Final score

10 January 2009 20:30

31' (2nd half) Ibrahimovic
20' (2nd half) Acquafresca
Referee: Nicola Pierpaoli / Linesmen: Giordano, Ghiandai / Fourth official: Rosetti
Watch highlights
Minute Text commentary
47' Pierpaoli blows for half time. Inter 0-0 Cagliari.
45' An inspired Zanetti powers his way past three players and crosses. It's blocked and Inter win a corner.
45' Two minutes of added time.
44' Cordoba blocks Acquafresca's overhead kick after a cross from Pisano.
44' Inter hit Cagliari on the break. Cruz curls wide from 25 yards.
43' Another shot from Javier Zanetti. Another save from Federico Marchetti.
43' Marchetti grasps Figo's high cross from the resulting corner kick.
42' Zanetti rifles a stunning right-foot shot on target from the right edge of the Cagliari box. Marchetti makes a diving save.
41' Inter hit back and Marchetti is forced into a tipped save from Zanetti's deflected right-wing cross.
40' Biondini is flagged offside as Acquafresca chests down Fini's cross from the right.
39' Ibrahimovic wins us a corner after taking on Astori and Canini after a pass from Chivu. Nothing comes of Figo's cross from the left corner flag.
36' Canini beats Cruz to Figo's low ball from the right, conceding a corner. Cordoba's header from Cambiasso's corner is over the bar.
30' Free kick to Cagliari on the left after a Figo foul on Biondini. Fini's cross is headed clear by Zanetti but Cossu pounces on the loose ball and tests Julio Cesar.
29' Sulley Muntari spots an opening and crashes a fierce left-foot shot wide of Marchetti's right-hand post.
28' Good chance for Inter. Samuel steals in and pokes wide Cambiasso's inswinging free kick.
27' Free kick to Inter on the right edge of the Cagliari area after a Biondini foul on Figo.
26' Luis floats his free kick into the box and Cruz gets behind the defence before heading wide.
25' Samuel, sporting a head bandage, is back on the field.
25' Free kick to Inter after a sliding challenge by Jeda on Figo.
22' Cagliari win their first corner of the game. Cossu's cross is saved by Julio Cesar.
22' Inter momentarily down to ten men as Samuel receives treatment to a head wound. Chivu has temporarily switched to his customary position at the centre of defence.
20' Biondini is flagged for offside as he collects Jeda's pass on the left edge of our box.
17' Another corner to Inter as Figo has a cross blocked.
17' Cambiasso's inswinging cross from the right corner flag is saved by Marchetti.
16' Pierpaoli blows for a foul by Biondini on Chivu as the Cagliari midfielder goes through on goal.
15' Inter win a corner as Ibrahimovic's left-wing cross spins off Canini.
15' Ibra's looping header from Chivu's corner is saved by Marchetti.
14' Cagliari come back at the Nerazzurri and Biondini has an angled effort blocked by Julio Cesar.
13' Inter attack back and Cruz holds off a challenge from Astori before playing low to Ibrahimovic, whose low shot is saved by Marchetti.
12' Figo's right-wing cross is cleared by Canini and Cagliari launch a counter-attack which ends as an Agostini left-wing cross finishes in the arms of Julio Cesar.
8' Ibrahimovic rifles wide after a short pass from Luis Figo.
6' Cagliari back on the attack as Michele Fini swings in a cross from the right, forcing Cordoba into a headed clearance.
5' Maxwell goes on one of his mazy runs and fires a shot on target from 20 metres. Cagliari custodian Marchetti saves.
5' The Rossoblu attack Inter and Julio Cesar is forced into a punched clearance.
5' End to end stuff as the Nerazzurri come storming back into the Cagliari half. Ibrahimovic collects a long pass and lays off to Chivu who blasts wide from the edge of the box.
5' All that in the space of a minute!
1' Welcome to a freezing Stadio Giuseppe Meazza for our first match of the new year.
1' A win tonight will be our ninth in a row, and will see us open up a nine-point gap at the top of the table ahead of tomorrow's fixtures.
1' José Mourinho is without two important players for tonight's clash. Maicon, who scored both goals in our win at Siena before the Christmas break, misses the match through suspension, while Dejan Stankovic is ruled out with a twisted left knee.
