception by Rispoli.
Nagatomo picks up the ball on the left wing and immediately sends a wonderful pass past two Palermo players and into the path of Icardi. The striker quickly curls a great low cross into the middle of the box, where Palacio is waiting patiently, but Gonzalez is just about able to cut out the danger at the vital moment.
What a chance for Ljajic to make it 3-0! The Serbian has been running riot inside the final third of the pitch, and he does so once again after being left in far too much space on the edge of the Palermo penalty area. He skips past Gonzalez with ease before unleashing a thumping shot from 20 yards out, but, off balance, it ends up sailing comfortably wide of the goal. He really should have done better with that opportunity!
Again, Palermo initially work the ball around well inside the Inter half of the pitch before Hiljemark tries to chip a pass into the path of Gilardino, but it's completely overhit and misses the striker by quite some distance before bouncing harmlessly out of play for a goal-kick.
Palermo immediately push forward from the restart as they desperately try to find a way back into the game, but nothing seems to be working whenever they're in the final third of the pitch, and once again poor passing lets them down at the vital moment.
M. Icardi
GOAL! Inter have doubled their lead! Palacio picks up the ball deep down the right wing and, as was the case with the opening goal, isn't closed down quick enough by the Palermo defenders. He then curls a lovely cross into the middle of the penalty area, where it finds Icardi, and the striker does wonderfully well to tap a deft shot past both Gonzalez and Sorrentino and into the bottom left-hand corner of the net.
R. Palacio
Assist Rodrigo Sebastián Palacio
A half-hearted Inter attack breaks down, allowing Palermo to break away on a rare counter-attack. Vazquez charges through the middle of the pitch and decides to unleash an audacious 40-yard strike after spotting Carrizo off his line, but the Argentine is quick to rush back and is easily able to deal with the Italian's shot.
It seems as if Icardi is going to be able to continue, and after receiving an ice pack to the face for a few moments he's able to jog back on to the pitch as the game gets underway once again.
Icardi looks to be in some pain after receiving a whack on the head from Andelkovic. The two came together on the edge of the Palermo penalty area as the striker tried to tee up Palacio, and the Argentine ended up receiving a nasty blow to the temple from the Slovenian defender.
Vitiello is caught sleeping on the ball deep down the left flank, and Palacio is quick to dispossess the defender before sending the ball over to Ljajic. The Serbian is in a similar position to the one that he was in when he scored and decides to shoot once again, but this time his low strike is slightly scuffed and sails comfortably wide of the Palermo goal.
Excellent defending by Nagatomo! Hiljemark is left in too much space in the middle of the pitch, allowing him to pick up the ball 30 yards away from the Inter goal before sending a lovely pass over to Chochev. The Bulgarian controls it well on the edge of the penalty area before looking to shoot, but just as he's about to do so the Japan international dives in the way to dispossess the midfielder with a vital tackle.
Once again, Hiljemark does well to dart down the right wing and beat D'Ambrosio before latching on to a clipped pass from Gilardino, but, as was the case a few minutes ago, the midfielder's run is slightly mistimed and he's flagged offside before he can send a cross into the penalty area.
A. Ljajić
GOAL! Inter have taken the lead! Ljajic picks up the ball in a pocket of space 25 yards away from the Palermo goal, and he immediately skips past Maresca and Andelkovic, both of whom failed to get close enough to the Serbian, before unleashing a lovely low shot that flies past the outstretched arms of Sorrentino and into the bottom left-hand corner of the net.
I. Perišić
Assist Ivan Perišić
Palacio and Nagatomo link up well deep down the right flank before the Japan international cuts into the Palermo penalty area. He then tries to pick out Icardi with a chipped cross towards the back post, but Sorrentino is just about able to tip it away from the striker to stop the ball from finding his head.
After spending the opening seven minutes largely on the back foot, Palermo are finally able to push forward on an attack of their own. They do so well through Hiljemark, who battles with D'Ambrosio before earning his side a corner. He quickly whips it to Maresca, who then tries to tee up the Swedish midfielder once again, but he unleashes his pass slightly too early and the linesman's flag is quickly raised for offside.
