Final score

16 May 2004 15:00

39' (2nd half) Rocchi
18' Lucchini
24' (2nd half) Adriano
20' (2nd half) Recoba
46' Adriano
Referee: Stefano Farina / Linesmen: Ivaldi, Mitro / Fourth official: Morganti
Watch highlights
Minute Text commentary
46' Free kick to Inter on the left wing.
46' GOAAAALLLL!!! We're level as Adriano's looping header from Kily's left-wing free kick goes in at the top left-hand corner.
46' Half time. Empoli 1-1 Inter
45' 1 minute of additional time to play.
44' Farina has a word with Cordoba and Vannucchi after both players make a kung-fu challenge for the ball.
43' Vargas fouls Adriano ten yards outside the Empoli box. Free kick.
43' The Brazilian's low free kick comes off the Tuscan wall.
42' Adriano smahes high over the bar after beating Lucchini to Kily's pin-point cross. Farina gives a foul against the Brazilian.
42' Empoli come forward on the break and on the edge of the Inter box Vannucchi fires wide.
41' Adriano's shot from the distance is easily caught by Balli.
40' Lucchini heads clear Stankovic's deep cross into the Empoli box to deny Oba Martins.
38' Rocchi is way offside as he runs to meet a high ball over the advanced Nerazzurri defence.
37' Giampieretti is stretchered off.
36' Incredible miss by Kily Gonzalez, who heads wide of the far post after excellent work by Stankovic.
36' From the distance Stankovic sends a blistering shot on target. Balli tips the ball over the bar. Corner.
34' Adriano shows superb ball control as he brings down Stankovic's ball into the Empoli penalty box then smashes his shot high over the crossbar.
33' Martins' right-wing cross to the edge of the Empoli box is headed clear.
33' Kily receives ten yards outside the Empoli box then fires wide of the far post.
32' At the other end Balli comes off his line to beat Adriano to the ball.
31' Empoli close to a second goal. Perotti's men come forward on the counter-attack. Di Natale's shot from Vannucchi's right-wing cross is blocked, then Vannucchi's follow-up shot comes off the near post.
29' Midway inside the Empoli half Adriano plays a one-two with Kily then is dispossessed by an opponent.
29' Lucchini beats Martins to Adriano's left-wing cross. Farina gives Empoli a free kick for a foul by the Nigerian.
27' Javier Zanetti closes down Belleri on the right wing and the Tuscans win an attacking throw-in.
26' Emre wins the ball off Vannucchi but Farina awards Empoli a free kick.
25' Lazio have taken the lead at home to Modena.
24' Di Natale mis-kicks his close-range shot from Rocchi's cut-back.
23' Di Natale is offside as he races on to a ball played to the left wing.
22' With his legs Balli parries Martins's diagonal shot from the left, then an Empoli defender clears. Corner to Inter.
20' Adriano's angled volley has no power in it and Balli collects.
18' Toldo parries Vannucchi's fiercely-strck free kick. Lucchini smashes home his follow-up shot. 1-0 to Empoli.
17' Emre dribbles two opponents then plays wide to Stankovic, whose cross from the left-wing by-line is blocked.
17' Materazzi is yellow-carded for bringing down Rocchi on the edge of the Nerazzurri penalty area.
16' Ficini fouls Kily on the wing. Free kick to us just inside our half.
15' Empoli on the counter-attack. Gamarra closes down Busce' in the Inter penalty area and plays out of defence.
14' Free kick to Inter on the left edge of the Empoli box after Stankovic is fouled.
13' From 35 yards out Stankovic sends a shot just over Balli's crossbar.
12' Inter on the attack. Adriano recievs from Stankovic then from a tight angle plays across the six-yard box. Empoli make a half-clearance then Kily shoots wide from just inside the Tuscan penalty box.
11' Toldo comes off his line to deny Rocchi after a defensive error by Materazzi.
10' Adriano fouls Lucchini after losing the ball on the right wing.
9' Martins gets on the end of Cordoba's long ball forward then sends a weak shot on target which creates few problems for Balli.
8' Materazzi anticipates Rocchi to snuff out a Tuscan attack.
7' Vannucchi receives a cut-back from Rocchi then advances but can't stop the ball from going out for an Inter goal kick.
6' Oba pounces on a loose ball just outside the Empoli box, dribbles an opponent then shoots wide of the right-hand post.
5' Cribari shoves Martins from behind and Farino awards us a free kick inside the Empoli half.
4' The Hammer is fouled by Ficini in the centre circle. Free kick to the Nerazzurri.
3' Lucchini's ball forward is too long for Rocchi and Toldo collects.
3' At the other end Balli collects after Materazzi's 50-metre pass is too long for Oba Martins.
2' Balli comes off his line and outjumps Kily to deny the Agrentine a chance from eight yards.
2' Emre fouls Busce' in the centre circle and the home side win a free kick.
1' Welcome to live commentary of Empoli v Inter. The Tuscans kick off. FORZA NERAZZURRI!!!
1' Di Natale is offside as he controls Rocchi's pass to the left wing.
Minute Text commentary
54' Full time. Inter beat Empoli 3-2 and finish the season in fourth place.
53' Parma 4-3 Udinese.
50' After several minutes, Adani replaces Materazzi.
47' Materazzi remains on the ground after a challenge by Vargas.
46' Cristiano Zanetti is booked for foul play.
46' Kily is replaced by Thomas Helveg.
45' 4 minutes of added time to play.
44' An inspired Adriano dribbles two opponents on the right then sees his shot blocked by Ficini.
43' Recoba comes forward on the break, takes on one but can't get past a second opponent and Empoli gain possession.
42' Empoli have renewed belief but need two goals to stay in the Serie A.
39' Rocchi takes the ball past Gamarra and Cordoba then fires home. 3-2.
36' Recoba's shot from way out comes off an opponent.
35' Empoli seem to have given up as the Nerazzurri move the ball around in the Tuscan half.
34' Parma 3-2 Udinese, Lazio 2-0 Modena.
33' Foggia's left-foot strike from the distance is way over.
31' Empoli substitution: Tavano comes on for Belleri.
30' At the Tardini it's Parma 2-2 Udinese.
26' Free kick to Inter 25 yards out. Adriano shoots over the Empoli crossbar.
24' Rocchi's shot from just inside the Nerazzurri penalty area is over the bar at the far post.
24' SUPERB goal by Adriano, who takes the ball past three opponents then sidesteps Balli before slotting into an open goal. 3-1 to Inter and a brace for the Brazilian.
21' Empoli bring on Foggia for Giampieretti.
20' GOOOAAAALLLL!!!!! Recoba's curled free kick goes over the Empoli wall and in at the near post.
19' Free kick to us 20 yards out after Vargas fouls Adriano.
18' On the left wing Cordoba pushes Di Natale off the ball and is booked.
17' Inter substitution: Recoba on, Martins off.
16' Parma equalise at home to Udinese.
15' Rocchi turns an opponent on the left wing then sends a low shot wide of the near post.
14' Rocchi's cross from the left-wing by-line is calmly played back to Toldo by Materazzi.
13' Busce's right-wing cross goes out of play at the left-wing touchline.
11' Udinese take the lead away to Parma.
11' Adriano's diagonal shot is easily saved by Balli.
9' Empoli head clear from the corner, Cristiano Zanetti's shot from the distance is over the crossbar.
9' The home side win a left-wing corner kick.
8' Adriano is tripped by Ficini as he runs on goal. Free kick to us 20 yards out.
8' Stankovic's free kick takes a deflection. Left-wing corner to us.
7' Empoli on the attack. Vannuchi squares to Busce' who shoots over the bar from a position just inside the Inter box.
5' Another free kick. It goes Empoli's way after Stankovic goes in feet high on an opponent.
5' Inter win a left-wing corner kick after Belleri kicks the ball out of play. The ball is played short to Emre, whose cross is headed clear.
3' Free kick to Inter on the right wing after Martins is fouled.
3' At the far post Balli beats Adriano to Kily's cross. Farinos awards Empoli a free kick.
2' At the far post Materazzi commits a foul as he jumps to meet Kily Gonzalez' corner kick.
2' At the other end Di Natale fouls Gamarra.
1' Inter get the second half underway.
1' The Nerazzurri are straight into attack and win a left-wing corner.
Kily Gonzalez
Average rating 7.16
5 shots on target 9
2 shots off target 12
21 fouls committed 22
1 corners 6
5 offsides 0
25:51 ball possession 26:53
Perotti v Zaccheroni

