Final score

30 April 2006 15:00

Empoli
46' (2nd half) Materazzi o.g.
Inter
referee Paolo Bertini / linesmen Saglietti, Alvino / 4th man Squillace
Watch highlights
Minutes Text commentary
48' Nothing comes of the free kick as Figo is flagged offside.
48' It's 0-0 after an uninspiring first half of football at the Stadio Castellani.
47' Figo is fouled by Coda as both players battle for the ball on the left wing. Free kick to Inter.
46' Obafemi Martins' flicked header from Cesar's cross is over the Empoli bar.
45' Javier Zanetti's blistering shot from 20 yards is well saved by Balli. Corner to Inter.
45' Three minutes of added time.
44' Solari dribbles an opponent during a central run then plays wide to Figo. The Portuguese winger's inswinging cross is cleared by the Empoli defence.
41' Empoli bring on midfielder Lodi for forward Tavano, who is unable to continue.
39' Solari's cross from the left is blocked by Pratali and cleared as far as... Solari. The Argentine's second ball into the Empoli box is cleared.
38' Julio Cesar beats Riganò to Vannucchi's high ball into the Inter area.
37' Figo's ball in from the right is blocked and cleared by Coda.
36' Cesar is back on the pitch.
34' Inter momentarily down to ten men as Cesar receives treatment after being hit in the face by the ball.
33' Luis Figo shoots from the distance. Balli saves.
32' Cruz's hooked pass from midfield to the right wing is too long for Martins. Empoli regain possession.
31' Back in the Inter half Cordoba plays back to Julio Cesar to deny the onrushing Tavano.
29' Raggi beats Martins to Cesar's cross from the left-wing by-line to deny the Nerazzurri a good scoring chance.
28' Vannucchi's outswinging cross is headed clear by Julio Cruz.
27' Free kick to Empoli on the right wing for a Solari foul on Buscè.
26' Raggi's inswinger from the left is too long for Buscè. Goal kick to Inter.
25' Pratali tackles Figo on the right wing but the ball comes off the Inter number 7 and Empoli win a goal kick.
24' Cruz receives from Zanetti on the right channel then moves central before sending a left-foot shot wide of the far post.
20' Vanigli comes on for the injured Lucchini.
19' Lucchini is unable to continue. Empoli momentarily down to ten men as Vanigli warms up on the touchline.
18' Pizarro is dispossessed by Vannucchi after receiving a back pass from Martins but the Empoli number 80 boots out of play with Lucchini on the ground with what looks like a muscle strain.
16' Good chance for Empoli. Buscè rises above Cesar and sees his header from Lucchini's bounce behind off the Inter crossbar.
15' Empoli defender Pratali takes on two opponents during a central run before losing possession.
14' Another chance for Inter. Captain Zanetti takes on Lucchini during a run then unleashes a right-foot shot from 25 yards that finishes wide.
13' At the other end Santiago Solari has a go from the distance but the Argentine's left-foot shot is wide.
12' Cesar runs down the left then whips in a cross. Moro blocks and plays to safety.
12' Empoli forward Riganò is flagged offside as he runs on to a long ball forward by Almiron.
11' Cruz wins an aerial duel with Almiron in the Inter box and concedes a corner.
10' Burdisso combines with Figo on the right wing but Moro cuts out the Portuguese winger's return ball.
8' Julio Cesar beats Tavano to Almiron's ball into the Nerazzurri box.
8' Buscè takes on Solari and Pizarro then passes to Tavano. Cordoba intercepts the Empoli number ten.
7' Nic Burdisso beats Tavano to Buscè's cross and heads clear as far as Raggi, whose follow-up shot is deflected out for an Empoli corner.
5' Cruz takes on three in the Empoli box before passing wide to Martins. The Nigerian's diagonal shot is blocked.
4' Solari races down the left but Buscè intercepts the Argentine winger and sets up a counter-attack. The Empoli move ends with Julio Cesar coming to the edge of his area to deny Tavano.
2' Empoli keeper Balli, playing his 400th match as a professional today, beats Cordoba to Figo's cross and makes a smothering save.
1' Welcome to the Stadio Castellani for Empoli v Inter.
1' Empoli line-up (4-2-3-1): 23 Ralli; 46 Raggi, 6 Coda, 50 Pratali, 3 Lucchini; 5 Moro, 4 Almiron; 24 Buscè, 80 Vannucchi, 10 Tavano; 99 Riganò.
1' Inter line-up (4-3-3): 12 Julio Cesar; 3 Burdisso, 2 Cordoba, 23 Materazzi, 31 Cesar; 4 J. Zanetti, 8 Pizarro, 21 Solari; 7 Figo, 9 Cruz, 30 Martins.
1' Today's match will kick off after a minute's silence to remember the three Italian troops who lost their lives in last Thursday's bomb attack in Nassiriya, Iraq. The players will wear black armbands in honour of the victims.
