referee Domenico Celi / linesmen Posado, La Rocca / 4th man Musolino / assistants Tagliavento, Fabbri
Serie A TIM — matchday 18 — Castellani - Empoli, — 6 January 2016 18:00
|47' /||The first half comes to an end: the teams go in with Inter in the lead thanks to Mauro Icardi's goal|
|46' /||GOOOOOOAAAAL FROM ICARDI!!! Perisic crosses and Icardi steals a march on everyone to poke it home. 1-0 to the Nerazzurri!|
|45' /||There will be two minutes of additional time|
|43' /||Ljajic's shot from the inside box is blocked, Kondogbia gathers the ball on the follow-up and lays it off for Perisic who shoots over|
|38' /||Inter with an error in defence, Saponara takes the shot on and Handanovic saves his team-mates' blushes once again|
|35' /||Yellow card for Brozovic after a heavy challenge on Mario Rui|
|35' /||Ljajic with an inviting cross, but there are no Nerazzurri players on the end of it|
|34' /||Another save by Handanovic after Maccarone gets a flick on it from close-range. The Slovenian goalkeeper is fouled in the process|
|32' /||Handanovic is hurt after colliding with Pucciarelli who bearing down on goal|
|29' /||Icardi gets ahead of everyone on the corner but can't keep his header on target|
|29' /||Perisic's fierce right-footed shot is deflected behind for a corner|
|26' /||Classy stuff from Icardi in midfield, the Nerazzurri skipper is felled by Paredes who is booked by Celi|
|24' /||Pucciarelli lays it off to Zielinski who misses the target with a low effort on his right|
|21' /||Saponara with an effort on the turn that goes wide following a deflected shot from Maccarone|
|18' /||Maccarone stands over the free-kick and hits a dangerous low effort. Saved by Handanovic|
|17' /||Yellow card for the Nerazzurri No. 24|
|16' /||Murillo fouls Maccarone on the edge of the box|
|13' /||Marcelo Brozovic works himself a shooting opportunity from the edge of the box after the corner, but he can't keep it below the bar|
|12' /||Good move from Inter: Brozovic to D'Ambrosio who fizzes it across the box for Icardi but the defender gets the block in for an Inter corner|
|10' /||Cross-shot from Ljajic causes panic in Empoli's defence, Barba turns it behind for a corner|
|9' /||D'Ambrosio crosses and Ljajic steadies himself for a header, but Skorupski intercepts and claims|
|7' /||Good work from the home side: Buchel picks up a loose ball on the edge of the area and shoots, but he can't find the target|
|4' /||Saponara battling his way down the right, but he's stopped by Murillo who launches a counter attack|
|1' /||And we're under way! Roberto Mancini's Nerazzurri take the kick-off|
|1' /||The teams are lining up at the Stadio Castellani, kick-off just a few moments away in Empoli v Inter in Week 18 of Serie A TIM 2015/16|
|50' /||It's all over! First match of 2016 and three points for Inter, who begin the new year with a victory!|
|49' /||A Mario Rui set-piece evades everybody and goes behind for a goal-kick|
|47' /||Guarin attempts a wondergoal from midfield, but Skorupski gets back on his line and saves|
|45' /||There will be five minutes of injury time at the end of the game|
|45' /||Final change for Mancini: Ljajic is off for Juan Jesus|
|42' /||Empoli make a change as well: Piu taking Paredes's place|
|41' /||Second sub for the Nerazzurri: Icardi making way for Jovetic|
|39' /||Guarin picks the defender's pocket on the right and earns a precious corner|
|35' /||Mancini decides to shuffle his pack: Guarin coming on for Kondogbia|
|30' /||Free-kick from 30 metres taken by Paredes. Handanovic saves comfortably|
|26' /||Ljajic and Brozovic interchanging passes on the edge of the area but the move is killed by an awkward deflection|
|22' /||Croce is booked for a foul on D'Ambrosio|
|22' /||Daisy-cutter from Kondogbia that goes inches wide|
|20' /||Dangerous cross-shot from Zielinski, cutting across the whole of the Nerazzurri six-yard box without anyone getting on the end of it|
|19' /||Double change for Empoli, Livaja and Croce coming on for Maccarone and Buchel|
|16' /||Maccarone plays it into an onrushing Zielinski, Perisic is on hand to turn it behind for a corner|
|15' /||Kondogbia lays it off for Brozovic who takes one touch to control and tries to find the inside of Skorupski's left post. Narrowly wide|
