So the season finally began at the Stadio Bentegodi and all eyes were on Roberto Mancini's new look Inter side.
The home side didn't have the likes of Luciano and Moro but Inters problems were worse.Already they had Cristiano Zanetti and Ivan Cordoba missing through suspension from last seasons games,while Obefemi Martins,Carlos Gamarra and new acquisition Nicolas Brdisso were coming back from injury.This is how the teams started -
Toldo, Zanetti, Davids, Adriano, Mihajlovic, Ze Maria, Veron, Favalli, Materazzi, Stankovic, Vieri
Bench - Fontana, Emre, Cruz, Cambiasso, Recoba, Pasquale, Della Fiore
Marchgiani, Semioli, Baronio, Franchescini, Lanna, Cossato, Cesar, Mandelli, Pelissier, Brighi, D'Anna
Bench - Marcon, Tiribocchi, Amauri, Pesaresi, De Franchesci, Allegretti, Malago'
So at 6 O'Clock in Italy Serie A was go as referee Gianluca Paparesta blew his whistle to signal the beginning of the game.The first ten minutes of the game were rather quiet and Chievo had more amount of play with chances falling to Cossato and Pelissier among others.However slowly Roberto Mancini's side who was playing with an injury and suspension swept defence started to get the pendulum swinging towards themselves.
Adriano and Vieri combined well after just over ten minutes - moments before Neo-Nerazzurri Giuseppe Favalli was yellow carded for fouling former Inter player Semioli.The first goal of the game came after a quarter of an hour as birthday boy Dejan Stankovic sent the ball over Chievo keeper Luca Marchgiani.Cesars mistake in chesting the ball too lightly from Verons cross was penalised when the lively Serb pounced with a kind of lob over the former Lazio 'keeper.
So the pendulum was clearly swinging in the favour of the away side and the stadium suddenly became very quiet,except for the Inter fans of course.Within the next 5 inutes Inter had two very different moments.The first one on 18 minutes ''La Brujita'' picked out Stankovic with a pass,however Dejan headed the ball wide.The next event however was more worrying.Semioli of Chievo sent a right wing cross to Franchescini who then headed the ball towards goal.He had well and truly beaten Francesco Toldo but luckily for Inter,Marco Materazzi was on the line to clear the ball and evade a goal.
Being honest this was an entertaining game that could have another goal any minute.For example in the next 8 minutes both teams had two clear cut chances,Pelissier and Vieri particularly.On 28 minutes Chievos deadlock was broken.After Vieris great chance at the other end,the Flying Donkeys went on the counter and Semioli scored to make the scores equal.After that Mihajlovic - who missed his header when he could have intercepted the goal made a crunching tackle on Cossato.This signaled another brief spell of Inter dominance.Ze Maria and Adriano both had good chances missed.
Suddenly Inter's aim was just to get to half time with the scores still 1-1,but on 37 minutes Chievo completed part of their comeback through D'Annas volley which beat Toldo.This had turned into Inter's worst 9 minutes of the game - they had conceded 2 goals and were now behind.The rest of the half was chance after chance of wasted Inter attempts as Adriano, the ever frustrating Vieri,Stankovic and Ze Maria all had chances to score.
No changes for either side at the break.After just one minute Chievo were temporarily down to 10 minutes as Mandelli was taken off the pitch after an aerial duel.And then 2 minutes after that Adriano got his 4th goal of this whole season with an unstoppable shot from the Brazilian bomber.He played a 1-2 with teammate Vieri and he hoofed the ball into the bottom right corner of the net.2-2.The rest of the match was rather dull,the main events being Mihajlovic receiving a yellow card,more chances for Vieri and co,some more chances for Chievo and the tremendous sight of seeing the tri attack of Adriano-Vieri-Recoba in full flight!
Pictures from the game:
Vieri's incredible miss!
Ze Maria - so close!
Estaban Cambiasso makes his Serie A debut
MY RATINGS -
Toldo - 6/10 He wasn't on full form at all for us but he wasn't exactly awful either
J.Zanetti - 6/10 Was very quiet and will be hoping to inspire his troops a bit more on Tuesday
Davids - 6,5/10 Despite also being quiet,he did not make any glaring errors and will only improve
Adriano - 7,5/10 Our empreror was on semi decent form today.Playing mainly as a support striker,he still got a great goal
Mihajlovic - 3,5/10 Terrible and awful.He missed headers and missed defenders.Lets just hope he never playes again
Ze Maria - 7,5/10 A bright spark in a dim match.Had some good shots and game desperately close
Veron - 6,5/10 Made some good crosses and passes and had quite alot of touches.The little witch wasn't too bad atall
Favalli - 6/10 Very quiet and ineffective,got injured early on and he never seemed 100%
Materazzi - 6,5/10 He had a big responsibility in defence and did not do too badly
Stankovic - 7,5/10 The birthday boy gets another goal!He plyed wella nd was our liveliest player
Vieri - 6,5/10 You can't complain at his effort but his finishing was pretty appalling,give him time
Cambiasso - no rating
Recoba - no rating