ChievoVerona 0
1 Inter

12 Balotelli

referee Nicola Pierpaoli / linesmen Calcagno, Di Liberatore / 4th man Gervasoni
Serie A TIM — matchday 18 — Marcantonio Bentegodi, Verona — 6 January 2010 12:30

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1st half / 2nd half

47' / Pellissier plays wide to Mantovani, whose volleyed cross into the box is caught by Julio Cesar.
47' / Half time. Inter lead Chievo by a goal to nil, Mario Balotelli the scorer on 12 minutes.
46' / Brilliant defending by Cordoba. Ivan Ramiro races back to intercept Pellissier and deny the Chievo captain a scoring chance.
45' / Two minutes of added time.
44' / Cristian Chivu dances past three Chievo defenders before seeing his shot deflected out for a corner.
44' / Lucio's header from the corner is cleared off the line by Sorrentino. Pierpaoli blows for a foul by the Brazilian on Chievo's Colombian defender Yepes.
40' / Sneijder's curling shot from the retake is blocked by the Gialloblu wall.
40' / Vieira is booked for a dangerous challenge on Pellissier.
39' / Inter take a free kick quickly and Milito gets into a scoring position but Pierpaoli orders for it to be taken again.
38' / Pellissier is whistled and flagged offside before he sends a low shot on target.
37' / Balotelli is first to Sneijder's cross from the left corner flag. His back-heeled shot at the near post is wide
35' / Wesley Sneijder plays a lightning fast one-two with Goran Pandev but Yepes' sliding tackle is spot on.
34' / Mario Balotelli is booked for kicking the ball out of play after Pierpaoli had blown his whistle. He will now miss Saturday night's match at home to Siena.
32' / Marcolini latches on to Pellissier's pull-back and sees his shot deflected off Maicon. Nothing comes of the ensuing corner.
32' / Pellissier receives on the edge of our box and drags his low shot wide of Julio Cesar's left-hand post.
31' / Yepes makes a double clearance from Sneijder, first from the Dutch fantasista's corner, and then from a right-wing cross.
30' / Balotelli goes for goal with a blistering shot from 30 yards. It spins off Yepes and it's a corner for Inter.
27' / Lucio inadvertently kicks Pellissier where it hurts, and play is halted temporarily as the Chievo captain gets some medical attention.
25' / A chance for Chievo. Pellissier's acrobatic cross from the by-line finds Bogdani and the Albanian serves Bentivoglio, whose low stabbed shot is easily saved by Julio Cesar.
23' / Maicon crosses into the area for Milito. The Argentine volleys wide.
22' / Patrick Vieira, who is making his 100th appearance in Serie A today, runs on to a pass and fires over the bar from 25 yards.
20' / Maicon unleashes a fierce shot from 25 yards, forcing Sorrentino to tip over for a corner.
20' / Sneijder's cross from the corner flag is cleared by Mandelli.
18' / Lucio makes a strong run on goal after intercepting in the Chievo third and serves Milito who sees his effort blocked.
12' / GOAL!!!! Inter break and take the lead through Mario Balotelli. Pandev serves Sneijder on the edge of the box and the Dutchman plays in Balotelli who has an initial shot saved by Sorrentino. The Italian's second, angled shot crosses the line before Yepes' futile clearance, and Pandev heads the ball in from close range. But the goal is Balotelli's. CHIEVO 0-1 INTER.
11' / Luciano finds Pellissier in the box with a deft touch of the ball. The Chievo captain goes down under a challenge from Lucio; no penalty given by Pierpaoli.
9' / Mario Balotelli tumbles over Yepes as he tries a one-two with Pandev on the edge of the box.
8' / Back in the Chievo half it's another free kick for Inter. Sneijder's cross into the box is headed over by Luciano, who makes a headed clearance from the resulting corner.
7' / Pierpaoli awards Chievo a free kick about 25 yards from goal. Marcolini's curling free kick sails a few yards wide of Julio Cesar's left-hand post.
5' / Sneijder's inswinging cross is headed clear by Yepes.
5' / Chievo try to break and Cristian Chivu stops Pellissier in his tracks, earning himself the first yellow card of the game.
4' / Sneijder is barged to the ground just outside the Chievo box on the left. Free kick.
2' / Inter attack down the right. Balotelli plays wide to Maicon but the Brazilian miscues his cross. Goal kick to the Flying Donkeys.
1' / Fancy some Serie A for lunch? Coming right your way at 12:30CET with Chievo v Inter at the Stadio Marcantonio Bentegodi in Verona.
1' / Panettone season is over in Italy and it's back to the serious stuff as José Mourinho's Italian champions will be looking to open up a double-figure lead at the top of the table ahead of today's afternoon and evening fixtures.
1' / With Thiago Motta and Stankovic suspended, and Cambiasso, Muntari and Krhin ruled out through injury, José Mourinho has drafted in academy midfielders Alen Stevanovic and Lorenzo Crisetig. Both win places on the bench along with another Primavera player - defender Giulio Donati.
1' / The Inter boss has named a 4-2-3-1 formation to face the Gialloblu. Diego Milito is the lone striker, Goran Pandev makes his debut alongside Balotelli and Sneijder, and Vieira and Zanetti fill holding roles in front of Maicon, Lucio, Cordoba and Chivu.
1' / Chievo: 28 Sorrentino; 20 Sardo, 5 Mandelli, 33 Yepes, 4 Mantovani; 10 Luciano, 16 Rigoni, 7 Marcolini; 9 Bentivoglio; 23 Bogdani, 31 Pellissier. 

