Final score

29 April 2007 20:30

Inter
15' (2nd half) Stankovic
14' (2nd half) Recoba
28' Cruz
Empoli
12' (2nd half) Saudati
referee Antonio Damato / linesmen Lanciani, De Santis / 4th man Celi
Watch highlights
MinutesText commentary
48'Mariano Gonzalez makes a diagonal run from the right and then plays wide to Andreolli. The Italian defender's cross is blocked.
48'Inter lead Empoli 1-0 at the break.
47'Bassi blocks a Stankovic cross from the left.
45'3 minutes of added time.
44'Almiron close for Empoli. The Argentine midfielder runs on to a pass and hits it first time from 25 yards. Luckily for us, it's wide of the target.
43'Great chance for Inter. Materazzi picks out Recoba with a long-range pass. The Uruguayan waltzes past an opponent and plays into the path of Figo who serves Mariano Gonzalez, but the Argentine miskicks in front of Bassi.
39'Inter replace Julio Cruz, who appears to have suffered an injury, with Mariano Gonzalez.
39'Headed clearance by Cordoba from Vannucchi's left-wing centre.
38'More heroics from Julio Cesar, who gets a fingertip to the ball to deny Almiron.
37'Vannucchi tests Julio Cesar with a 25-yard shot. Our keeper is equal to the Empoli captain's effort.
35'Cruz is caught offside as he runs to meet a Stankovic through pass.
34'Another brilliant save by Julio Cesar. This time, the Brazilian goalkeeper keeps out Saudati's flicked header from Moro's left-wing cross.
32'Cruz has a penalty claim turned down by Damato after being pulled off the ball by Empoli defender Lucchini.
31'Inter close to a second. Recoba bursts past Almiron on the right and hits the post with fierce diagonal strike. Bassi then saves a low effort from Figo.
28'GOOAAALLL!!!!!! Inter hit straight back and take the lead through Julio Cruz. Recoba makes a darting crossfield run and plays low to Cambiasso. The Argentine midfielder backheels into the path of the unmarked Cruz who crashes past Bassi. Inter 1-0 Empoli.
27'Andreolli whips in a cross from the right. Pratali clears and Empoli mount a counter-attack which comes to an end with Julio Cesar blocking a Vannucchi cross to deny Saudati.
25'Empoli close again. Vannucchi outpaces Stankovic down the left and crosses for Saudati, whose close-range backheeled effort is saved by Julio Cesar.
23'Stankovic heads Figo's curling cross into the path of Cruz who fires wide, but the linesmen gives a goal kick as the ball had crossed the by-line before the Serbian played it.
20'Almiron makes a headed clearance from Figo's corner after Stankovic has a cross blocked.
18'Andreolli shows his class, dispossessing Empoli captain Vannucchi before playing square to Dacourt, whose pass for Cruz is intercepted.
17'Bassi gets down to block Recoba's low, left-foot drive from 20 yards.
16'Cruz goes through on goal after meeting a Figo pass, but the flag goes up for offside again.
15'Pozzi gets a cross in from the left edge of the Inter box. Eder fires wide after Grosso's half-clearance.
12'Empoli make an early switch, with Eder replacing Buscè who has sustained an injury.
12'El Chino's curling free kick is blocked by Bassi.
11'Free kick to Inter 25 yards out on the right for a foul by Pratali on Luis Figo.
10'Cruz slots in Grosso's first-time cross from the left but it won't count as the flag goes up for offside.
9'Figo launches a long-range pass for Recoba but overhits it slightly. Bassi collects. Back in our half, Materazzi makes a vital intervention to deny the Tuscan strikers.
6'Cruz swings in a cross from the right by-line after a great ball down the wing by Andreolli. Vanigli beats Recoba to the ball and makes a headed clearance.
6'Empoli hit back at Inter and go close to scoring. Julio Cesar pulls off a great block from Saudati's close-range shot from Vannucchi's left-wing cross. Nothing comes of the resultant corner.
4'Empoli captain Vanucchi fires well wide after creating space for a 25-yard shot.
3'Recoba plays a beautiful ball over the Empoli defence for Cruz, who goes down under a challenge, but for match ref Damato there's no penalty.
2'Alvaro Recoba's inswinging cross is caught by Empoli keeper Bassi.
1'Welcome to the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza for Inter's first home game as 2006/07 Italian champions.
1'We beat today's opponents Empoli 3-0 in the first half of the season. Crespo, Ibrahimovic, Samuel scored second-half goals on that occasion to give Inter a seven-point lead over Roma.
1'With that victory over the Tuscan outfit, Mancini's side matched the club's record of 8 consecutive top-flight victories set in 1939/40, 1964/65 and 1988/89.
1'Inter went on to notch an incredible 17 Serie A wins in a row before being held 1-1 at Udinese in Week 26.
