Inter - Fiorentina: Match Report
With all the hype this week around the Champions League Draw and the Euro-Derby between Inter and Milan it was time to get back to Serie A with Fiorentina as this weeks opponent. Inter come away with a 3-2 victory over the Viola with goals by Cambiasso, Veron and Cordoba but the news of the day is Adriano.
The Brazilian striker suffered what looks to be a knee injury just before Half Time and was forced to leave the match. Reports suggest that it is a knee strain but at this moment the extent of the injury or the rehab period is still unknown until further tests can be done this week. Lets hope its nothing serious!
As for the match, it was typical Inter with total control of the game but still forced to suffer to the end as Fiorentina came back into the match to cut the lead to one goal in the final minutes. Mancini made a few changes to the squad as Materazzi was suspended and Stankovic injured from the Porto match.
The squad was still in a 4-4-2 formation but saw Veron line up in the center of the pitch along side Cambiasso with two natural wingers in Kily and Van Der Meyde on the flanks. Mijhalovic takes position in the center of the defence with Favalli returning to the left side. Up front Adriano and Cruz are confirmed with Vieri and Martins still nursing slight injuries.
Its Inter who take control of the match from the start. Cambiasso, Veron and Kily all looked in inspired mood as Cambiasso held the midfield, Veron did well to distribute and Kily provided width many times in the first half hour helping to stretch the Fiorentina defence.
Fiorentina did leave the upper hand to Inter but played well as a team and were highlighted by great performances by Chiellini on defence and Obodo in the midfield. Inter though was by the superior team and got the goal via Cambiasso as he scores a wonderful volley from the top of the box that goes past the keeper to make it 1-0 at the 27th minute.
Zoff decides quickly to change things around and immediatly after the goal brings on Maresca for Donadel. The move did not change the game much but the story of the day came to be at the 40th minute when Adriano collides with Maresca and twists his knee slightly. Adriano goes off the pitch and looked to be in some pain which forced Mancini to bring on Martins and hope Adriano will be ok for the Champions League.
If the injury was not bad enough in the final minutes, Fiorentina also equalize at the 41st minute as Inter are unable to clear a viola corner kick. Miccoli sends in a counter cross that is knocked back by Chiellini to the center of the box. Mijhalovic is left behind Pazzini who picks the low corner with a semi-bicycle kick that beats Toldo to make it 1-1 at the half.
Conceeding the goal was just a bump in the road as Inter come out strong again in the second half and quickly take back the lead after only 8 minutes. Veron scores to make it 2-1 with a wonderful shot from outside the box that finds the top corner after Cordoba lays off the ball from a Mijhalovic free kick. It was a blast of a shot with the outside the of his right foot that curled all the way past the keeper.
Fiorentina throw themselves forward trying to find another goal and come close with the excellent Chiellini who although is a defender was a major threat going forward. His long range shot was a blast that luckily curled to late and hit the side netting with Toldo surely beaten.
Inter get the insurance goal at the 20th minute of the second half as Mijhalovic takes a corner kick that Cordoba runs onto at the near post and heads past the keeper to make it 3-1. The goal takes the wind out of Fiorentina's sails and allows Inter to settle in and take the points. Mancini brings on C. Zanetti for Kily and Emre for Van Der Meyde. The two wingers did some good things in the first half but I would not say that either Kily or Van Der Meyde did anything outstanding to earn there place in the squad. Infact both disappeard for most the second half.
With the game all but won it would not be Inter if they did not make things harder on themselves. Inter drop the tempo of the game slightly and allow Fiorentina possesion in the remaining minutes. Nakata is found all alone at the far post and although his angle is too tough to shoot, he sends a hard blast across the face of goal that comes off Cordoba and goes in for the own goal and the 3-2 scoreline with minutes left.
Inter hold strong however and bring home the points as they reach 50 points in Serie A and take 3rd place from Sampadoria who lost. It was a good win, one that will help Inter gain a Champions League spot next year.
The season now rthough eally comes down to the double clash against Milan in the Champions League. Lets hope that Adriano is ok and the injury is not serious.