Subs: 18 Squizzi, 2 Morero, 6 Pinzi, 11 Granoche, 19 Ariatti, 21 Frey, 22 Abbruscato.

Inter: 12 Julio Cesar; 13 Maicon, 6 Lucio, 2 Cordoba, 26 Chivu; 14 Vieira, 4 Zanetti; 45 Balotelli, 10 Sneijder, 27 Pandev; 22 Milito.

Subs: 1 Toldo, 7 Quaresma, 23 Materazzi, 28 Stevanovic, 29 Donati, 48 Crisetig, 89 Arnautovic.
1' / Off we go in Verona as Inter kick off the first of today's Epiphany fixtures. FORZA NERAZZURRI!
1' / Chievo captain Sergio Pellissier controls a high ball with his head, gets into the box and fires wide from a tight angle.
51' / Full time. Mario Balotelli's first-half goal is enough as Inter beat Chievo 1-0 and move 11 points clear at the top of the table. Ciao for now and see you on Saturday for Inter-Siena.
50' / Arnautovic storms forward on the break and plays wide to Maicon who spoons over the bar.
48' / Maicon is booked for protesting.
45' / Six minutes of overtime.
43' / Mourinho brings on Marko Arnautovic for Mario Balotelli. It's the Austrian striker's competitive debut for Inter.
42' / Milito goes down under a challenge from Yepes after combining with Sneijder. Amazingly, Pierpaoli fails to blow for a foul.
40' / Substitution number three for Chievo. Granoche replaces Luciano.
39' / Sneijder tests Sorrentino with a curling shot from distance as Inter hit Chievo on the counter-attack.
35' / Wesley Sneijder's curling free kick takes a deflection. Corner.
34' / Free kick to Inter in a central position 25 metres out after a foul on Balotelli.
33' / Julio Cesar saves a long-range shot from Marcolini.
32' / Yellow card number eight goes to Quaresma for a late challenge on Luciano.
30' / Pellissier gets a booking for a foul on Vieira.
29' / Balotelli powers past his marker on the right and plays low into the middle. Yepes intercepts and makes the clearance.
24' / Ivan Cordoba is yellow-carded for a foul from behind on Pinzi.
23' / Vieira makes a powerful headed clearance from a Chievo left-wing corner.
22' / Goran Pandev's debut lasts 67 minutes. On comes Ricardo Quaresma.
20' / Sardo charges into Pandev with a high challenge, knocking the Macedonian's head with his knee. Goran goes down, but Sardo is not sent off.
18' / Luciano's right-wing cross spins off Lucio and Abbruscato steals in to stab wide. A good chance missed for the Gialloblu.
18' / Marcolini is booked for a foul on Balotelli.
15' / Mario Balotelli's powerful right-footed free kick is way wide of Sorrentino's right-hand post.
15' / Chievo make a double substitution. Pinzi and Abbruscato replace Bentivoglio and Bogdani.
14' / Pandev is pushed to the ground by Sardo and it's a free kick to Inter about 30 yards from goal. Sardo is shown a yellow card by Pierpaoli and he will miss Chievo's trip to Roma on Saturday.
11' / Sorrentino blocks Maicon's cross at his near post.
10' / Maicon runs on to Milito's low through ball but Mantovani makes the tackle.
9' / Great chance for Pellissier from a floated cross into our box, but Julio Cesar is out quick to thwart the Chievo centre-forward.
4' / Materazzi slots in alongside Lucio, with Cordoba switching to left-back.
3' / Romania captain Chivu is stretchered off with concussion. On comes Materazzi.
2' / It doesn't look like Cristian will be able to continue. Marco Materazzi has started warming up.
1' / Chievo kick off the second half.
1' / On run the medics as Pellissier and Chivu remain on the ground after a clash of heads.