1' Empoli kick off.
1' Figo receives in space on the left and crosses. Raggi blocks and concedes a corner.
Minutes Text commentary
48' Full time. Empoli beat Inter 1-0 and avoid the drop with two league matches remaining.
46' Incredible own goal by Marco Materazzi. The Inter defender beats Pozzi to a ball then sees his back pass go over Julio Cesar and into the Nerazzurri net. Empoli 1-0 Inter.
45' Play momentarily interrupted as Moro receives treatment for a knock suffered in a duel with Adriano.
45' Three minutes of added time.
44' Empoli replace Riganò with Pozzi.
43' Cesar's cross from the left comes off an opponent. Corner to Inter.
41' Burdisso blocks a Lodi cross from the left as the home side continue to create from counter-attacks.
40' Almiron's right-foot drive is way over.
39' Free kick to Empoli for a Favalli foul on Almiron.
38' Adriano has a go from 30 yards. In rugby it would have been three points.
36' Julio Cesar saves Lodi's inswinging cross with Vannucchi lurking at the back post.
36' Inter replace Solari with Favalli.
34' Almiron tries to nutmeg Burdisso during an Empoli counter-attack but Julio Cesar has read the move and gathers before Vannucchi can get to the ball.
33' Cesar's high cross from the left is caught by Balli.
32' Cesar is booked for a foul from behind on Buscè. Free kick to Empoli on the right wing.
31' Riganò is yellow-carded by match referee Paolo Bertini for a foul on Kily Gonzalez.
30' Adriano's cross from the left is straight into the arms of Balli.
28' Nothing comes of the corner. Buscè hooks clear and Empoli storm forward on the counter-attack. Julio Cesar makes a smothering save to deny Vannucchi a scoring chance.
27' Kily's inswinger is punched clear by Balli.
27' Pratali blocks a Solari cross from the left. Corner to Inter.
26' Free kick to Inter on the right wing for a Lodi foul on Adriano.
24' Martins' headed pass from Cesar's throw-in is cleared by the Empoli defence.
23' Pizarro's shot from the free kick is on target, but Balli gets down at the near post and saves.
22' Free kick to Inter just outside the Empoli area for a Pratali foul on Martins.
20' Cruz combines with Solari on the right then crosses. Coda blocks and clears.
20' Good chance for Inter. Martins rises above Balli and heads over a Javier Zanetti cross from the right.
19' Empoli counter-attack. It's three on three. Riganò plays wide to Buscè who pulls his low shot wide of the left post.
18' Adriano's header from Cesar's cross comes off an opponent. Corner to Inter.
18' Cesar's cross from the right-wing corner flag is headed clear by Riganò.
17' At the near post Empoli keeper Balli beats Cruz to a Cesar cross from the left and wins a free kick for a foul by Inter's Argentine striker.
16' In the Empoli box Vanigli pokes clear to deny Martins a chance from Cruz's pass.
14' Empoli attack: Buscè beats Cesar on the right then plays into the path of Vannucchi, whose shot is blocked by Burdisso. Buscè blasts his follow-up high and wide.
12' Great tackle from behind by Kily Gonzalez on Buscè.
11' Moro pulls his left-foot shot wide of the right post after a defensive lapse by Marco Materazzi.
10' Julio Cruz drifts in from the right, taking on Raggi and Pratali in the process, then sends his shot well wide of the far post.
8' Inter make a double substitution: On come Adriano and Kily Gonzalez for Cordoba and Figo.
7' Cruz and Martins fail to connect with Figo's cross from the left-wing by-line. Lodi plays clear at the far side.
6' Cruz's right-foot shot from the edge of the Empoli area is just wide of the left post.
5' Julio Cesar is quick off his line to beat Riganò to Coda's long pass into the Inter area.
5' Buscè controls a pass from Lodi then shoots. It comes off Vannucchi and Inter win a throw-in.
4' Almiron tries to squeeze between Cesar and Figo during a run down the right but is caught by the Brazilian and Empoli win a free kick.
2' Lodi's left-foot volley from just outside the Inter area is not far over Julio Cesar's crossbar.
1' Inter kick off the second half.
Zanetti
6.79
6.79
Cordoba
4.95
4.95
Materazzi
4.65
4.65
Adriano
5.05
5.05
Martins
4.36
4.36
Kily Gonzalez
4.35
4.35
Cruz
5.49
5.49
Favalli
3.97
3.97
Burdisso
4.65
4.65
Solari
5.3
5.3
Julio Cesar
4.77
4.77
Pizarro
4.79
4.79
Figo
5.95
5.95
Cesar
3.98
3.98
Average rating 4.93
4 shots on target 2
4 shots off target 8
24 fouls committed 19
1 corners 6
11 offsides 4
00 ball possession 00
Cagni v Mancini

