Valencia - Inter Report
Inter are a perfect 3-0 in the Champions League as they beat Valencia 5-1 with a stunning second half performance and lead the group with 9 points. Inter played well in the first half controlling the game but the second half sparked five goals by five different players (Stankovic, Vieri, Van Der Meyde, Adriano, Cruz) that grant the fans an amazing night surpassing even that of last years win at Highbury.
Inter came on to the pitch with determination and the will to play there game from start to finish and not resort to 10 man defending as in past matches against Valencia under Cuper. It was a world class performance capped off by a real star in Adriano who assisted 2 goals, scored one and brought the fans to a standing ovation as he step over and spins 360 degrees to beat the goalie and the defender. If he would have scored it may have went down as one of the greatest goals in history but the skill and control was still pure genius!
Valencia lined up in a 4-4-1-1 formation due to missing players like Mista and Vincente and played with Aimar behind Divaio up front. Mancini responds with the a 4-4-2 placing Cambiasso above the defence with Emre, Veron and Stankovic in the midfield. On defence Corodoba, Materazzi, Burdisso and Favalli made up the back line while Mancini once again left Toldo on the bench and started with Fontana in goal. Adriano and Vieri were the attacking duo up front, with Vieri taking the central position and Adriano starting out wide and behind.
The match starts off well with both teams moving at pace. Ranieri hoped that Aimar could be the spark for his side but with Cambiasso above the defence he controlled his runs and brought order to the Inter back third. Cordoba kept Angulo in check while Favalli on the left side held Rufete for much of the first half leaving Burdisso and Materazzi to keep watch on DiViao.
The midfield made up of the remaining 3 players Veron, Stankovic and Emre did not provide much width but there swapping of positions created many problems for Valencia and there marking. Veron would often drift wide to the right while Emre would cover the middle and although did not influence much in the first half should be credited with winning alot of balls in the middle. Stankovic on the other side played wide on the left and cut into the middle on the offensive side of things adding support to Vieri and Adriano up front.
Without much width, Inter played alot through the middle and in the first half tried to verticalize the play to Vieri and Adriano. The Valencia defence held well but was no match on a few occasions to stop Adriano. The brazilian star took the team on his own a few times making runs and beating defenders starting from 30-40 meters out. Adriano also had the best chance of the half as Stankovic breaks in from the left side comes into the area and feeds Adriano who is on the penalty spot. Its a sure goal but his shot just runs wide of the post keeping the game scoreless.
With so much play through the middle, Valencia held firm and Inter fell into the offside trap and was called offside on 8 occasions in the first half alone. Valencia on the offensive side threatened once with DiViao who redirected a low cross but Fontana made a great diving save to keep the game level and half time came with a 0-0 scoreline.
At the start of the second half Mancini takes out Burdisso and brings on J. Zanetti to help provide some width to Inter's play. Just like against Udinese, Inter come out flying and this time score two goals in two minutes the first with Stankovic who heads in a Favalli cross from the left and puts the ball into the far corner as he beats his marker and fly's high to make it 1-0.
Two minutes later its Adriano who is wide on the right side that sends in a cross for Vieri at the far post. The ball is headed by a defender but the ball does not clear and falls for Vieri who volleys it with the outside of his foot. It leaves the Valencia keeper motionless and scores to make it 2-0 at the 4th minute of the second half.
Minutes later its Adriano who brings the crowd to there feet as he runs on to a through ball. The Goalie runs out and Adriano goes around him with ball on foot and enters the right side of the box. With a defender in chase, Adriano puts one foot on the ball, spins 180 degrees and knocks it with his other heel through the defenders legs and completes his spin to regain control of the ball. Adriano was now at a tough angle and shot for the net but hit the side netting. All I can say is that the move was worth the price of admission even without the goal!
With Valencia being 2-0 down and the fans support the spanish side does move forward to try and get a result. Inter's defence held well but Di Viao is a world class player and although the attacks were isolated he was able to first gain a through ball and hit a one timer past Fontana that hit the post. At the other end, Adriano volleys a pass that puts Stankovic all alone in front of the net but his low hard drive just misses the net.
The miss at the time was a costly one as minutes later is DiViaio once again breaks down the right side of the pitch. He plays a pass to the center of the area that Aimar puts into the top corner of the net to make it 2-1 and re-open the match.
Mancini decides to cover some bases and takes out Vieri at the 30 minute mark bringing on Van Der Meyde. Just seconds after the change, Van Der Meyde collects a great through ball from Adriano, pushes the ball past the last defender and puts a hard drive past the keeper to make it 3-1 and secure the points.
The goal took the wind right out of Valencia and Inter went on to increase the scoreline. Adriano gets his goal at the 81st minute as Zanetti runs up the right wing beating players on the way to find Adriano wide on the right. He feeds Adriano who attracts defenders his way while Zanetti continues his run. Adriano feeds the ball back to Zanetti who does a great job to beat his defender and enter the area towards the byline. Adriano runs to the center of the area to recieve the ball and makes it 4-1 from close range capping off a great move!
Mancini allows Adriano to take his standing ovation and brings on Cruz for the final minutes. Valencia is no longer on the pitch and Cruz has two chances to score but misses twice. He redeems himself on the third attempt as Stankovic plays him in one on one with the keeper and Cruz slots it to the corner to make it 5-1 in injury time.
The game was a spectacle to watch and the goals will serve to bring moral and confidence to a wonderful Inter side. With a win against Udinese, and crushing win against Valencia, its the perfect way to prepare for the Derby this coming Sunday!!
great reports Eddy, as usual
I read your report on thursday morning (the game was shown on thursday morning (from 1:30 to 5:00 AM)..
Great report Eddy ….. no wonder, yet another stuff by you !!
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. "
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