total votes 6858

Zanetti 7.3357
Cordoba 7.0537
Materazzi 6.7679
Julio Cesar 6.7068
Maicon 6.3845
Vieira 7.8544
Chivu 7.2439
Balotelli 7.7184
Quaresma 6.5647
Milito 5.8448
Lucio 7.1943
Arnautovic 6.8220
Sneijder 7.7431
Pandev 6.9498
average rating 7.0131







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3 shots on target 4
7 shots off target 5
26 fouls committed 18
3 corners 6
9 offsides 1
42% ball possession 58%



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    Balotelli (SKY)

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    Mourinho (SKY)

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    Julio Cesar

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VERONA - Mario Balotelli struck in the 12th minute as Inter saw off Chievo in the first Serie A fixture of 2010 to become winter champions. Wednesday lunchtime's victory at the Stadio Marcantonio Bentegodi stretches our lead at the top to eleven points ahead of the rest of Wednesday's Week 18 fixtures.

With Cambiasso, Krhin, Muntari, Stankovic and Thiago Motta ruled out of the Verona trip, José Mourinho solved his midfield crisis with Pandev, Sneijder and Balotelli in support of solitary striker Milito, and Zanetti alongside Vieira in front of the defence.

On his debut, Goran Pandev had a hand in match-winning goal when he served Sneijder on the edge of the area. The Dutchman played into the path of the unmarked Balotelli, who saw his first shot saved by Sorrentino before finding the net with an angled follow-up that Yepes failed to keep from crossing the line.

Maicon forced Sorrentino into a tipped save and Patrick Vieira - on his 100th appearance in Serie A - crashed a long-range shot over the bar as Inter produced chances to add to their lead.

Bentivoglio had a low effort blocked by Julio Cesar as the Flying Donkeys looked for a half-time leveller, but Inter hit back again when Cristian Chivu danced past three before seeing his shot deflected.

The solo move was Chivu's last slice of the action as a clash of heads with Pellissier saw the Romania captain stretchered off three minutes after the interval. He was replaced by Materazzi, with the excellent Ivan Cordoba switching to left-back. 

There were more yellow cards than shots on goal in a scrappy second half, Chievo substitute Abbruscato missing a glorious chance to equalise when he stabbed wide from close range after latching on to Luciano's deflected cross; Julio Cesar making comfortable saves from Luciano and Marcolini; and Sneijder seeing a long-range curling shot stopped by Sorrentino.

Showing inevitable signs of tiredness, Pandev was substituted by Quaresma in the 67th minute. Mourinho made his final substitution two minutes from time, replacing Balotelli with Marko Arnautovic to hand the Austrian forward his competitive debut.

Chievo 0-1 Inter (HT: 0-1)

Scorer: Balotelli 12.

Chievo: 28 Sorrentino; 20 Sardo, 5 Mandelli, 33 Yepes, 4 Mantovani; 10 Luciano (11 Granoche 85), 16 Rigoni, 7 Marcolini; 9 Bentivoglio (6 Pinzi 60); 23 Bogdani (22 Abbruscato 60), 31 Pellissier.
Subs not used: 18 Squizzi, 2 Morero, 19 Ariatti, 21 Frey.
Coach: Nicola Pierpaoli.

Inter: 12 Julio Cesar; 13 Maicon, 6 Lucio, 2 Cordoba, 26 Chivu (23 Materazzi 48); 14 Vieira, 4 Zanetti; 45 Balotelli (89 Arnautovic 88), 10 Sneijder, 27 Pandev (7 Quaresma 67); 22 Milito. 

Subs not used
: 1 Toldo, 28 Stevanovic, 29 Donati, 48 Crisetig. 

: José Mourinho.

Referee: Nicola Pierpaoli (Florence).

Booked: Chivu 5, Balotelli 34, Vieira 40, Sardo 59, Marcolini 63, Cordoba 69, Pellissier 75, Quaresma 77, Maicon 45+3.

Att.: 25,579.

ChievoVerona vs Inter

starting lineups

Sorrentino 12 Julio Cesar
Sardo 13 Maicon
Mandelli 6 Lucio
Yepes 2 Cordoba
Mantovani 26 Chivu
Luciano 14 Vieira
Rigoni 4 Zanetti
Marcolini 45 Balotelli
Bentivoglio 10 Sneijder
Bogdani 27 Pandev
Pellissier 22 Milito


Squizzi 1 Toldo
Morero 7 Quaresma
Pinzi 23 Materazzi
Granoche 28 Stevanovic
Ariatti 29 Donati
Abbruscato 48 Crisetig
Frey 89 Arnautovic

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