The current Empoli and Inter coaches meet for the sixth time. Perotti has recorded two away wins from the other five matches, with Zaccheroni victorious on one occasion. Perotti has never won at home to teams coached by Zaccheroni.

In detail:

1991/92 Serie B Cesena-Venezia 0-0 ----
1994/95 Serie B Ancona-Cosenza 1-2 1-0
2000/01 Serie A Verona-AC Milan 1-1 ----
2003/04 Serie A Empoli-Inter ---- 1-0

Perotti v Inter

Current Empoli coach Perotti has won three, drawn one and lost one of his five matches against Inter.

In detail:

2000/01 Serie A Verona-Inter 2-2 0-2
2002/03 C. Italia Bari-Inter 1-0 2-1
2003/04 Serie A Empoli-Inter ---- 1-0

Zaccheroni v Empoli

In eight matches against Empoli, Alberto Zaccheroni has won three drawn two and lost three (all 1-0). Teams coached by Zaccheroni have never won away to the Tuscans (one draw and two defeats).

In detail:

1990/91 Serie C-1 Venezia-Empoli 2-0 0- 1
1993/94 Serie C-1 Bologna-Empoli 1-0 ----
1997/98 Serie A Udinese-Empoli 2-2 0-1
1998/99 Serie A AC Milan-Empoli 4-0 1-1
2003/04 Serie A Inter-Empoli 0-1 ----

Inter's final sprint

With 19 points out of a possible 24 from their last 8 matches (6 wins, 1 draw and 1 defeat), Inter have outperformed every other Serie A team.