1' Javier Zanetti slots in at right-back, with the versatile Cristian Chivu coming in at left midfield. Luis Figo will play on the right wing, behind the front pairing of Cruz and Ibrahimovic.
1' Inter: 12 Julio Cesar; 4 Zanetti, 2 Cordoba, 25 Samuel, 6 Maxwell; 7 Figo, 19 Cambiasso, 20 Muntari, 26 Chivu; 9 Cruz, 8 Ibrahimovic.
1' Cagliari: 22 Marchetti; 14 Pisano, 13 Astori, 21 Canini, 31 Agostini; 23 Fini, 5 Conti, 8 Biondini; 7 Cossu; 27 Jeda, 9 Acquafresca.
1' Pierpaoli blows his whistle and we're underway at the Meazza as Inter kick off. FORZA RAGAZZI!!!!!!
Minute Text commentary
50' Full time. Inter 1-1 Cagliari. See on Tuesday for Inter v Genoa, the first match of our Coppa Italia campaign.
49' Mancini slots home after Quaresma's free kick but the goal is disallowed for offside.
48' Cagliari coach Allegri makes his last change. On comes Parola for Biondini.
47' Zanetti leads by example. Il Capitano intercepts Matri with some vintage defending and runs half the length of the pitch before winning us a free kick.
45' Cossu's curling free kick from the left is caught by Julio Cesar.
45' Four minutes of added time.
43' Cossu is booked by Pierpaoli.
41' Muntari shaves the post with a low shot after one-twoing with Cruz.
39' Acquafresca pays for that missed chance with a substitution. On comes Matri for Cagliari.
38' What a let-off for the Nerazzurri. Acquafresca shoots over from inside the six-yard box after a brilliant one-handed block by Julio Cesar from Cossu.
37' Marchetti saves Ibrahimovic's header from Quaresma's left-wing cross.
37' Muntari is yellow-carded for a foul on Biondini.
36' Cagliari bring on Lazzari for Fini.
35' Cossu shoots straight at Julio Cesar as Cagliari come looking for a second.
31' GOAL!!!!!!! Crespo turns Fini and delivers a low cross to the far post where Ibrahimovic is on hand to slot home the equaliser. Inter 1-1 Cagliari.
30' Quaresma tests Marchetti with an angled shot after turning Fini with a beautiful piece of skill.
29' Inter on the rack as Acquafresca turns Zanetti and shoots just over.
27' Biondini's shot from Jeda's short pass is wide as Cagliari create a good chance to increase their lead.
25' Quaresma's deep floated cross is straight into the arms of Marchetti.
24' Conti's header from a Cagliari right-wing corner is saved by Julio Cesar.
23' Inter bring on Mancini for Figo and Crespo for Samuel.
22' Figo clears a weakly taken Cagliari corner.
21' Mourinho is preparing a double substitution.
20' GOAL. Cagliari take the lead against the run of play. Inter-owned Acquafresca chests down a pass from Fini on the edge of the box and fires past Julio Cesar. Inter 0-1 Cagliari.
16' Cruz has a sliding shot saved by Marchetti after Maxwell's cross from Figo's short pass.
15' Still no breakthrough at the Meazza as Cambiasso's curling free kick goes behind for a Cagliari goal kick.
14' Quaresma swings in a cross from the right. Astori heads to safety.
12' Astori intercepts Cambiasso's return pass for Figo, denying the Portuguese veteran a clear scoring chance.
12' Ibrahimovic heads over Maxwell's cross as Cagliari struggle to find a way out of their own half.
10' Another chance for Ibra but his header from Muntari's floated cross is wayward.
9' Ibra slots wide from close range after meeting Zanetti's cut-back.
8' It's all Quaresma in these opening minutes of the second half. The Portuguese receives from Ibrahimovic and unleashes one of his trivela crosses which takes a slight deflection before finishing in the arms of Marchetti.
6' Julio Cruz plays short to Quaresma whose angled shot is wide of Marchetti's left-hand post.
4' Quaresma blasts into the Curva Sud from 25 yards.
2' Quaresma crosses from the left byline. Astori beats Cruz to the ball and Jeda boots to safety.
1' Cagliari get the second half under way.
1' Mourinho has made a half-time switch. Quaresma is on for Cordoba, who has a back problem.
Julio Cesar
Average rating 5.74
8 shots on target 4
12 shots off target 6
20 fouls committed 19
8 corners 3
4 offsides 4
28:15 ball possession 24:54
Mourinho v Cagliari / Allegri

