Inter beat Lecce at home today by a scoreline of 3-0 in a match that looked more like a training session under heavy rain than a Serie A showdown. Inter cruise home and win the three points with ease as Martins, Stankovic and in form Striker Julio Cruz seal the deal with a goal each.
More good news regarding this match is that Inter's defenisve streak of not letting in a goal at home also remains intact as they have not conceeded in 543 minutes with the shut out tonight. Lecce on the other hand swing the other way with 11 away games without a win and 27 goals scored against.
Inter look to forget the Palermo match last week and did so beating Artmedia in the Champions League and followed up with another impressive win all be it against a lack lustre opposition. Mancini does not commit his Palermo mistake and goes back to a standard 4-4-2 formation with Stankovic and Figo wide and Veron-Cambiasso combo in the middle. Ze Maria returns to the squad in the right-back role with Cordoba and Materazzi holding the center while Samuel serves his last game suspension. Julio Cesar in goal, Favalli at left back and Martins-Adriano up front complete the Inter eleven.
Inter begin to fly from the start using the wings with both Figo and Stankovic doing well beating players and sending crosses. The two wingers also swaped sides often causing havoc on the Lecce defence and not giving points of reference. Inter's defence was solid with the protection of both Cambiasso and Veron who did very well tracking back but also keeping the tempo high which was something Veron did not do against Palermo.
Adriano was not at his brightest but did start the game well exciting the crowd with 2 or 3 back heel passes to free Martins and Stankovic. It was raining hard in Milan today so it made the task a little tricky but Inter played a disciplined and quick game to break through.
Lecce were really no match for this Inter side as they only really managed one chance with Vucinic at the 19th minute but his header went high and wide. It was Adriano who had the first chance for Inter as he exchanged with Martins at the top of the box but his central shot was well saved and out for a corner.
Its Martins that gets the opening goal of the game at the 25th minute as he takes a wonderful through ball from Cambiasso. Martins runs into the area with the ball looking a little too far ahead and the Lecce goalie sliding out to beat him. Martins pace pays off as he arrives first and chips the goalie with his left foot from a tough angle to make it 1-0.
With Inter now having the upper hand, Lecce's defensive plan was shot and Inter score again only 4 minutes later as Veron sends in a wonderful cross-assist to the far post. Stankovic is not picked up and he has a free lane to the net and shoots on goal. He did not really connect with the ball and it was a more a miss-shot than anything else but it was still enough to beat the keeper and make it 2-0 at the 29th minute of the first half.
Lecce is shell shocked at this point and Cambiasso could have scored the third goal at the 32nd minute but his shot hits the outside of the post after a wonderful collective move. Lecce try to hold there head up and regain some of the momentum but Inter were tight in all area's and controlled the final 10 minutes of the half with ease.
Inter start the second half without any changes and the game does not offer any surprises. Lecce have no answers and Inter are content to move the ball well and use Figo and Stankovic as outlets often. Veron still does well to keep the tempo up as he passes the ball quickly and combines with Cambiasso well who once again owned the midfield.
Mancini waits to make his changes as Inter were in total control and then took out Figo for C. Zanetti to secure the match. Cruz also came on for Martins and Pizarro for Adriano in the last 10 minutes as Inter played with Cruz upfront alone and Veron pushed wide to the right side.
Its Veron again who provides another wonderful assist into the path of Julio Cruz who is in impressive form. Veron's ball was a mid-height floating cross that Cruz controls with his chest on the penalty spot and shoots with his right foot pastthe keeper with ball never touching the ground and all taken in stride.
It was a wonderful goal and a perfect way to stamp Inter's win over Lecce. Inter could have had a few more goals today but the Lecce goalkeeper did come up strong on several shots to keep the score to only three goals. Adriano did well in terms of playing for the team but was not his usual dominant self today.
In my opinion Mancini should have taken Adriano off at half time or at least early in the second to give him a rest. It was clearly evident that we could win this game and even if Lecce scored we had enough fire power today to get one back. With Inter playing against Chievo on Wednesday it would have been wise to spare Adriano rather than leave him on until the final 10 minutes.
Still it was a very easy win and if nothing else should help boost moral of the squad. After the horrible loss to Palermo a win in the Champions League and an even easier win tonight against Lecce was just what the doctor ordered!