Inter vs Empoli Match Report
Inter earns its first win of the 2008-09 season with a 2-0 win over Empoli thanks to a double by Ibrahimovic. After the home draw last week all 3 points were needed and Inter did show some progress in respect to the last matches. They still seem to be in second gear but it was enough to go past an Empoli team who had a great season last year.
Mancini made a few changes from last week leaving out Figo and going with a suprise start for Cesar on the left hand side. Cambiasso made his first start of the season in the center of the park despite not being fully fit after the Copa America. His contribution was felt over the course of the match. Suazo also earned his first start, although he was unable to make it on the scoresheet he had a few good runs and shots.
Inter improved slightly over the last match with a little more possesion and movement off the ball. Once again its Ibra who is the fulcrum of the squad and he breaks the ice at the 13th minute as Maicon dribbles his man on the right side. He sends a perfect cross to the far post and Ibra is on spot to side foot in from close range through the keepers legs to make it 1-0.
Being a goal down, Empoli changes formation to a 3-4-3 when they attack but did well to drop 2 players back once they lost posession making it a 5 man defence which seemed to take Inter's attacking options away. The first half did not have much else to report other than a penalty claim by Saudati and a close range shot by Antonini who shot wide past Toldo.
The second half starts without changes for Inter while Empoli push Vanuccuchi to play as striker with Saudati out of the match. Again it was a pretty uneventful half with only a an effort from Suazo bringing out a good save by the Empoli keeper.
Empoli feel they are still in the match and with a squad bolstered by some new young talent they seem sharper and quicker as the second half goes on. Although the class between the two sides is evident, Empoli came closest to scoring but thankfully Toldo was ready with a great foot save from a close range header to keep Inter ahead.
Mancini makes his changes to help bring home the win and brings on Figo for Suazo and Chivu for Maxwell. Figo's addition helped as he was able to work between the midfield and attack and help hold up the ball when needed. It was also Figo who started the move for the second goal as he takes flight down the right hand side.
Figo makes a great run down the wing before passing central to Cesar who in turn finds a sweeping pass to Ibra who is hovering just on the edge of the offside on the left. As Cesar finds him with a final pass, Ibra does not think twice and shoots low and hard to the near post beating the Empoli keeper with only 8 minutes left in the match.
The 2-0 win brings Inter its first full points of the season bringing them to 4 points after two matches. It was not a great game but some progress was made especially with Cambiasso returning to the middle. Samuel also looked sharp in the back with a good overall performance. Hopefully with a little more fitness and the return to form of our Copa players Inter will get back to the spectacular play of last season.