COMO - After three matches in pre-season summer preparations and two convincing halves in the TIM Trophy, Inter faced coach Silvio Paolucci's Como team at the Stadio Sinigaglia. The Nerazzurri, who this evening played in red kits, fielded Castellazzi in goal, Mbaye, Silvestre, Ranocchia and Nagatomo in defence, Mudingayi and Guarin in midfield, and Jonathan, Sneijder and Coutinho in a line supporting lone forward Palacio.
FIRST HALF – Inter took the opening kick-off on a pitch in decent condition and the game started at a rather subdued pace. Inter had the first go at goal after three minutes with a shot on the turn from Jonathan that finished a yard wide of the post. Then after only three minutes more they went ahead; Nagatomo controlled a long pass from Guarin with his heel before beating the Como keeper Micai with a diagonal left-footer. On 11 minutes Inter came close to their second when Coutinho's corner found Ranocchia's head, but the ball just missed the upper corner. A minute later the Nerazzurri once again threatened when Coutinho forced Micai into a double save. After a quarter of an hour Palacio gave the hosts a fright with a diagonal shot that was just off target. Later when Mudingayi stole the ball and sent Coutinho into the box Micai had to drop to the turf to block the Brazilian's shot. Velardi was the one to claim Como's first shot in the 24th minute and his effort grazed the woodwork at the upper corner. Micai was then called into action to stop a shot from Palacio after being fed by Jonathan. Jonathan then had a go himself with a powerful right-footer that flew just over the crossbar.
On 28 minutes the Nerazzurri doubled their lead; Coutinho took a corner that Ranocchia met with a towering leap, leaving Micai helpless as the header finished in the net. Still no rest for Micai as he was forced into yet another save on 33 minutes, this time from Guarin's on-target thunderbolt (the keeper picked up a slight injury to his finger on this particular save). A penetrating pass from Sneijder sent Countinho in on goal but, under pressure from the onrushing keeper, his shot his shot finished in the side netting. The home team finally found the net in the 41st minute when Bardelloni took advantage of a poor Nerazzurri clearance to beat Castellazzi, placing his shot just inside the post. After three minutes of injury time added by referee Borriello the first half ended.
SECOND HALF – After returning from the dressing rooms Stramaccioni replaced Castellazzi with Belec, Nagatomo with Zanetti and Sneijder with Livaja. Como coach Paolucci responded by sending on Ambrosini for Schiavino and Gotler for Gammone. Nine minutes into the half Cambiasso came on for the excellent Mudingayi. At the 59-minute mark Coutinho exchanged passes with Jonathan, giving the full-back a chance to shoot, but he instead hesitated and allowed the Como defence to clear the ball to safety. Two minutes later a long-range shot from Livaja forced Micai into an awkward save. On 63 minutes Livaja connected with Coutinho's corner for a header and the Croat was denied a goal only because of a miraculous save from the Como keeper.
Inter once again went to their bench: in the 65th minute Longo came on for Coutinho and 5 minutes later Garritano and Pasa took over for Guarin and Mbaye respectively. Then on 75 minutes Benassi came on for the fantastic Jonathan. Inter's third goal then arrived two minutes later when Palacio penetrated the box from the right to send a low and accurate right-footer inside the corner. Later, a daring sortie from Micai denied Samuel Longo a chance at finding the score sheet. In the 89th minute Mazzocca added another goal for the hosts when he took advantage of an erred clearance from Bianchetti and sent the ball past Belec. The referee then blew his whistle to end the match after three minutes of injury time. The next engagement for Stramaccioni's team will take place on Saturday 28 July at 14:30 (CET), when Inter face Celtic in Glasgow in a match that will celebrate the 125th anniversary of the Scottish club.
Como 2-3 Inter (HT: 1-2)
Scorers: Nagatomo 6, Ranocchia 28, Schiavino 41, Palacio 77, Mazzocca 89.
Como: 1 Micai (Frattini 88); 2 Benvenga (Bellitta 32), 3 Marchi (Sallaj 69), 4 Ardito (Ciffone 69), 5 Schiavino (Ambrosini 46), 6 Del Pivo (Donnarumma 87), 7 Gammone (Gotler 46), 8 Velardi (Mazzocca 37), 9 Bardelloni (Scialpi 61), 10 Tremolada (Fautario 69), 11 A. Donnarumma (Petillo 69).
Coach: Silvio Paolucci.
Inter: 12 Castellazzi (Belec 46); 6 Silvestre (Del Piero 86), 7 Coutinho (Longo 65), 8 Palacio (Forte 86), 10 Sneijder (Livaja 46), 14 Guarin (Garritano 70), 16 Mudingayi (Cambiasso 54), 23 Ranocchia (Bianchetti 68), 33 Mbaye (Pasa 70), 42 Jonathan (Benassi 75), 55 Nagatomo (Zanetti 46).
Unused subs: 32 Cincilla.
Coach: Andrea Stramaccioni.
Referee: Francesco Borriello.
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