CATANIA – Compared to a year ago, Inter and Esteban Cambiasso changed the ending of the game with Catania at the Stadio Angelo Massimino. This time it was the Nerazzurri who won the game: final score 1-2, but everything happened in the second half. After the first half ended 0-0, Gomez’s goal opened the scoring taking the Sicilians into the lead on 71 minutes, but Inter’s reply came quickly and it was devastating: three minutes later Cambiasso found the net twice and in four minutes the score was 1-2.
FIRST HALF – After enduring a three-game suspension, Samuel Eto’o returned to the Inter side for the game with Catania. Leonardo fielded him from the start alongside Diego Milito, with Stankovic behind them in the attacking midfielder role. Giampaolo left Mascara on the bench and decided on a lone striker formation with Maxi Lopez up front.
The game’s first corner came on 3 minutes, and it went Catania’s way: Llama took it, but his ball was met by a very good Castellazzi who knocked the ball on. Same vibe from Cordoba, who on 8 outran Maxi Lopez as the striker was through on goal and put the ball out for a corner. The Nerazzurri’s first chance came on 14 minutes as Maicon crossed from the left and Stankovic beat Alvarez to the header, only to have Andujar save with relative ease. Catania held the majority of the possession during the middle part of the half, and on more than one occasion they tried to threaten the Nerazzurri goal. Pesce on 19 minutes tried from long range, his effort going wide, then on 23 Llama shot from the edge of the box, but he also failed to find the target. On 29 minutes Gomez got away from Cambiasso, but was then stopped by Chivu who sent the ball out for a corner as the opponent was very close to the Nerazzurri goal. Catania were again dangerous on 40 minutes with a long range effort from Pesce, but the ball went just wide of Castellazzi’s goal; Inter replied on 47 with a shot from distance by Motta which however was considerably off target. After 3 minutes of injury time, Damato called an end to the first half, with the two teams tied on the score of 0-0.
SECOND HALF – The second half kicked off without any changes and with Capuano’s left footed effort catching Zanetti and Stankovic off guard after 3 minutes: but the ball ended wide. Giampaolo made the first substitution replacing Llama with Martinho, whilst on 7 minutes Ledesma took a shot from the edge of the box which was again a threat to Castellazzi, who saved with a diving effort. On 11 minutes, although offside, Maxi Lopez forced the Nerazzurri goalkeeper to another save after he received the ball from Pesce. The Argentine striker was one of the liveliest protagonists at the Massimino: on 15 minutes he shot from distance and the effort went just over the bar, and two minutes later it was only Castellazzi’s quick reflexes that kept his shot from the edge of the box out. On 21 minutes Leonardo made his first change: Chivu out and Pandev in, but it was once again Castellazzi who performed a miracle, his third in a row, as he closed the Nerazzurri goal to a Maxi Lopez close range effort, who’d received the through ball from Martinho. On 24 minutes, from Maicon’s corner, Thiago Motta came very close to a goal; it came however two minutes later for the home team: Catellazzi managed someway to contain Maxi Lopez, but the Argentine got past Cordoba and got the shot off, Stankovic headed the ball off the line, but it fell to Gomez who shot into the top corner and rippled the net for the 1-0. But once again it was Cambiasso who turned goal scorer, from Stankovic’s assist, he controlled with his left, dispatched a shot with his right and levelled the scoring. And there was more to come: on 34 minutes Maicon’s perfect cross was met by Cuchu's head and the ball was once again in the back of the Catania net, Andujar was powerless and the score was 1-2. Inter and Cambiasso changed the face of the game, on 44 Milito could have wrapped the game up but his shot went just wide of the far post. On 46 minutes Leonardo made his last substitution and gifted Ranocchia his debut with the Nerazzurri jersey. Inter win their second game under Leonardo and reach 29 points in the table, 11 behind league leaders AC Milan, but still with two games in hand.
Catania 1-2 Inter (HT: 0-0)
Scorers: Gomez 61, Cambiasso 74, 79.
Catania: 21 Andujar; 22 Alvarez 3 Spolli, 82), 14 Bellusci, 6 Silvestre, 33 Capuano; 17 Gomez, 8 Ledesma, 5 Carboni, 24 Pesce (9 Antenucci, 82); 16 Llama (20 Martinho, 51); 11 Maxi Lopez.
Unused Subs: 30 Campagnolo, 4 Delvecchio, 7 Mascara, 26 Sciacca.
Coach: Marco Giampaolo.
Inter: 12 Castellazzi; 13 Maicon, 6 Lucio, 2 Cordoba, 26 Chivu (27 Pandev, 66); 4 Zanetti, 19 Cambiasso; 8 Thiago Motta (17 Mariga, 38), 5 Stankovic; 22 Milito (15 Ranocchia, 90+1) 9 Eto'o,
Unused Subs: 21 Orlandoni, 11 Muntari, 15 Ranocchia, 23 Materazzi, 88 Biabiany.
Referee: Mr Damato (Barletta).
Notes. Yellow cards: 81 Cordoba, 89 Martinho, 90 Lucio. Injury time: 3 and 3