MONZA - The friendly between Inter and Chievo Verona ended 2-3 at the Stadio Brianteo in Monza. It wasn't the league (postponed due to the Serie A strike) but out on the pitch it was taken seriously all the same. Nagatomo hit the bar with what was the Nerazzurri's best chance of the first half, which finished goalless. All the real action came after the restart: Milito broke the deadlock, Thereau replied with a free kick, then a brace from an on-fire Moscardelli put Chievo in charge. Pazzini reduced the arrears seconds before Gallioni signalled the end of the match.
FIRST HALF – Without Jonathan and Sneijder but with Lucio and Nagatomo back in the side, Gasperini began with a 3-4-3 formation: the Brazilian slotted into the rear guard alongside Samuel and Chivu while the Japanese wing-back (still recovering from his shoulder injury) was on the right of midfield. Alvarez, Milito and Castaignos formed the attacking trio. Zanetti started on the bench so Cambiasso took the captain's armband.
Inter ran an early risk when Pellissier's low cross found Paloschi unmarked but the youngster dragged his shot wide of Julio Cesar's right-hand post (6 minutes). The Nerazzurri responded in the 12th minute as Milito got to the byline and pulled back for Nagatomo, the Japan international sending his effort was high. Alvarez followed suit in firing over (14) then Castaignos' tussle with Paloschi earned him a free kick near the corner flag (18): Alvarez whipped it into the centre, Thiago Motta came from deep and rose above everyone but his header was deflected behind for a corner.
Inter were having most of the ball but Chievo were holding strong at the back. Milito tried his luck from range (26) but couldn't keep his effort down either. Samuel and Lucio came to the rescue around the half-hour mark to deny decent goal-scoring opportunities to, respectively, Pellissier and Sammarco, before an enterprising Nagatomo very nearly gave Inter the lead on 38 minutes: after winning a rebound, he released a vicious left-footed shot that Puggioni just got a fingertip to and pushed onto the underside of the bar. A minute later Thiago Motta was clean through but he dallied expecting to hear the offside whistle and it gave the Gialloblu defence that extra second to get back and clear. 0-0 after 45 minutes.
SECOND HALF – As expected, a host of changes were made during the interval by both coaches with Gasperini bringing on 6 new players. Zanetti was one of those and he soon appeared on the radar with a typically dangerous charge forward and cross into the box, cleared by Chievo. Milito put the Nerazzurri in front in the 48th minute as Stankovic played Faraoni in behind the defence and the youngster put in low cross from the byline, the Argentine bamboozling substitute keeper Squizzi by trapping the ball and shooting on the turn.
There was barely time to celebrate before Thereau had extinguished the enthusiasm and restored parity with a low drive, catching Castellazzi unawares (51). Milito thought he had put Inter back into the lead on 55 minutes when he stooped to nod home following Chivu's flick-on from Alvarez's corner, but it was ruled out for offside. Nagatomo then made way for Santon, with applause for both. On 65 minutes a half-cleared corner fell to Stankovic, who didn't hesitate in firing towards goal and Cambiasso was just a whisker away from turning it in at the far post.
In the 70th minute, Moscardelli put Chievo ahead as his curling, dipping free kick caught out Castellazzi. Inter went looking for an equaliser and Pazzini worked some space for a shot that deflected off a couple of defenders before Santon's follow-up was pushed behind for a corner (79). A foul by Mandelli on the edge of the area earned him a yellow card and the Nerazzurri a free kick (83): Stankovic's curling effort was parried by Squizzi and Milito arrowed the rebound across the face of goal and wide.
As the game entered stoppage time, another free kick was rolled to Pazzini and the striker drilled a powerful low effort just past the post. With the four minutes of added time starting to run down Chievo inevitably found space on the counter-attack, and Uribe skied a decent chance (91) before Moscardelli's scored a fabulous goal to give his side a two-goal cushion: deftly bringing down a long ball forward, he advanced to the edge of the box, dribbled past Faraoni, cut inside Ranocchia and bent his finish inside Castellazzi's far post (93). Pazzini completed the scoring when he volleyed in Santon's cross following a burst down the left by the young full-back but the four minutes were already up and the referee ended the game there. That was the end of the friendly, now we just have to wait for the league to get under way.
Inter 2-3 Chievo (HT: 0-0)
Scorers: Milito 48, Thereau 51, Moscardelli 70 and 90+3, Pazzini 90+4.
Inter: 1 Julio Cesar (Castellazzi 46); 6 Lucio (Ranocchia 46), 25 Samuel, 26 Chivu (Zanetti 46); 55 Nagatomo (Santon 58), 8 Thiago Motta (Stankovic 46), 19 Cambiasso (Longo 81), 20 Obi (Faraoni 46); 11 Alvarez (Crisetig 81), 22 Milito, 30 Castaignos (Pazzini 46).
Unused subs: 21 Orlandoni, 16 Caldirola.
Coach: Gian Piero Gasperini.
Unused subs: 8 Cruzado, 25 Vacek, 93 Dramè.
Coach: Domenico Di Carlo.
Referee: Gallione (Alessandria refereeing section); assistants: Bernandoni and Melloni (Modena section).
Booked: Hatemaj 77, Samuel 81, Vacek 82, Mandelli 83, Faraoni 88.