Adriano one goal away from personal record

With his winner against Parma last Sunday, Adriano Leite Ribeiro equalled his record of fifteen strikes in one Serie A season, set while at the Gialloblu last year.

Stadio Castellani invincible in 2004

Empoli are still unbeaten at home in 2004, with 5 victories and 4 draws from 9 matches. The Tuscans were last beaten at the Stadio Castellani by Roma (0-2) on 20 December 2003.

Perotti's points per match average

Had current coach Perotti started the season on the Empoli bench, the Tuscan outfit would certainly have secured Serie A status next season. Since taking over at relegation-threatened Empoli, Perotti has recorded a points per game average of 1.03 (28 matches), which if maintained for all 34 matches of the championship would see the club on 35 points, one more than Reggina and Siena who guaranteed themselves Serie A safety last weekend.

Empoli: no draw on final day of season

Against Inter at the Stadio Castellani, Empoli's sixth Serie A season comes to a close. The Tuscans have never drawn on the final day of a top-flight season, with two wins (1-0 away to Como in 1986/87, 3-2 at home to Pescara in 1987/88) and three defeats (1-4 away to Inter in 1997/98, 1-3 away to Udinese in 1998/99, 0-2 away to Parma in 2002/03). The only time Empoli's Serie A safety went down to the wire was in 1986/87, when the 1-0 win at Como saw the Tuscans leapfrog Brescia who were beaten 3-2 by Juventus in Turin.

Nerazzurri unbeaten at Stadio Castellani

Inter have lost just twice to Empoli in official matches. Besides the defeat at the San Siro this season, the Tuscan side beat the Nerazzurri 1-0 in Florence on the opening day of the 1986/87 season. The goal was scored by Osio.

wins(9) draws(3) defeats(2)
EMPOLI - It was a fitting finale to a turbulent black and blue season at the Stadio Castellani on Sunday afternoon as Inter beat Empoli 3-2 to finish the Serie A championship in that fourth spot which secures the club a place in the 2004/05 Champions League qualifying round.

Adriano Leite Ribeiro hit a brace, with second-half sub Recoba also on target as the Nerazzurri showed all their character to come back from behind.

Zaccheroni's men had their work cut out in the first half as the Tuscans proved lethal on the counter-attack. Lucchini gave Empoli an 18th-minute lead with a follow-up shot after Toldo parried Vannucchi's fiercely-struck free kick. Inter had the woodwork to thank on the half-hour when Vannucchi's shot came off the inside of Toldo's left-hand post.

Adriano brought the teams level on the stroke of half time with a looping header in at the far post after outjumping the Empoli defence to meet Kily's left-wing free kick, then four minutes after Alvaro Recoba's magnificent 65th-minute free kick the Brazilian scored a goal that will be remembered for years to come, both for its spectacularity and decisiveness. The 22-year-old skipped past three defenders then sidestepped goalkeeper Balli before slotting into an open goal.

Six minutes from time Rocchi took on Gamarra and Cordoba then fired past Toldo to reduce the deficit, but two goals in the final stages was a tall order for Perotti's side, who are relegated to the Serie B.

Match facts:

EMPOLI 2-3 INTER (HT: 1-1)

Scorers: Lucchini 18', Adriano 46', 69' Recoba 65', Rocchi 84'

EMPOLI: 23 Balli, 3 Cribari, 7 Belleri (10 Tavano 76'), 9 Di Natale, 20 Giampieretti (17 Foggia 66'), 22 Rocchi, 25 Lucchini, 27 Ficini, 31 Vargas, 35 Busce', 77 Vannucchi
Subs not used: 5 Pratali, 11 Gasparetto, 12 Cassano, 13 Grella, 81 Cappellini
Coach: Attilio Perotti

INTER: 1 Toldo, 2 Cordoba, 4 J. Zanetti, 5 Emre, 6 C. Zanetti, 10 Adriano, 11 Stankovic, 18 Kily Gonzalez (13 Helveg 90'+1'), 23 Materazzi (15 Adani 90'+5'), 24 Gamarra, 30 Martins (20 Recoba 62')
Subs not used: 12 Fontana, 3 Kallon, 14 Farinos, 19 Karagounis
Coach: Alberto Zaccheroni

Referee: Farina

Booked: Materazzi 17', Cordoba 63', C.Zanetti 90'+1'

starting lineups

Balli 1 Toldo
Cribari 2 Cordoba
Belleri 4 Zanetti
Di Natale 5 Emre
Giampieretti 6 Zanetti
Rocchi 10 Adriano
Lucchini 11 Stankovic
Ficini 18 Kily Gonzalez
Vargas 23 Materazzi
Buscè 24 Gamarra
Vannucchi 30 Martins


Cassano 12 Fontana
Pratali 3 Kallon
Tavano 13 Helveg
Gasparetto 14 Farinos
Grella 15 Adani
Foggia 19 Karagounis
Cappellini 20 Recoba