Inter - Palermo
An almost full Giuseppe Meazza was the host of Inter – Palermo. The away fans were present with an impressive 10000 fans. Referee Paolo Bertini was assisted by linesmen Baglioni and Allesandroni and fourth referee Prechern. The match was kicked of at 2030 by the visitors who were playing in white with pink and purple stripes. Inter played in their usual black and blue.
Ze Maria – Cordoba – Materazzi – Pasquale
Andy VDM – Veron – Davids – Stankovic
Cruz – Adriano
Zaccardo – Biava – Barzagli – Grosso
Corini – Barone
Santana – Zauli – Gasbarroni
Veron produces a long ball forward for Adriano but Guardalben gets there first. Later Andy VDM makes a cross but again the goalkeeper collects the ball... At minute 4 Palermo win a free kick 40 meters out: Corini takes it but no one gets to the ball and Toldo get a goal kick. Quite worrying passivity but in the end no harm done. In the other end Cruz runs with the ball, then pass to VDM who crosses for Adriano who´s eventually anticipated.
Pasquale does well to tackle on the left but Corini gets a shot shortly after which is blasted way over the bar. Gasbarroni on the left challenges Ze Maria but the Brazilian won´t allow him to cross... Good play from him. A dangerous situation when the off side trap fails and Palermo has a man in the box but the cross is inaccurate and Materazzi heads clear. Again Gasbarroni dribbles and yet again Ze Maria is there to stop him – corner to the visitors. They take it quickly, then crosses and the ball goes out by the far post. They score but obviously Inter stopped playing because they knew the ball was out. Hence the goal was correctly disallowed.
Inter´s offensive play is very fluid and some nice first touch football is displayed. In minute 13 Stankovic fires a shoot but it´s blocked and Inter win a corner. Ze Maria takes it and gets the ball again, then makes a bad cross and Palermo can play the ball away. VDM receives on the right flank from Veron and advance through the middle where he dribbles well then he´s aticipated and Cruz blasts wide. Adriano is clearly wrestled but no free kick...
Ze Maria takes a free kick won on the right flank by Stankovic quickly by sending a low pass into the box for VDM who sees his shot blocked... Palermo now counter attack and Toni is caught offside and scores – goal dissallowed yet again. Again correctly. Corner to the visitors which is taken by Corini, the ball is out for a new corner. Due to the fact that Toni pushed Materazzi so that he fell the corner kick is taken again. Toldo plucks out the following corner, he´s fouled.
Santana forces Pasquale to give away a corner, Corini crosses but the ball is cleared. VDM gives a good cross to Cruz who chests the ball then tries to give it to Adriano. Perhaps he should have tried a shot himself in that situation. Palermo on the break where Inter are way too passive, they get a cross into the area but Ze Maria takes no chances and yet another corner to the Sicilians. Corini takes it but the ball is cleared again, Stankovic plays a diagonal long ball from the left to the right where Cruz gets it under control and sends a cross in for Stankovic who has a very big chance to score. He heads just wide from a few yards out. Good direct counter attack.
Toni and Materazzi in one of their many duels, this time an airduel in which Toni elbows Materazzi who instantly reacts in anger because he´s bleeding from his face. He is calmed down by his teammates and the referee gives no cards to Materazzi nor Toni which the latter clearly deserved. Whether it was on purpose or not. The Inter defender is under treatment now but they keep attacking; VDM sends another good cross into the area but a tight Sicilian defence gets the ball out of danger and starts a counter attack.
Inter get the ball again and Cruz is fouled 9 meters outside the penalty area. Veron thinks the wall is not far away and litterally shows it by taking long steps. For the record the wall was 9,15 meters away so it was stupid to begin with. Anyway he´s clearly showing disrespect and the ref gives him a yellow card. He then shoots the ball into the wall. Ironically...
Another free kick to Inter on the right flank, Ze Maria crosses but again the ball is cleared. Materazzi is back on the pitch again and the two tall players (Materazzi and Toni) shakes hands. He´s now wearing a little bandage on his left cheek. Mihajlovic is sitting in a suit next to Vieri on the bench... Quite funny.
Veron delivers a nice ball to Adriano on the left flank. The Brazilian takes on his opponents on the by line but the ball is out. Nonetheless this was a classic example of how he dictates the play from the midfield. Inter is in control and the passes are quick and accurate. Stankovic shoots from just outside the area and Guardalben can easily take it. 36 mintues have now been played.
Palermo go on the counter but this time Inter are more aggressive and wins a goal kick. Stankovic first lose the ball in midfield then tackles the Palermo player from behind. Yellow card to the Serb midfielder. From the following free kick there is no danger. Ze Maria crosses from the right wing to Cruz who´s positioned in the middle of the area where he could have tried to get a shot in by tricking his marker. Instead his plays back to Adriano, however the defence gets in the way. Goal kick to the visitors from Sicily.
Good combinations from Inter resulting in a pretty good chance to Veron to get a shot in but he blasts wide. Davids dribbles well down the middle and passes to Adriano who creates the space to lauch a lethal shoot that goes just wide. Davids is clipped from behind by Zauli who is consequently booked. Inter dominates but Palermo counter attack well. Davids makes a clumsy foul on Barone. He´s booked. Barone receives treatment after a challenge with Materazzi. Shambolic and poor marking and positioning play inside Inter´s are on the following free kick could have proved fatal. 48 minutes played and half time.
