Inter vs Villarreal 1st Leg Match Report
In the first leg of Champions League Quarter Final Inter come away with a 2-1 win over Spanish side Villarreal at home in the San Siro. Its a good result but not one that secures qualification as Villarreal scored only 45 seconds into the match but credit to Inter for staying calm and coming back for the win. It was a good test of charachter and gives Inter a lead that can be built upon next week in Spain.
Inter start the match with only one change from the Parma game as Samuel comes in for Materazzi at the back. Wome keeps his place after his horrible mistake on the weekend with Recoba playing along side Adriano up front. Villarreal came looking for an away goal and lined up with an offensive formation with Riquelme playing behind Jose Mari and Forlan.
The game starts in the worst possible manner for Inter as Villarreal score only 45 seconds into the match. Jose Mari blows by Wome who once again looked very shaky all game and shoots at Toldo from close range. The keeper makes a great instinct save but could do nothing as the rebound falls for Forlan who scores in the gaping net to make it 1-0.
Inter could have went into early shock but instead came right back only 2 minutes later as Adriano was unlucky not to score as he beats the offside trap and with goalie rushing out he lobs the ball into the far corner but spanish defender Javi Venta clears the ball off the line and save the goal. It only took a few more minutes though as Adriano gets his goal that the 7th minute mark as Recoba feeds Stankovic on the right side. The Serbian National Team player slots the ball into the center where a defender misses the clearence giving Adriano time to turn and shoot under the keeper from close range to make it 1-1.
Recoba shortly after tries to put Inter in the lead with a great left foot shot from outside the area that dips and bounces but the keeper does well to turn it aside for a corner. It was Recoba's last touch of the ball as he calls for a sub and looks to be injured with Martins taking his place at the 28th minute of the first half.
Inter have the game in control with Villareal only a threat from dead ball situations taken by Riquelme. Adriano does his best from free kicks as well but misses wide twice and also missed a header in the first half to take the lead. The first half ends 1-1 with Inter cursing themselves for letting in the early goal.
Inter was the superior team and if not for the error would have been worthy of being ahead at the break. J. Zanetti and Stankovic on the right side were spectacular as Stankovic provided great width and crosses while J. Zanetti shows all his worth with amazing runs and slaloms cutting inside the park leaving players behind in his wake. He almost scores a wonder goal as he runs from center to the edge of box beating players but his left footer goes a bit to high.
The same cannot be said on the left side as both Wome and Cesar were disappointing at best. The first for his error in marking on the goal but more so for stray passes all game resulting in lost balls and lost possesion. Cesar did not do much at all in the first half as he rarely beat his man to get to the byline and only provided a few decent crosses in the second half.
The second half is much of the same as the first with Inter holding the upper hand via great play by Zanetti and Stankovic on the right side. Stankovic does well to beat his man and run in sending a shot/cross to the far post which Martins knows little about but runs into the ball and scoring to make it 2-1 and give Inter the deserved lead.
Inter insist on finding another goal which was not too arrive but also left counter-attack space on a few occasions but Toldo came up big when needed to keep the game secure. Villarreal is a good team with some good players but do not seem to have the class to really worry Inter except for one player that is. Riquelme is the heart and soul and all good things came from his play as he started many attacks with accurate passing and he will need to be looked after more carefully in the second leg.
Riquelme was unlucky not to get a goal as he smacks a wonderful free kick off the crossbar which had Toldo beat but luckily for Inter rang off the bar. Mancini decides to hold the scoreline and take the lead into the second leg as he takes off Cesar and brings on Materazzi. J. Zanetti pushes up to the right wing as Materazzi goes into the center of defence with Stankovic switching sides to the left.
Inter look tired in the final 15 minutes of the match and although another goal would have been priceless it was not too arrive on this day. Martins came close near the end as Adriano does well to keep a ball from going out and crosses to the near post but the keeper is equal to the header by Martins and made a good save to avoid the 3-1 goal.
Like I said at the start it was a good win considering Inter came from behind after being shocked by an early goal but the qualification is not secure due to the away goal. Another worthy effort will be needed next week in Spain!!! Good news is both Adriano and Martins found the net tonight which should give them a morale boost and hopefully help them find there shooting boots more often in this critical final phase of the season.
good post eddo,
IMO bit harsh on Wome,he tried valiantly to fill cesars gaps,
IMO his passing game was good
cant really blame him for the first(well a bit)
thanks for keeping it real champ
Great job as always Eddy.
Forza Inter per sempre!!!!
Jose responding after the derby:"We could only have lost by having six people on the park, as even with seven, we would have won. "
New Domain name www.forzainterforums.com
Pretty good. Do you plan on becoming a sports journalist? Could work out for you?