Inter patiently work the ball around just inside the Palermo half of the pitch before Rodrigo flies forward on a marauding run through the middle of the field. He then tries to tee up Perisic on the left wing but his attempted pass is completely mishit and flies past the winger before rolling out of play for a throw-in.
After an even start to the game from both sides, Inter break down the left flank through Perisic. The Croatian heads towards the byline before spinning and teeing up Palacio, and the Argentine has the opportunity to send a first-time cross into the Palermo penalty area but doesn't react quick enough. As a result, it allows the visitors to quickly step up and put the hosts under pressure, which forces them into sending the ball back to the halfway line.
And we're off! Inter get us underway, attacking from right to left.
The two sides are making their way out onto the pitch, with just a few minutes to go until kick-off.
Meanwhile, Palermo boss Giuseppe Iachini has decided to make just two alterations to the side that featured in last weekend’s goalless draw at home to Bologna, with Josip Posavec and Michel Morganella making way for Stefano Sorrentino and Andrea Rispoli.
Roberto Mancini has decided to make four changes to the Inter side that started the Coppa Italia defeat against Juventus during the week, with Miranda, Jeison Murillo, Rodrigo Palacio and Mauro Icardi all returning to the starting line-up to replace Davide Santon, Juan Jesus, Marcelo Brozovic and Eder, respectively.
Palermo substitutes: Posavec, Bentivegna, Cionek, Brugman, Quaison, Balogh, Struna, Cristante, Jajalo, Alastra, Morganella, Djurdjevic.
Palermo XI (3-5-2): Sorrentino; Vitiello, Gonzalez, Andelkovic; Rispoli, Hiljemark, Maresca, Chochev, Pezzella; Vazquez, Gilardino.
Inter substitutes: Jesus, Biabiany, Telles, Santon, Eder, Gnoukouri, Berni, Brozovic, Melo, Manaj, Radu.
Inter XI (4-2-3-1): Carrizo; D’Ambrosio, Miranda, Murillo, Nagatomo; Medel, Kondogbia; Perisic, Palacio, Ljajic; Icardi.
There’s just over 15 minutes left to go until kick-off, so let’s have a look at how the two teams will be lining up this evening…
Whilst it’s little under two years since Palermo last beat Inter, they have struggled when visiting the San Siro, and, as a result, they have never beaten the Nerazzurri on their home turf. The closest they came in recent years was a thrilling 4-4 draw in February 2012, but their opponents head into this afternoon’s game with recent history firmly on their side, as they have been victorious in six of the last ten Milan-based meetings between the two teams.
Palermo may have won their opening two games of the season but since then it has been a miserable campaign, leaving them narrowly outside of the relegation zone in 17th place and in real danger of dropping down into the bottom three if results don’t soon improve. The Rosanero are now without a win in their last six league games, and in that time they have let in 13 goals, five of which came in a 5-0 thrashing at the hands of Roma two weeks ago. The club decided to reappoint former boss Giuseppe Iachini in the hope that the 51-year-old can save their season, but with his first game in charge resulting in the aforementioned thumping against the Giallorossi, the omens don’t look good, and, despite Inter’s own struggles in recent weeks, today’s clash is sure to be another tough ask for the Sicilians.
After enjoying an excellent start to the season that saw them rocket ahead at the top of Serie A, it’s been a disappointing couple of months for Inter, who have slipped down the table due to several poor performances and, as a result, now sit in fifth place, eight points away from a Champions League qualification spot. January’s worrying winless run of four games was brought to an end with a narrow 1-0 victory at home to Chievo at the start of last month, but since then the Nerazzurri have won just once, furthering the gap between themselves and third-place Roma. Last Sunday saw them lose 2-0 against Juventus before going on to be knocked out by the reigning champions in the Coppa Italia during the week, but today’s game presents them with a great chance to bounce back and pick up three much-needed points, as they face a side that have beaten them just once in the last six meetings between the two teams.
Good evening and welcome to our live text commentary of today’s Serie A game between Inter and Palermo at San Siro.