03.02.11 / 23:11
BARI - Inter put three past Bari at the Stadio San Nicola in their Serie A 2010/11 Week 23 fixture.
The first half was a fairly bland affair that will be remembered mainly for Julio Cesar's stunning save from Almiron's freekick on 9 minutes. After the break it was one of Inter's new signings who broke the deadlock, Kharja playing a one-two with Eto'o in the box and rifling beneath Gillet. Bari tried to get back into the game but Inter wrapped up proceedings in added time: Pazzini made it two goals in three games since his arrival, before Sneijder scored on his return from a seven-week layoff.
FIRST HALF - With Lucio and Cordoba both unavailable, Leonardo set up his back line with Maicon, Ranocchia, Materazzi and Chivu. The coach also handed full debuts to Pazzini, in a three-pronged attack with Eto'o and Milito, and Kharja, in midfield alongside Zanetti and Thiago Motta. Wesley Sneijder started on the bench as he made his return after spending a month and a half on the sidelines, along with our new Japanese signing Nagatomo. Ventura began with Bentivoglio playing behind the front two of Rudolf and Okaka.
Bari started the game aggressively but it was Inter who had the first chance after 5 minutes: Thiago Motta fed Maicon out wide and the full-back hit in a dangerous cross for Milito; Rossi nipped in to prevent the Argentinian getting his shot away. On 9 minutes Ranocchia went into the book for bringing down Almiron as he charged towards goal. The Bari midfielder picked himself up and curled a perfectly placed ball over the wall that required a super save from Julio Cesar at full stretch. Bari were making things difficult for the Nerazzurri by chasing down every ball and in the 15th minute they had another chance, when Bentivoglio tried to turn a shot goalwards after Masiello's low cross was backheeled by Okaka; however, his effort was weak and went wide. Maicon forced Gillet into a stretch to keep out his shot (19) and two minutes later Almiron fizzed another effort just wide of Julio Cesar's post. Bentivoglio then became the second player to pick up a yellow when he dived over Thiago Motta's challenge looking for a penalty. The Nerazzurri's first corner (26) saw Ranocchia leap and head at goal but Gillet was well placed; from their second (39) Thiago Motta's shot from outside the box went wide. The first half thus ended goalless.
SECOND HALF - The second half got underway without any changes being made and with a superb move by Eto'o, who went past four opponents and played a one-two with Milito before seeing his shot blocked by Rossi and go behind for a corner. In the 57th minute Almiron brought down Eto'o and a free-kick was awarded 30 yards out; the Cameroonian's shot smashed into the wall. On 61 minutes, seven weeks after he was injured in the Club World Cup, Sneijder came on for Milito. However, it was Kharja who broke the deadlock with his first goal for the Nerazzurri: his left-footed rocket from an angle, following a neat one-two with Eto'o, left Gillet with no chance. 0-1. Bari didn't lose heart, though, and in the 73rd minute Parisi's chip into the box found Gazzi, who hit an excellent volley from 12 yards out, but Julio Cesar was there and pushed it over the crossbar. In the 85th minute they faced each other again with the Nerazzurri keeper saving Gazzi's left-footed shot. Bari looked dangerous once more in the 90th minute, when Huseklepp got into the area and turned back a low cross from the line; Julio Cesar collected at the near post. It looked like it was all over, but Giampaolo Pazzini had other ideas: Sneijder won a tackle in midfield, Thiago Motta took over and sent Pazzini away; Pazzo's run ended in a diagonal right-footed shot that made it 0-2. And it wasn't over yet. Zanetti did well down the right and crossed to the far post, where Kharja chested the ball down for Sneijder to run onto and the Dutchman's sliding shot beat Gillet once again.
After 6 minutes of added time Bari v Inter finished 0-3. Inter kept a clean sheet and moved into fourth place on 41 points and level with Lazio, 7 points behind leaders AC Milan with a game in hand.
Bari 0-3 Inter
Scorers: 70 Kharja, 90+4 Pazzini, 90+6 Sneijder
Bari: 1 Gillet; 5 Masiello A., 52 Glik (7 Rivas, 90+3), 33 Rossi, 21 Parisi; 8 Donati, 4 Almiron, 14 Gazzi; 27 Bentivoglio; 71 Rudolf (22 Huseklepp, 69), 89 Okaka.
Unused subs: 25 Padelli, 3 Codrea, 24 Kopunek, 32 Romero, 84 Raggi.
Coach: Giampiero Ventura.
Inter: 1 Julio Cesar; 13 Maicon, 15 Ranocchia, 23 Materazzi, 26 Chivu; 4 Zanetti, 8 Thiago Motta, 14 Kharja; 7 Pazzini, 22 Milito (10 Sneijder, 61), 9 Eto'o (19 Cambiasso, 88).
Unused subs: 21 Orlandoni,, 20 Obi, 27 Pandev, 29 Coutinho, 55 Nagatomo.
Referee: Andrea Romeo (Verona)
Booked: 9 Ranocchia, 23 Bentivoglio, 43 Glik, 48 Thiago Motta, 76 Materazzi, 88 Eto'o.
Added time: 0+6 mins.