Inter kick off the second half. Some minutes into the half Ze Maria crosses from the right wing and Adriano beatifully heads the ball into the back of the net. 1-0!!! Assist by Ze Maria, goal by Adriano. The home side is boosted by the goal and continues to attack. This time Ze Maria passes short for Stankovic who with a back heel pass inside the area fails to find a teammate. Another attack is started, and after some school book combinations Pasquale is through on goal. He makes a hybrid of a shot and and a pass and the ball goes out for a goal kick.
Zauli is caught offside in the middle of a period where Inter is completely dominating. After some very good combinations Andy VDM fires a low, hard missile just wide. Good defending by Inter and Stankovic is fouled. Cruz is anticipated inside the box. Palermo are more into the game. But Andy VDM continues to be a problem for them. He dribbles down the middle and wins a free kick from which Adriano shoots hard and low into the hands of the goalkeeper. Materazzi plays a long ball forward to Adriano who shrugs off to defenders and makes fun of them, then shoots inside the box but it´s blocked.
Inter continue the attack and Davids dribbles a couple of players just outside the area then feeds the ball to Adriano who´s clear on goal with only the goalie to beat. But he shoots onto the goalkeeper and the rebound is blocked to a corner. Two huge chances wasted... Davids then blasts over the goal. Pasquale lose the ball in midfield and Palermo win a corner from a cross where Stankovic heads clear. Toldo catches Corini´s cross. Santana receives on the right but the Inter defence does well to eliminate the danger. Corini takes a shot but he hits it bad and it´s a goal kick for Inter.
First substitution: Gasbarroni out, Brienza in. After a defensive error by Pasquale Palermo get a big chance. It´s Brienza who gets it but he misses... Goal kick to Inter. Free kick from about 30 meters out. Corini´s cross is headed out for a corner by Materazzi who beats Toni to the ball. Toldo punches the corner kick out to a throw in. Zauli get way too much space on the right wing by a passive Inter, then dribbles past Pasquale, takes the ball to the by line and passes for Toni who beats Cordoba to the ball and scores. 1-1. Mistakes by Pasquale, Cordoba and other passive Inter players let this happen. Ecstacy within the Sicilian fans who travelled all the way to Milano.
Cordoba almost gives Toni a chance but rescues the situation himself. Santana receives on the left flank but Ze Maria does well to block his cross – corner. A quick combination surprises Inter and a shot is fired which Toldo just gets a nail on, the ball hits the inside of the post and ends in the arms of the Inter goalkeeper. 70 minutes played… Adriano sets up Stankovic inside the box and he shoots on it and it goes just over the bar. Martins in, Cruz out. Morrone in, Zauli out. Martins are seeking all opportunities and shoots outside the box but it´s too weak.
Pasquale and Adriano are combining on the left flank and the Brazilian ace gets to the by line and crosses for Stankovic who heads the ball to the feet of Martins who see his shot blocked. In the other end Inter´s defence are showing lack of aggressiveness and Toni almost gets a chance. Adriano are playing with the Sicilian´s defence but his final pass is inaccurate. Martins plays a one two with Andy VDM and uses his pace to get alone through on goal but his shirt is pulled by Biava and since he was the last man he´s correctly sent off. A real shame that he didn´t get to finish the chance...
But free kick from a good position outside the area. Adriano takes it hard and low but Guardalben catches the ball. Vieri in, Andy VDM out. Inter are now playing 4-3-3 with Adriano, Vieri and Martins as the “tridente”. Palermo also make a substitution: Conteh in, Santana out. Stankovic finds Adriano in the middle of the park. He takes a step with it then unleashes a ferocious, powerful missile from about 40 meters out which hits the bar. Incredible! The shot was later meassure to be 139,8 km/h... Inside the area Vieri heads Stankovic´ cross wide after some great combinations. Still 1-1 wtih 4 minutes to go.
Veron plays a beautiful pass to Stankovic on the left end of the area, he first times it to Martins who gets his shot blocked. Veron gives Martins the ball in his feet just inside the area, he´s surrounded by two defenders who just pricks the ball. Veron is storming forward to shoot at it but Martins dribbles it and the chance is lost... Poor marking and passivity in the black and blue defences gives Toni a big chance but he shoots directly on to Toldo. Grosso has a cramp and time is flying in the injury time. Inter gets the ball after playing Fair Play. In a last desperate attempt to score Veron plays a through ball to Stankovic inside the area but the ball goes out to a goal kick. It´s taken and full time. The game finished with a 1-1 draw.
Inter - Palermo 1-1
My evaluation: Inter´s offensive play was excellent only lacking cynicism in front of goal. The defence was strong for most parts of the match. But did struggle in the positional play and marking. At times the whole team was too passive. These things are definately things to improve in training. The result was not a catastrophy nor good enough. Palermo will be happy with this result.
Ze Maria 9
Andy VDM 7
Vieri (no rating)
Emre (no rating)
For Only Inter.