Inter takes a step forward to gain something from an almost disaster of a season as they fight to gain Champions League qualification for next season. With Parma 2 points ahead at the start of the matchday and only game left next week a win was vital. Inter come away with a 1-0 win thanks to a free kick goal by Adriano.
The outcome of the season is now in Inter's hands as they have the one point advantage going into the last game. A win against Empoli next week will ensure a Qualifying round spot for the champions league which will also bring in millions that can be used towards transfers in the off season.
Before the match Zac declared that Adriano and Vieri were not an ideal fit and said only one of them would play. He chose Vieri to start. Although Zac changed the tactics for this one and played a 4-2-3-1 formation with Matrix, Cannavaro, Cordoba and J. Zanetti on defence. Two ball winners or (mediani in italian) in C. Zanetti and Emre above the defence with Stankovic, Kily and Kallon playing behind Vieri up front.
This formation may be new to Inter but they have the brighter start as the defence plays high. C. Zanetti and Emre do well to filter balls up to the trio behind Vieri and Stankovic does his best to send vertical balls for Vieri to run on to. Inter win a share of corner kicks and Stankovic was unlucky as he was unmarked and sends his header straight off the crossbar!
Minutes later Vieri takes advantage from a bad clearing attempt from the Parma backline. With the ball coming down in the area Vieri does well to win the ball, shield it from the defender and turned a great low shot to the corner. Once again it was unlucky as the ball went millimeters wide.
It was a great 15 minute spell where Inter should have scored twice but with the missed chances and Parma coming back into the match the game was wide open. Benny Carbone had the best chance for Parma as he breaks into the area and he volleys a great shot towards goal. The wood work was unlucky for Inter earlier, but it is what saved them on this attempt as the volley is destined for the top corner. Toldo just gets a finger nail to the ball and it hits the inside of the post and comes back out denying Carbone the goal.
Parma take the upper hand towards the end of the half as Carbone stays wide on the right and overlaps well with Marchioni. This is where Inter suffer most as Kily finds himself alone between these two players a few too many times. Parma though also has the same problem on the other side as Kallon playing wide does well to overlap with J. Zanetti causing the same effect and cancelling eachother out ending the half at 0-0.
In the second half Zac decides to make an early change and brings on Adriano for Kallon. You would expect Adriano to go up front and play along side Vieri but he follows the 4-2-3-1 formation and stays wide on the right side. It takes a few minutes for him to get his wings but when the ball finds his feet at the 17th minute, Adriano takes on 3 defenders, beats two but is fouled by the third and wins a free kick outside the area.
Emre gives the ball a touch and Adriano steps forward and unleashed a powerful low shot that goes past the wall and finds its way past Frey's out stretched hand and the inside of the post to make it 1-0 for Inter. With the lead, Inter continue to press forward and not settle for the only goal. Cordoba, Cannavaro and Materazzi control the defence with Vieri up front fighting hard and pressing high on every ball gave Inter the control. Vieri would get a yellow card though for his efforts and will miss the final game of the season due to suspension. His relationship with the fans seems to be more positive as he left the pitch to an ovation by the crowd before coming off for Recoba.
The final portion of the match saw Parma try and come forward to equalize and Inter hitting back on the counter attack coming close with J. Zanetti who gets a great ball from a quick Emre free kick, but his side foot shot just misses the far post in injury time. The win gives Inter the upper hand and could be vital in obtaining the minimum goal set at the start of the season. Inter must win next week against Empoli to at least end the season on a high note and prepare for the Champions League qualification this summer.