Final score

27 April 2008 15:00

37' (2nd half) Materazzi
22' Cruz
46' (2nd half) Biondini
Referee: Daniele Orsato / Linesmen: Maggiani, Pirondini / Fourth official: Mazzoleni
Watch highlights
Minute Text commentary
45' Cristian Chivu blocks a Del Grosso free kick.
45' Half time. Inter 1-0 Cagliari.
43' Del Grosso gets a shot on target from 30 yards. Julio Cesar saves.
42' Incredible miss by Cambiasso. Capecchi fails to reach Cruz' right-wing cross and the ball falls to Cuchu, who uncharacteristically drives wide from close range.
41' Del Grosso is booked for a rash challenge on Maicon.
40' Another chance for the Nerazzurri. Balotelli's shot spins up into the air and falls to the feet of Cambiasso. The Argentine is thwarted by Capecchi.
39' Biondini crashes wide after Matri's attempt to turn Zanetti is foiled.
38' Free kick to Cagliari - about 35 yards from goal. Cossu effort is high and wide.
34' Amantino Mancini has just scored his second of the afternoon in Rome. The Giallorossi now lead Toro by four goals to nil.
33' At the other end Vieira's flicked header from Maicon's fast cross goes wide of the right post.
32' Cagliari on the attack. Jeda fires wide from 25 yards.
29' Roma are now 3-0 up against Torino - Vucinic and Mancini have added to Pizarro's opener. Doesn't look like we'll be winning the Scudetto today.
27' The flag goes up as Maicon runs in from the right to meet Burdisso's short pass from Vieira's ball into the area.
25' Matri sidefoots wide a golden chance for an equaliser after meeting Ferri's ball from the right.
22' GOOOAAAAALLLL!!!!! Julio Cruz nods Patrick Vieira's pass into the far corner (via a slight deflection off Bianco), and we're 1-0 up at the Meazza!
22' That was El Jardinero's 100th goal since he has been doing his job in Italy.
21' Roma have taken the lead against Torino at the Olimpico. Ex-Inter midfielder David Pizarro scored from the spot.
19' Maicon gets a cross in from the right. Capecchi plucks it out of the air.
18' Looking for his 100th goal for Italian teams, Julio Cruz heads over Balotelli's right-wing free kick.
16' Capecchi makes a lunging dive in an attempt to save Balotelli's corner. He fails to reach the ball, but fortunately for the Cagliari keeper his defence sweeps clear.
15' Cambiasso volleys wide after the Cagliari defence fails to make a decent clearance from Balotelli's left-wing cross.
14' Another shot from Balotelli - from the acutest of angles. Goal kick to the visitors.
13' Il Capitano has a go from 25 yards. His right-foot shot swerves wide.
10' Balotelli pokes wide with a first-time shot from Cambiasso's pass after a defensive mistake by the Sardinians.
8' Inter have a goal disallowed for offside. Balotelli meets Cambiasso's through ball and slides under Capecchi, but the flag goes up.
6' Another run by Matri after a slip by Burdisso, and another shot. Zanetti blocks it.
5' Zanetti picks out Balotelli with a long-range pass to the left wing. The youngster crosses in for Cruz, whose flicked header is wide. Seconds later, Balotelli sends a low shot wide of the left post.
3' Inter survive an early scare as Matri shoots wide from an inviting position after running unchallenged into the box.
1' Match point number one... If we beat Cagliari today and Roma lose at home to Torino, we're Italian champions for the third consecutive season (and for the 16th time in our history).
1' Welcome to the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza in Milan's San Siro district, where the teams are out warming up ahead of the three o'clock kick-off.
1' Inter will wear special Nike shirts with the Pirelli logo in Chinese this afternoon.
1' We have never lost in these shirts - in the 2005/06 season we beat Livorno 5-0 and Lazio 3-1, winning 2-0 at Chievo in 2006/07. And we beat the Chinese Olympic Team 3-0 in last summer's friendly in Trento.
1' Inter: 12 Julio Cesar; 13 Maicon, 16 Burdisso, 26 Chivu, 6 Maxwell; 14 Vieira, 19 Cambiasso, 4 Zanetti, 5 Stankovic; 9 Cruz, 45 Balotelli.
1' Cagliari: 4 Capecchi; 21 Canini, 6 Lopez, 29 Bianco, 29 Ferri; 8 Biondini, 7 Cossu, 3 Del Grosso; 27 Jeda; 9 Acquafresca, 32 Matri.
1' Cagliari kick off. FORZA INTER!!!!!!!!
1' Great chance for Supermario Balotelli after 30 seconds. The 17-year-old collects Maxwell's pass on the edge of the area, turns and fires narrowly over the bar.
Minute Text commentary
48' Crespo is flagged offside as he races towards Cambiasso's through ball.
48' Full time. Inter beat Cagliari 2-1 and remain six points clear of Roma (4-1 winners over Torino) with three rounds of the Serie A season remaining.
46' Cagliari reduce the arrears through Biondini, whose long-range effort goes in off Burdisso. Inter 2-1 Cagliari.
45' There will be three minutes of added time.
42' A roar rings around the Meazza, and it's now 'chi non salta rossonero è' as the news comes through that fourth place Fiorentina have taken a 2-1 lead against Sampdoria.
41' Crespo climbs at the near post and nods wide Chivu's corner. All the subs have had chances as soon as they have come on today.
40' Mancini makes his last switch. Hernan Crespo replaces the ever efficient Julio Cruz.
37' GOOOAAAALLLL!!!! Marco Materazzi rises at the back post and crashes home a header from Cristian Chivu's excellent left-wing free kick. Inter 2-0 Cagliari.
34' Cagliari bring on Enrico Cotza for Alessandro Matri.
33' The Honduran almost has an immediate impact on the game - but his header is just wide of the angle between bar and post.
32' Capecchi makes a brilliant one-handed save from Balotelli.
32' Another substitution. David Suazo replaces Mario Balotelli, who comes off to rapturous applause.
31' Ballardini brings on Marco Mancosu for Luis Diego Lopez.
31' Julio Cruz goes close to his and Inter's second. His low bullet shot from Cambiasso's pull-back is inches wide.
30' Cagliari close. Matri just fails to connect with Jeda's shot from 25 yards.
30' Mancini makes his first change. Marco Materazzi comes on for Dejan Stankovic.
28' Maxwell sets up a counter attack after winning the ball off Ferri in his own half, but the move comes to an end when Biondini intercepts Balotelli.
22' At the back post Canini heads wide a floated cross from the right.
19' A chance for Dejan Stankovic. The Serbian meets Balotelli's headed pass and shoots. Capecchi saves.
15' Maicon gets a cross in from the right after combining with Cruz. Canini blocks, conceding a corner in the process.
13' Ex-Nerazzurri forward Nicola Ventola has pulled one back for the Granata at the Olimpico. Roma 4-1 Torino.
12' Maicon muscles his way between Del Grosso and Biondini, gets to the byline and crosses. Larrivey blocks the Brazilian's cross.
9' The flag goes up as Capecchi saves Balotelli's shot on the turn from Vieira's hooked ball into the box.
6' Rossoblu captain Lopez is yellow-carded for fouling Balotelli.
4' Cagliari close to a leveller through Jeda. The Brazilian's header from a corner is headed off the line by Cambiasso.
1' Inter kick off the second half.
1' Cagliari have brought on Joachin Larrivey for Roberto Acquafresca.
1' The Rossoblu sub is straight into the action, forcing Julio Cesar into a smothering save.
Julio Cesar
Average rating 7.16
5 shots on target 3
12 shots off target 8
14 fouls committed 10
6 corners 5
6 offsides 2
29:09 ball possession 27:11
Mancini v Ballardini