1'Back to today's match, and the stadium is beginning to fill ahead of what will be a memorable evening for Inter fans.
1'The pre-match entertainment has started with an eight-a-side game between the players of the academy's record-breaking Pulcini A (Under-11) team, who won their championship with 22 wins out of 22, scoring 292 goals and conceding just 30.
1'A thunderous roar rings around the Meazza as the Nerazzurri come on to the pitch for the pre-match warm-up.
1'Lineups: <br> Inter: Julio Cesar; Andreolli, Cordoba, Materazzi, Grosso; Figo, Dacourt, Cambiasso, Stankovic; Recoba, Cruz. <br> Empoli: Bassi; Raggi, Vanigli, Pratali, Lucchini; Buscè, Almiron, Vannucchi, Moro; Pozzi, Saudati.
1'Cruz and Recoba start in attack together for the first time this season. The Argentine has scored one career goal against Empoli, while the Uruguayan has scored three against the Azzurri, including that famous effort from the halfway line in January 1998.
1'Central defender Marco Andreolli is set for his seventh first-team appearance. The Italy Under-21 international made his Inter debut in the goalless draw with Reggina on the final day of the 2004/05 season - Inter's last home game without scoring.
1'The players are set to come back out on the pitch as the loudspeakers blast out the re-recorded version of our anthem - Pazza Inter.
1'A fireworks display is under way as the Curva Nord provides a pre-match Scudetto spectacle, with a huge Italian flag flanked by the black and blue colours of Inter. On the pitch, a thousand black and blue balloons are released.
1'It will be a few more minutes before kick-off as the players and coaching staff pose for a group photo with their children.
1'And on the big screen, a photo of Giacinto Facchetti looks down on the pitch.
1'We're under way as Empoli kick off.
1'Figo sweeps wide to Materazzi, whose right-wing cross is blocked. Corner for Inter.
MinutesText commentary
47'Full time. Inter beat Empoli 3-1.
46'Figo has a volley blocked after Bassi's parry from Stankovic's cross.
45'Mariano Gonzalez slaloms an opponent during a run into the box from the left but is then dispossessed.
45'Two minutes of injury time to play.
37'Almiron's effort from distance is wide.
34'Saudati strikes the post with a poked effort from Marianini's right-wing cross.
31'Empoli bring on Marzoratti for Lucchini, and Marianini for Pozzi.
30'Grosso fires wide from an acute angle.
29'Mancini makes his third switch. On comes Maxwell for Olivier Dacourt.
26'Incredible miss by Figo. With just Bassi to beat, the Portuguese midfielder blazes over the bar.
26'Javier Zanetti is welcomed with a roaring applause as he comes on for Alvaro Recoba.
25'Recoba drills in a low cross from the left. Vanigli beats Gonzalez to the ball and concedes a corner.
23'Vannucchi fires narrowly over Julio Cesar's bar after a ten-yard run on goal.
20'The Inter defence clears Vannucchi's outswinging right-wing free kick.
19'Stankovic is denied a second as Lucchini makes a vital block in the penalty area.
15'GOOOOAAALLL!!!!! In loads of space on the right side of the area Dejan Stankovic receives a pass from Cambiasso, picks his spot and drills it low past Bassi and into the far corner.
14'Vanigli heads behind for a corner after Bassi's one-handed save from Grosso's cross-shot.
14'We're back in front!!!! Alvaro Recoba scores directly from the corner flag. What a way to score your first of the season! Inter 2-1 Empoli.
12'The visitors have equalised at the Meazza. Saudati collects Almiron's short pass, takes one touch of the ball and fires low into the left corner. Inter 1-1 Empoli.
10'Recoba tries a combination with Mariano Gonzalez on the edge of the box but Eder intercepts.
8'Pratali blocks a Mariano Gonzalez effort from inside the Empoli box. Corner for Inter.
5'Julio Cesar makes a brilliant diving save from Saudati's flicked header from Pratali's right-wing cross.
4'Stankovic is booked for a foul on Vannucchi. On a caution, the Serbian midfielder will automatically miss next Sunday's trip to Messina.
3'Julio Cesar blocks the Empoli captain's curling free kick with his fists.
2'Empoli awarded a free kick in a central position 25 yards out after a Dacourt fol on Vannucchi.
1'Inter kick off the second half. FORZA CAMPIONI!!!!
Recoba
9.09
9.09
Zanetti
8.17
8.17
Cordoba
7.58
7.58
Materazzi
8.28
8.28
Cruz
8.31
8.31
Stankovic
8.44
8.44
Cambiasso
8.29
8.29
Andreolli
7.16
7.16
Julio Cesar
8.41
8.41
Figo
8.51
8.51
Grosso
7.28
7.28
Maxwell
7.48
7.48
Dacourt
7.67
7.67
Gonzalez
6.56
6.56
Average rating7.95
9shots on target7
6shots off target14
14fouls committed13
4corners3
1offsides4
28:18ball possession25:57
Mancini v Cagni

