Hello Interfriends,

Inter take an important step towards the Coppa Italia Final as they gain a 1-1 result away to Cagliari in the first leg of the semi-final. Both goals come in the second half as Zola scores a wonderful free kick at the 5th minute and Martins levels the score minutes later as puts in a scramble from close range.

Looking back at the game, the first half was quite and boring with niether team playing at full speed. Cagliari actually had the edge in front of there home fans as Inter look to be a little sluggish and almost not interested in wasting too much energy.

Cagliari plays with a 3 man defence and a 3 man attack while Inter play the usual 4-4-2 with Materazzi playing way out of position as left back with Favalli out injured. The question must be asked...what happened to Coco? Materazzi may be an international and experienced player but he is in no way a left back. Even a half fit Coco could do a better job in the role. The move allowed Esposito full access to the left flank and put Materazzi under pressure on many occasions.

Inter tries to open the game more from long range efforts rather than working the ball into the area. Inter do have most of the possesion but Cagliari held there own as Alvarez was able to create some counter attacks finding Esposito on the left wing creating chances against Materazzi.

Adriano started along side Martins up front but with Inter's play he was not finding the service needed to break through. Adriano often went back into the midfield to get balls but was then too far from goal and also had to rely on long range shots and wasted energy as he went back and forth from midfield to striker.

The second half starts with a bang as both goals are scored within the first 10 minutes. Cagliari takes the lead at the 5th minute as Zola scores on a perfect free kick into the top corner that Carini has no chance on. The foul was given as the ref awarded a free kick to Cagliari as Carini was judged to handle the ball outside the area. Carini was only given a yellow but Zola made him pay with his effort.

The celebration is short lived as Martins ties the game at the 7th minute as his movement allows him to win a scramble in the box and put the ball in from close range and gain an important away goal. Although the game was boring in the first half, the second half was sparked to life by the goals and the game was once again exciting to watch.

Inter now moved the ball well and began to play with more speed and vertical passes. Cagliari on the other side kept going for the result as they were able to fly down the wings with Esposito being the main target.

Both teams make changes to try and get the important lead as Mancini takes off Karagounis and brings on Stankovic to play down the left side. Mancini also changes the striking partnership as Vieri comes in for a tired Adriano and Cruz takes the place of Martins. Cagliari bring on fresh legs as well with Gobbi and Brambilla coming in but the none of the changes bring the desired effect for the teams and the match ends 1-1 with both sides able to take positives from the match.