|11' /||Ljajic from the top-left corner of the box, the ball goes behind for a corner|
|10' /||Double chance for Inter! First Mario Rui gets a last-ditch tackle on Ljajic then Brozovic clips it over from a decent position|
|7' /||Ingenuous pass from Pucciarelli for Saponara, whose shot is saved by Handanovic . Corner to Empoli|
|2' /||Brozovic from 25 metres, Skorupski saves low|
|2' /||Great start from the Nerazzurri! Ljajic releases Perisic up the middle, but he slices the shot|
|1' /||And we're back under way! No changes to either side|
|21 September 2016||0-2||10' Icardi, 18' Icardi,||Vai alla partita|
|6 January 2016||0-1||46' Icardi,||Vai alla partita|
|17 January 2015||0-0||Vai alla partita|
|1 September 2007||0-2||14' Ibrahimovic, 85' Ibrahimovic||Vai alla partita|
|10 December 2006||0-3||60' Crespo, 78' Ibrahimovic, 87' Samuel||Vai alla partita|
|30 April 2006||1-0||94' Materazzi||Vai alla partita|
|16 May 2004||2-3||18' Lucchini, 46' Adriano, 67' Recoba, 71' Adriano, 86' Rocchi||Vai alla partita|
|6 November 2002||3-4||5' Crespo, 10' Zanetti J., 15' Di Natale, 49' Recoba, 61' Vannucchi, 84' Adani, 92' Tavano||Vai alla partita|
|27 September 1998||1-2||13' Carparelli, 26' Bergomi, 37' Ventola||Vai alla partita|
|25 January 1998||1-1||3' Esposito, 81' Recoba||Vai alla partita|
|7 February 1988||1-1||9' Scifo, 71' Lucci|
|14 September 1986||1-0||37' Osio|
|4||shots on target||3|
|12||shots off target||11|
EMPOLI – Inter got straight back to winning ways after the Christmas break with a gutsy and hard-fought victory away against Empoli.
There was very little to separate the two sides over ninety minutes, but the Nerazzurri put in a cohesive team performance in a game that was settled by Icardi's strike just before half-time.
Roberto Mancini lined his players up in a 4-3-3 formation, with Mauro Icardi as the centre-forward flanked by Ivan Perisic and Adem Ljajic. Lorenzo Tonelli was the only absentee for the home side, replaced by Federico Barba, with Riccardo Saponara deployed in the hole behind a front-two of Manuel Pucciarelli and Enzo Maccarone.
Empoli were quickest out of the blocks in the early minutes of the game, keeping possession in Inter's half of the pitch but without creating any clear-cut opportunities.
The first big chance went the Nerazzurri's way when Mario Rui missed a tackle allowing Ljajic to fire a cross into the box, but a last-ditch interception from the home side put the ball out with Icardi lurking dangerously. Empoli responded immediately on the counter attack and Danilo D'Ambrosio showed defensive nous to shackle Saponara in a one-on-one.
Inter began growing into the game and Marcelo Brozovic released a marauding D'Ambrosio down the wing in the 13th minute. The Italian defender worked himself room to swing the cross in, but Andrea Costa was well placed to clear the danger.
Three minutes later, Samir Handanovic's sharp reflexes in goal were called into action twice in rapid succession. First he parried a free-kick from Maccarone and shortly afterwards he was quick off his line to clear at the Empoli skipper's feet.
The first half was being played at a high tempo with the teams matching each other blow for blow, but the contest was short on goalscoring chances. In the 23rd minute, however, Pucciarelli found himself room in the Inter box and laid it off for the onrushing Piotr Zielinski, who couldn't keep his right-footed shot on target.
Around the half-hour mark, two breaks in play with Saponara and Handanovic receiving treatment disrupted the rhythm of the first half. When the game resumed, the Tuscan outfit moved back into the ascendancy, Saponara and Marcel Buchel both creating dangerous openings in the space of a few seconds.
Inter gave a forewarning of what was to come in the 42nd minute when Geoffrey Kondogbia made the most of his considerable physique to keep possession in midfield and then feed Perisic on the edge of the box. Unfortunately, the Croatian couldn't find the target with a first-time strike.
Perisic then turned creator a few minutes later, beating Vincent Laurini with a step-over and firing in a low cross from the byline. Icardi showed all his striking instincts to beat Federico Barba at the near post and poke home beyond Lukasz Skorupski in injury time at the end of the first half.