The two coaches meet in a competitive fixture for the first time.

Mancini v Cagliari

Roberto Mancini faces Cagliari for the tenth time in his coaching career after 5 wins and 4 draws (all away draws). His teams have scored in all 9 games, for a total of 18 goals. Mancini has won all four of his home matches against the Rossoblu.

2004/05 Serie A Inter-Cagliari 2-0 3-3
2004/05 Coppa Italia Inter-Cagliari 3-1 1-1
2005/06 Serie A Inter-Cagliari 3-2 2-2
2006/07 Serie A Inter-Cagliari 1-0 1-1
2007/08 Serie A Inter-Cagliari ---- 2-0

Ballardini v Inter

Cagliari coach Davide Ballardini faces Inter for the first time in his coaching career.

Title deciders on 27 April...

If Inter win against Cagliari and Roma lose at home to Torino, the Nerazzurri will become Italian champions for the third season in a row, and for the 16th time in their history - with three rounds of the campaign remaining. Inter have mathematically won the Scudetto on 27 April on one previous occasion - in 1979/80 when Eugenio Bersellini's team drew 2-2 with Roma at the Olimpico to open up an unassailable five-point lead over second place Juventus with two matches left to play (2 points per win).

Inter: 391 competitive minutes without conceding

The Nerazzurri haven't let in a goal since Tommaso Rocchi's 59th-minute effort in the 1-1 Serie A draw at Lazio on 29 March. A total of 391 competitive minutes have elapsed since then - the 31 remaining minutes of Lazio-Inter plus whole games against Atalanta (2-0 away), Fiorentina (2-0 at home), Lazio (0-0 at home in cup) and Torino (1-0 away).