The two coaches meet in a competitive fixture for the sixth time. There has never been a draw in the 5 previous games, with 4 Mancini wins to Cagni's 1. Mancini has never lost at home to a team coached by Cagni, with 2 wins out of 2.

Details:

2002/03 Serie A Lazio-Piacenza 2-1 ----
2005/06 Serie A Inter-Empoli ---- 0-1
2006/07 Serie A Inter-Empoli ---- 3-0
2006/07 Coppa Italia Inter-Empoli 2-0 2-0

Mancini v Empoli

Roberto Mancini has won 9, drawn 1 and lost 1 of his 11 matches against Empoli since becoming a coach. He has never lost at home to the Tuscans, with 5 victories from as many games.

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 0-1
2006/07 Serie A Inter-Empoli ---- 3-0
2006/07 Coppa Italia Inter-Empoli 2-0 2-0

Cagni v Inter

Empoli coach Luigi Cagni has won 2, drawn 1 and lost 6 of his competitive encounters with the Nerazzurri. He has never won away to Inter, with a draw and 3 defeats from 4 games.

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
2005/06 Serie A Empoli-Inter 1-0 ----
2006/07 Serie A Empoli-Inter 0-3 ----
2006/07 Coppa Italia Empoli-Inter 0-2 0-2

Inter's second-half form

Inter have improved their results in the second halves of matches this season to earn 25 points, more than any other team taking part in the 2006/07 Serie A championship.

Inter close to yet another record

Inter's 2006/07 team are one victory away from matching the club's record of 27 wins in one Serie A season, set in 1950/51. The all time record for the Italian championship belongs to the Great Torino side, who racked up 29 victories in 1947/48, the only Serie A season to be played with 21 teams over 42 matchdays.

Inter's golden moments

With ten goals, Inter have scored more than any other 2006/07 Serie A team in the first fifteen-minute periods of matches. Mancini's side are also prolific from 46'-60' with 15 goals (more than any other side), and from 61'-75' with 20 goals. Inter are one of four teams to have conceded just 4 goals from 61'-75'. The other three are Empoli, Fiorentina and Roma.

Argentine trio prolific in April

Three of Inter's Argentine players are particularly prolific in the fourth calendar month. Julio Cruz, scorer of 60 Serie A goals, has netted 10 times in April. Solari has scored half of his 4 Italian league goals in the same month, while Crespo counts April as one of his best periods of the year along with November and February, with 18 goals in each month out of a total of 128.

Inter on target in 35 consecutive Serie A home games

Inter have scored in their last 35 league fixtures at home, netting a total of 79 goals. Their last home game without scoring was the 0-0 draw with Reggina on the final day of the 2004/05 season.

Empoli's record season

With 50 points from 33 games, Empoli have set a new club record of points in one Serie A season, bettering the previous record of 45 in 2005/06. And with five matches still to play, Luigi Cagni's have equalled the club's record of 13 victories in one top-flight season. One more away win will see the Azzurri from Tuscany match their record of away wins in one campaign: 5 in 2002/03.

Empoli: 282 Serie minutes without conceding

Empoli last let in a Serie A goal in their 3-1 home defeat against AC Milan on 7 April 2007. On that occasion, Giuseppe Favalli scored in the 78th minute. Including the last 12 minutes of that match, plus the entire games against Cagliari (0-0 away), Atalanta (2-0 at home) and Torino (0-0 at home), the Azzurri have not conceded in the league for a total of 282 competitive minutes.