Neither side made any changes at the break and the first opportunity of the second half fell to Inter. Kondogbia got the move going, with Icardi and Ljajic interchanging passes before the Serbian played in Perisic arriving at full pace. Ivan's touch let him down at the vital moment and Skorupski gathered safely.
There was a heart-in-mouth moment for the Nerazzurri in the 51st minute when Pucciarelli intercepted a pass from Ljajic and immediately released Saponara. The young Italian had two attempts to beat Handanovic, but Inter's No.1 did well to put it behind for a corner.
There were plenty of chances for both teams in an intriguing contest. In the 54th minute, Brozovic pounced on a loose ball in the area and, cutting back onto his right, tried to place it in the far corner but couldn't keep his effort below the bar. Empoli were pressing for an equaliser, while Inter looked dangerous on the counter. Perisic and Ljajic on the wings were both linking well with Icardi but unable to create anything concrete.
The hosts threatened in the 65th minute when Marko Livaja, recently subbed on, escaped down the right and played the ball to Zielinski on the edge of the area, but the Polish midfielder's shot ended up behind. Kondogbia tried to put the game to bed minutes later, but the Frenchman couldn't bend his low powerful shot inside the post.
The best opening of the game for the home side came when Inter misplaced a ball in defence midway through the second half. Saponara found Pucciarelli lurking in a good position, but the presence of Jeison Murillo and Yuto Nagatomo was enough to put the Italian off and Handanovic was able to gather.
Mancini made his first change with ten minutes to go. Fredy Guarin came on for Kondogbia who had picked up a knock moments earlier.
Inter were defending with great concentration and tried to kill the game off with extended spells in possession. The Tuscans had one final chance in the fourth minute of injury time with a free-kick from 25 yards out. Mario Rui's delivery didn't find anyone on the end of it and the game finished here.
With this victory, Inter cling onto top spot and move onto 39 points for the season. Next up for Mancini's men is the visit of Sassuolo to the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on Sunday at 12:30 CET.
EMPOLI 0-1 INTER (HT: 0-1)
Scorer: Icardi 45+1.
EMPOLI: 28 Skorupski; 2 Laurini, 15 Costa, 19 Barba, 21 Mario Rui; 17 Zielinski, 32 Paredes (22 Piu, 86), 77 Buchel (11 Croce, 63); 5 Saponara; 20 Pucciarelli, 7 Maccarone (39 Livaja, 63).
Subs not used: 1 Pugliesi, 23 Pelagotti, 3 Zambelli, 6 Bittante, 13 Maiello, 14 Diousse, 24 Cosic, 31 Camporese, 33 Krunic.
Coach: Marco Giampaolo.
INTER: 1 Handanovic; 33 D'Ambrosio, 25 Miranda, 24 Murillo, 55 Nagatomo; 77 Brozovic, 17 Medel, 7 Kondogbia (13 Guarin, 80), 44 Perisic, 9 Icardi (10 Jovetic, 86), 22 Ljajic (5 Jesus, 90).
Subs not used: 30 Carrizo, 8 Palacio, 11 Biabiany, 12 Telles, 14 Montoya, 21 Santon, 23 Ranocchia, 27 Gnoukouri, 97 Manaj.
Coach: Roberto Mancini.
Yellow cards: Murillo 17, Paredes 26, Brozovic 35, Croce 67.
Additional time: 2+5 minutes.
Referee: Domenico Celi.
Assistant refereees: Fabrizio Posado and Claudio La Rocca.
Fourth official: Espedito Marco Musolino.
Additional assistants: Paolo Tagliavento and Michael Fabbri.
Empoli vs Inter
|Skorupski 28||1 Handanovic|
|Laurini 2||33 D'Ambrosio|
|Costa 15||25 Miranda|
|Barba 19||24 Murillo|
|Mario Rui 21||55 Nagatomo|
|Zielinski 17||77 Brozovic|
|Paredes 32||17 Medel|
|Buchel 77||7 Kondogbia|
|Saponara 5||44 Perisic|
|Maccarone 7||9 Icardi|
|Pucciarelli 20||22 Ljajic|
|Pugliesi 1||30 Carrizo|
|Pelagotti 23||5 Jesus|
|Zambelli 3||12 Telles|
|Bittante 6||14 Montoya|
|Cosic 24||21 Santon|
|Camporese 31||23 Ranocchia|
|Croce 11||13 Guarin|
|Maiello 13||27 Gnoukouri|
|Diousse 14||8 Palacio|
|Krunic 33||10 Jovetic|
|Piu 22||11 Biabiany|
|Livaja 39||97 Manaj|