The only competitive meeting between the two coaches was Lazio's 2-1 away win at Piacenza in the 2002/03 Serie A championship. Simone Inzaghi and Corradi scored for the Biancocelesti after De Cesare's opener for the home side.

Details:

2002/03 Serie A Piacenza-Lazio ---- 1-2

Cagni v Inter

Luigi Cagni has won 1, drawn 1 and lost 3 of his 5 competitive matches against Inter.

Details:

1995/96 Serie A Piacenza-Inter 1-0 0-0
1996/97 Serie A Verona-Inter 0-1 1-2
2002/03 Serie A Piacenza-Inter ---- 1-3

Mancini v Empoli

Mancini has won 6 and drawn 1 of his 7 competitive matches against Empoli. His teams have scored in each of those games, netting a total of 19 goals.

Details:

2002/03 Coppa Italia Lazio-Empoli 2-0 2-1
2002/03 Serie A Lazio-Empoli 4-1 2-1
2003/04 Serie A Lazio-Empoli 3-0 2-2
2005/06 Serie A Inter-Empoli 4-1 ----

Empoli v Inter

In Empoli

In Milan

Total

Matches played

10

11

21

Empoli wins

1

1

2

Draws

3

0

3

Inter wins

6

10

16

Empoli goals

10

7

17

Inter goals

16

27

43

Empoli v Inter results

1983/84 Coppa Italia Empoli-Inter ---- 1-3
1984/85 Coppa Italia Empoli-Inter 0-1 0-1
1985/86 Coppa Italia Empoli-Inter 1-1 ----
1986/87 Serie A Empoli-Inter 1-0 1-2
1986/87 Coppa Italia Empoli-Inter 0-2 0-1
1987/88 Serie A Empoli-Inter 1-1 0-2
1987/88 Coppa Italia Empoli-Inter 0-1 1-2
1997/98 Serie A Empoli-Inter 1-1 1-4
1998/99 Serie A Empoli-Inter 1-2 1-5
2002/03 Serie A Empoli-Inter 3-4 0-3
2003/04 Serie A Empoli-Inter 2-3 1-0
2005/06 Serie A Empoli-Inter ---- 1-4

Disciplinary situation

Empoli

Disqualified: Ascoli
Cautioned: Vanigli, Vannucchi
Former players: -

Inter
Disqualified: -
Cautioned: Cordoba, Figo, Materazzi
Former players: -

Match referee: Paolo Bertini

Paolo Bertini of the Arezzo refereeing section has been appointed for Empoli v Inter. For his third Inter match of the season after Reggina 0-4 Inter and Livorno 0-0 Inter, Bertini will be assisted by linesmen Saglietti and Alvino, and fourth official Squillace.
Bertini has refereed a total of 14 Inter matches (5 Inter wins, 6 draws and 3 defeats). Saglietti was among the match officials in Inter 2-3 Roma (Serie A) and Inter 1-0 Lazio (Coppa Italia) this season, while Alvino was a match official in Inter 2-0 Parma (Serie A) and Inter 1-0 Udinese (Coppa Italia).

Inter: 23 league wins in 2005/06

With 23 victories in the 2005/06 Serie A season the Nerazzurri are 3 wins away from their previous best: 26 victories in the Scudetto-winning 1988/89 campaign.

Mancini's winning bench

Of Inter's 65 Serie A goals in 2005/06, 11 have been scored by substitutes: Cruz (5), Adriano (2), Cambiasso (1), Pizarro (1), Recoba (1) and Mihajlovic (1). No other team has scored as many goals with subs this season.