Penalties against Empoli

Just two penalties have been given against Empoli after 33 rounds of 2006/07 Serie A matches. Fiorentina are the only other top-tier team to have had two spot kicks awarded in their opponents' favour this season.

DA IMPLEMENTARE
wins(11)draws(0)defeats(1)

MILAN - Inter celebrated their 15th league title in front of their own fans with a scintillating 3-1 victory over Empoli.

Julio Cruz opened the scoring just before the half hour but Empoli were back in the game after the interval through Saudati. But the Nerazzurri stunned their opponents with two goals in as many minutes from Alvaro Recoba and Dejan Stankovic.

Inspired by the carnival atmosphere on the stands, Inter produced an exciting display of attacking football despite the absences of numerous key players.

The Nerazzurri could have been a goal to the good after just three minutes but the flag went up for offside when Cruz ran to collect Recoba's weighted pass over the Empoli defence.

But the Tuscan outfit, still in with a chance of a Champions League spot, soon hit back, and Saudati forced Julio Cesar into a save with a close-range effort from Vanucchi's cross.

Cruz was flagged offside again when he crashed home Grosso's first-time cross, but El Jardinero didn't have to wait long for his eleventh goal of the season.

In the 28th minute Recoba made a darting run and served Cambiasso who fed through to the unmarked Cruz with a sweet backheeled pass. In acres of space, the Inter number nine picked his spot and crashed past Bassi.

Uruguayan forward Recoba went close to a second just three minutes later but saw his diagonal strike bounce back off the post.

And just before half time Mariano Gonzalez, on for the injured Cruz, miskicked with just Bassi to beat after great approach play by El Chino and Figo.

Empoli made an encouraging start to the second half, with Julio Cesar twice called into action. The Brazilian delighted the crowd with a punched clearance from Vannucchi's free kick, and then again with a splendid diving save from Saudati's flicked header.

The visitors threatened to spoil the Scudetto party on 57 minutes when Saudati collected Almiron's short pass, took one touch of the ball and fired low into the left corner to bring the teams on level terms. But the Nerazzurri's double reply was immediate, and spectacular.

Alvaro Recoba has always been a player capable of delivering the impossible. In January 1998 El Chino scored against Empoli from the halfway line. This time, he found the net with a brilliant left-foot curler directly from the right corner flag.

A minute later, Dejan Stankovic received in space from Cambiasso and rifled a low right-foot shot past Bassi to stun the Tuscans.

Empoli went closest to reducing the deficit when Saudati struck the upright with a poked effort from Marianini's cross.

Inter 3-1 Empoli
(HT: 1-0)

Scorers: Cruz 28, Saudati 57, Recoba 59, Stankovic 60.

Inter: 12 Julio Cesar; 2 Cordoba, 77 Andreolli, 23 Materazzi, 11 Grosso; 7 Figo, 15 Dacourt (6 Maxwell 74), 19 Cambiasso, 5 Stankovic; 20 Recoba (4 Zanetti 71); 9 Cruz (91 Gonzalez 39).
Subs not used: 1 Toldo, 21 Solari, 62 Figliomeni, 99 Choutos.
Coach: Roberto Mancini.

Empoli: 1 Bassi; 46 Raggi, 15 Vanigli, 50 Pratali, 3 Lucchini 8 (16 Marzoratti 76); 24 Buscè (17 Eder 12), 4 Almiron, 10 Vannucchi, 5 Moro; 9 Pozzi (8 Marianini 76), 11 Saudati.
Subs not used: 23 Balli, 27 Ficini, 32 Coralli, 33 Ascoli.
Coach: Luigi Cagni.

Referee: Antonio Damato (Barletta).

Booked: Stankovic 49, Recoba.

starting lineups

Julio Cesar 12Bassi
Cordoba 2Raggi
Andreolli 77Vanigli
Materazzi 23Pratali
Grosso 11Lucchini
Figo 7Buscè
Dacourt 15Almiron
Cambiasso 19Vannucchi
Stankovic 5Moro
Recoba 20Pozzi
Cruz 9Saudati

substitutes

Toldo 1Balli
Zanetti 4Marianini
Maxwell 6Marzoratti
Solari 21Eder
Figliomeni 62Ficini
Gonzalez 91Coralli
Choutos 99Ascoli