Cruz one short of 100th goal

With 99 goals in competitive matches, Julio Ricardo Cruz is just one away from a century of goals for Italian clubs. The Argentine forward, who scored his first Italian goal in Napoli 1-5 Bologna on 22 October 2000, has netted 30 times for the Rossoblu and 69 times for Inter (72 goals in Serie A, 14 in Coppa Italia and 13 in European competitions).

Inter, Cagliari's contrasting attacks

Seventeen Inter players have hit the target in this season's Serie A. In alphabetical order, they are: Adriano, Balotelli, Burdisso, Cambiasso, Cesar, Cordoba, Crespo, Cruz, Figo, Ibrahimovic, Jimenez, Maicon, Maniche, Stankovic, Suazo, Vieira, Zanetti. The only other team with the same number of different scorers is Torino.
Contrastingly, only seven Cagliari players (Acquafresca, Bianco, Conti, Fini, Foggia, Jeda and Matri) have scored top-flight goals in 2007/08 - that's fewer than any other team.

Cagliari on target in nine consecutive league games

The Rossoblu from Sardinia have scored in their last 9 league matches, netting a total of 14 goals. The last time Cagliari failed to score in a Serie A game was on 27 February when they lost 1-0 at Siena.

One Cagliari clean sheet in 27 games

Cagliari have kept just one clean sheet in their last 27 away matches - a 2-0 victory in Naples on 26 August. In the other 26 games they have conceded a total of 52 goals.

wins(25) draws(10) defeats(7)

MILAN - Inter brushed aside Cagliari 2-1 at the Meazza but Roma cruised to victory over Torino to keep the Scudetto on ice.

Julio Ricardo Cruz scored his 100th goal since he has been doing his job in Italy to put Inter in front on 22 minutes, Marco Materazzi adding his first of the season after coming on for Stankovic.

Cagliari grabbed a late consolation through Biondini.

Inter were always in control and produced their first chance after just 30 seconds of an enthralling opening ten minutes when Mario Balotelli's shot on the turn missed the target by a matter of inches.

Cagliari, needing points to secure Serie A safety, could have taken the lead in the third minute but Matri shot wide after racing unchallenged into the box.

Mancini's men piled on the pressure and strike partners Cruz and Balotelli both went close before the seventeen-year-old star had a goal ruled out for offside.

Balotelli capped an extraordinary start to the game with a first-time shot from Cambiasso's pass after a defensive mistake by the Rossoblu.

The pressure paid off in the 22nd minute when Cruz' header from Vieira's pin-point pass went in off Bianco.

Inter took their lead into the break after Cambiasso drove wide from close range after Capecchi failed to reach a Cruz cross.

Unrelentless in his search for a goal, Balotelli drew applause for a spectacular shot on the turn that was well saved by Capecchi.

There was no let-up in Inter's domination as Cruz went close to a second in the 76th minute, his low drive finishing just wide.

Materazzi rose at the back post and nodded home Cristian Chivu's brilliant left-wing free kick to double Inter's lead with eight minutes of normal time remaining.

Cagliari midfielder Biondini pulled one back in time added on when his long-range shot went in off Burdisso.

Inter 2-1 Cagliari (HT: 1-0)

Scorers: Cruz 22, Materazzi 82, Biondini 90+1.

Inter: 12 Julio Cesar; 13 Maicon, 16 Burdisso, 26 Chivu, 6 Maxwell; 14 Vieira, 19 Cambiasso, 4 Zanetti, 5 Stankovic (23 Materazzi 75); 9 Cruz (18 Crespo 85), 45 Balotelli (29 Suazo 77).
Subs not used: 1 Toldo, 11 Jimenez, 24 Rivas, 28 Maniche.
Coach: Roberto Mancini.

Cagliari: 4 Capecchi; 21 Canini, 6 Lopez (26 Mancosu 76), 29 Bianco, 29 Ferri; 8 Biondini, 7 Cossu, 3 Del Grosso; 27 Jeda; 9 Acquafresca (19 Larrivey 46), 32 Matri (33 Cotza 79).
Subs not used: 12 Koprivec, 5 Conti, 25 Acosta, 31 Agostini.
Coach: Davide Ballardini.

Referee: Daniele Orsato (Schio).

Booked: Del Grosso 41, Lopez 51.

starting lineups

Julio Cesar 12 Capecchi
Maicon 13 Canini
Burdisso 16 Lopez
Chivu 26 Bianco
Maxwell 6 Ferri
Vieira 14 Biondini
Cambiasso 19 Cossu
Zanetti 4 Del Grosso
Stankovic 5 Jeda
Cruz 9 Acquafresca
Balotelli 45 Matri


Toldo 1 Koprivec
Jimenez 11 Conti
Crespo 18 Larrivey
Materazzi 23 Acosta
Rivas 24 Mancosu
Maniche 28 Agostini
Suazo 29 Cotza