Record season for Empoli

With 11 victories this season, Empoli have beaten their record of 10 wins in one Serie A season (set under Luciano Spalletti in 1997/98). Cagni's side have set another new record for the club with four consecutive home wins over Chievo, Livorno, Sampdoria & Siena. With his 18 goals this term, Tavano has beaten Esposito's previous club record of 14 goals in one Serie A season (1997/98). And with 22 top-flight goals in an Empoli shirt Tavano has bettered the club record previously held by Di Natale, who scored 18 goals in his time at the Tuscan club.

Few Empoli players on target

Empoli are one of three sides contesting the 2005/06 Serie A championship to have scored with just eight players (Tavano, Vannucchi, Almiron, Riganò, Bonetto, Pozzi, Buscè and Tosto). The other two teams are Cagliari and Lecce.

Empoli & goals conceded

Empoli have let in goals in each of their last 11 competitive fixtures (total 16 goals conceded). The Tuscans last kept a clean sheet in the 3-0 home win over Reggina on 5 November 2006.

Empoli: No goalless draw in 2005/06

Empoli are the only team contesting the 2005/06 Serie A championship yet to draw a match 0-0. The Tuscans' last goalless draw was their Serie B home game against Genoa on 21 May 2005.

Cesar, Cruz prolific in April

Cesar Aparecido Rodrigues is at his most prolific in the fourth calendar month, with 5 of his 14 'Italian' goals scored in April (35.7% of the total). Julio Cruz has scored 9 of his 52 'Italian' goals in April (17.3% of the total).

DA IMPLEMENTARE
wins(7) draws(3) defeats(2)
EMPOLI - Marco Materazzi's injury-time own goal gave Empoli a 1-0 victory over Inter at the Stadio Castellani, a result which guarantees the Tuscan outfit Serie A safety, but sees the Nerazzurri lose any remaining chance of a second-place place finish as AC Milan beat Livorno 2-0 at the Meazza.

In the first of three added minutes at the end of the second half the Italian defender beat Empoli substitute Pozzi to a ball then saw his 40-yard back pass sail over Julio Cesar and into the net.

Despite the result Inter had the lion's share of the chances, with Argentine pair Javier Zanetti and Santiago Solari sending long-range shots wide before Buscè rose above Cesar to head a Lucchini cross behind off the crossbar.

Julio Cruz fired wide from 20 yards then Balli saved long-distance efforts from Figo and Zanetti before Obafemi Martins sent a flicked header from Cesar's cross over at the end of the first half.

The Nigerian striker headed over a Javier Zanetti cross, with Balli saving a Pizarro free kick as Inter continued to dominate after the restart.

Empoli were limited to counter-attacks, with Buscè firing wide before Julio Cesar twice intercepted to deny Vannucchi.

With the match heading for a goalless draw Materazzi lobbed into his own net to hand Empoli their fifth consecutive home victory.

EMPOLI 1-0 INTER (HT: 0-0)

Scorer: Materazzi (o.g.) 90+1

EMPOLI: 23 Ralli; 46 Raggi, 6 Coda, 50 Pratali, 3 Lucchini (15 Vanigli 20); 5 Moro, 4 Almiron; 24 Buscè, 80 Vannucchi, 10 Tavano (21 Lodi 41); 99 Riganò (7 Pozzi 89)
Subs not used: 37 Dossena, 18 Serafini, 27 Ficini, 33 P.Zanetti
Coach: Luigi Cagni

INTER: 12 Julio Cesar; 3 Burdisso, 2 Cordoba (10 Adriano 53), 23 Materazzi, 31 Cesar; 4 J.Zanetti, 8 Pizarro, 21 Solari (16 Favalli 81); 7 Figo (18 Kily Gonzalez 53), 9 Cruz, 30 Martins
Subs not used: 22 Orlandoni, 25 Samuel, 49 Andreolli, Maa Boumsong
Coach: Roberto Mancini

Referee: Paolo Bertini (Arezzo)

Booked: Riganò 76, Cesar 77

starting lineups

Balli 12 Julio Cesar
Raggi 3 Burdisso
Coda 2 Cordoba
Pratali 23 Materazzi
Lucchini 31 Cesar
Moro 4 Zanetti
Almiron 8 Pizarro
Buscé 21 Solari
Vannucchi 7 Figo
Tavano 9 Cruz
Riganò 30 Martins

substitutes

Dossena 22 Orlandoni
Pozzi 5 Stankovic
Vanigli 10 Adriano
Serafini 16 Favalli
Lodi 18 Kily Gonzalez
Ficini 49 Andreolli
P.Zanetti 55 Maa Boumsong