Minggu, 15 Maret 2009

Ibra Punishes Viola

The Swedish international was at his brilliant best tonight, as his brace guided Inter to a hard fought victory over Fiorentina

Pre-Match And Team News

Heading into this contest, Inter’s lead at the top of the Serie A standings was just four points, which came as a result of Juventus’ comprehensive 4-1 triumph over Bologna a day prior. Meanwhile, Fiorentina found themselves in fifth position, two points adrift of Genoa, a club that registered a 1-0 victory over Cagliari earlier in the round.

Fresh from their elimination from the Champions League, the Nerazzurri were determined to perform well in this fixture, however they would have to do it without several key defenders yet again, as the coach Jose Mourinho was without the likes of Ivan Cordoba, Marco Materazzi and Nicola Burdisso.

The Viola boss Cesare Prandelli was without his captain Dario Dainelli, who missed out through suspension, however with exception of the defender and the injured Mario Santana, he had a full strength squad available for this encounter.

First Half

Fiorentina got the play underway at the San Siro, and they managed to dominate the possession and the play early on, as they created several promising attacking thrusts in the opening five or so minutes. Despite playing in front of their own fans, Inter opted to play in their white and red away strip, to mark the end of their centenary celebrations for the final time.

The first effort of the contest came on 10 minutes to the visitors, and what a massive chance it was for the Viola to break the deadlock. Gilardino was wonderfully played through by Gamberini, and after making his way forward he decided to unselfishly cut the ball across the face of goal to his strike partner Mutu, only to see the Romanian fail to open the scoring, despite being one on one with Julio Cesar.

Incredibly, immediately following Mutu’s failure to beat the Inter keeper, Ibrahimovic opened the scoring, as he headed home from close range after 11 minutes of play. A dangerous ball into the area by Balotelli, was met by the head of Ibra, who at first saw his effort saved by Frey, however he made no mistake with his second effort, as he put the ball in to an unguarded net to make it 1-0.

Prandelli’s men kept at it, despite conceding an early goal, as they had a number of opportunities in the next ten minutes without fortune. Gilardino and Mutu continued to trouble the Inter back four, however the Nerazzurri held firm in defence, to ensure that the score remained 1-0 at the half hour mark. They did manage to put together a great attacking play of their own in this period, one that was almost finished off wonderfully by Stankovic, who beat Frey and unfortunately for his sake the post as well, after 27 minutes of play.

Balotelli picked up the first booking of the night, following a tough challenge in the middle of the park on Jorgensen, and that moment in play was arguably the highlight of the 10 minute period that followed the Stankovic effort. Maicon continued his dominant form on the right, whilst Santon excelled on the left, making life extremely difficult as the minutes went by for their Tuscan based opponents.

In spite of Maicon’s control on the right, his opponent Vargas, who was playing on the left for Fiorentina, certainly was holding his own in that position, and it was his glorious ball in towards Gilardino that almost led to a brilliant goal scored by the former Milan man, as he made a spontaneous decision to flick the Vargas cross from the edge of the area, only to see it well saved by Julio Cesar yet again.

Both sides pressed as the half neared an end, however with no stoppage time added in the first 45 minutes, the referee’s whistle brought the play to an end, with the home side holding on to a one goal advantage at the break.

Second Half

The home side resumed proceedings however prior to that Mourinho made the first change of the night, as Figo came on for Chivu, meaning that Cambiasso dropped to the centre of defence to play alongside his fellow countryman Samuel at the back.

Neither side managed to gain a foothold in the opening minutes of the half, however it was the visitors that put together the first opportunity through Montolivo on 52 minutes. His powerful drive from outside the area was well dealt with by Julio Cesar, who was Inter’s savior once again.

The Viola continued to press, as Inter’s one goal advantage was looking less and less secure as the minutes went by. Incredibly on 62 minutes, Mutu squandered another glorious opportunity for the visitors, as he opted to test his luck from close range, despite having two unmarked team-mates in the centre of goal. The look of dismay on Gilardino’s face had to be seen to be believed, as his generally reliable attacking partner wasted a glorious opportunity for the Champions League hopefuls.

Prandelli finally made a change in personnel for the visitors on 75 minutes, when Jovetic replaced Kuzmanovic, a substitution that led to an alteration in the Viola formation, as they were now playing with three men up front. The switch almost had an immediate impact on proceedings, as the substitute found himself clean through on goal, only for the Inter keeper to come to the rescue and punch it clear for a corner. Donadel was brought on moments later, with Jorgensen making way for him.

Time was running out for the Viola to grab that vital equaliser, as the Nerazzurri looked set to register their seventh consecutive home victory against their Tuscan based opponents. The game looked set to be finally put out of reach on 90 minutes, when Santon was played through one on one with Frey, only to see his left footed effort expertly saved by the keeper, who did well to prevent the young Italian from scoring his first goal in the Italian topflight.

Five minutes was the amount of stoppage time indicated by the fourth official, and it was a period of time that was completely dominated by the Nerazzurri. Ibrahimovic incredibly made it 2-0 in the final minute of play, with a stunning free kick that gave Frey no chance whatsoever. His 109 km/h effort from all of 30 yards was too good for the keeper, as it sensationally struck the crossbar and sailed into the back of the net.

That’s how it ended for Inter, as a brace to Ibrahimovic was enough for the home side to restore their seven point buffer atop of the Serie A standings, whilst Fiorentina remain in fifth place, two points adrift of Genoa, in the race for the fourth and final Champions League qualifying position.


Inter (4-3-1-2): Julio Cesar; Maicon, Chivu (Figo, 46’), Samuel, Santon; Zanetti, Cambiasso, Muntari; Stankovic (Rivas, 85’); Balotelli (Mancini, 83’), Ibrahimovic

Fiorentina (4-1-3-2): Frey; Comotto, Gamberini, Kroldrup, Vargas; Jorgensen (Donadel, 81’); Kuzmanovic, Felipe Melo, Montolivo (Bonazzoli, 84’); Gilardino, Mutu


11’ Ibrahimovic (Inter)

94’ Ibrahimovic (Inter)

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3 komentar:

  1. I'm coming with smile...$$$$....

  2. Bravo Ibra,
    That's why my field name is Imambrahimovic