José Mourinho faces Cagliari and their coach Massimiliano Allegri for the first time in his coaching career.

Allegri v Inter

Massimiliano Allegri faces Inter for the first time in his career as a coach.

Disciplinary info

Cautioned: Balotelli, Ibrahimovic, Muntari, Quaresma.
Disqualified: Maicon.

Cautioned: Fini, Marchetti.
Disqualified: Bianco, Lopez.

Inter unbeaten in first match of new year since 1999

The Nerazzurri have yet to lose the first league match of a new year since the turn of the 21st century. Inter's last 'new year defeat' was a 1-0 loss at Parma on 6 January 1999. They have won 6 and drawn 3 in the successive 9 seasons.

Inter's January invincibility

Inter haven't lost a league fixture in the first month of a calendar year since 18 January 2004 when they lost 1-0 to Empoli at San Siro. Since that date, the Nerazzurri have won 12 and drawn 5 of their January fixtures (1 in 2004, 5 in 2005, 5 in 2006, 3 in 2007 and 3 in 2008).

Ibra one of Serie A's two most decisive players

Ibrahimovic and Juve's Amauri are the two most decisive players in the 2008/09 Serie A after 17 rounds of matches. Both players' goals have earned their teams 13 points.

Sparkling home form

Inter have lost just one of their last 30 Serie A home matches (a 2-1 defeat to Juventus on 22 March 2008). They have won 25 and drawn 4 of the other 29 games. The Nerazzurri have failed to score in just one of their last 65 home games (0-0 against Genoa on 26 October 2008), scoring a total of 143 goals in the other 64 matches.

Cagliari on target in 11 consecutive Serie A games

The Rossoblue have scored in each of their last eleven top-flight matches, scoring a total of 18 goals. The last time they failed to score in a Serie A match was on 5 October 2008 when they drew 0-0 at home to AC Milan.

No Cagliari draw in first match of new year since 2002

Cagliari haven't drawn their opening match of a new year since 6 January 2002 when they were held to a goalless draw at Vicenza in the Serie B. The Sardinians have won 3 and drawn 3 since that date.

Allegri unbeaten in new year matches

With a win and 2 draws, Cagliari coach Massimiliano Allegri has never lost an opening fixture of a new year.

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

MILAN - Zlatan Ibrahimovic cancelled out Roberto Acquafresca's goal as winter champions Inter held Cagliari in their opening match of 2009.

The result sees the Nerazzurri increase their lead at the top of the table to seven points, with the chasing pack in action on Sunday.

With Maicon out suspended and Stankovic nursing a knee injury, Mourinho made several changes to the team that beat Siena before Christmas, switching Zanetti to left-back and fielding Figo and Chivu on the wings in a four-man midfield.

Inter had the better chances of an end-to-end opening period at a freezing Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, with Chivu firing wide and Maxwell having a shot saved before Ibrahimovic saw an effort go behind.

Ibrahimovic tested Marchetti with a low shot and Biondini had an angled shot saved by Julio Cesar but there was no way through for either side.

Inter continued to churn out chances, with Cruz heading off target, Samuel poking wide a Cambiasso free kick and Muntari crashing wide from distance.

Cagliari's sole reaction was a low Cossu shot that was easily saved by Julio Cesar.

Inter ended the half on a high note with captain Zanetti - in inspirational form - testing Marchetti with two well taken shots.

Mourinho made a forced change at the break with Quaresma replacing the injured Cordoba (back problem) and switching Chivu to his customary central defence role.

The Nerazzurri stepped up a gear and Cagliari were pinned back into their own half as Quaresma and Ibrahimovic both went close.

But Cagliari took the lead against the run of play on 65 minutes when Inter-owned Acquafresca chested down a pass from Fini on the edge of the box and fires past Julio Cesar. Inter 0-1 Cagliari.

Mourinho threw on Mancini for Figo and Crespo for Samuel but Cagliari twice went close to a second with Biondini wasted a golden opportunity and Acquafresca shooting narrowly over.

Inter levelled in the 76th minute when Crespo turned Fini and delivered a low cross to the far post where Ibrahimovic slotted in the equaliser.

Cagliari weren't done though and Acquafresca missed a sitter from inside the six-yard box, firing over after Julio Cesar's superb one-handed parry from Cossu.

Muntari went close to a dramatic winner for the Nerazzurri when he shaved the post after a one-two with Cruz, and Mancini had a goal disallowed for offside in time added on. 

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

Scorers: Acquafresca 65, Ibrahimovic 76.

Inter: 12 Julio Cesar; 4 Zanetti, 2 Cordoba (77 Quaresma 46), 25 Samuel (18 Crespo 68), 6 Maxwell; 20 Muntari, 19 Cambiasso, 26 Chivu; 7 Figo (33 Mancini 68); 9 Cruz, 8 Ibrahimovic.
Subs not used: 1 Toldo, 11 Jimenez, 23 Materazzi, 39 Santon.
Coach: José Mourinho.

Cagliari: 22 Marchetti; 14 Pisano, 13 Astori, 21 Canini, 31 Agostini; 23 Fini (10 Lazzari 81), 5 Conti, 8 Biondini (18 Parola 90+3); 7 Cossu; 27 Jeda, 9 Acquafresca (32 Matri 84).
Subs not used: 24 Lupatelli, 19 Larrivey, 25 Matheu, 29 Ferri.
Coach: Massimiliano Allegri.

Referee: Nicola Pierpaoli (Florence).

Booked: Muntari 82, Cossu 88.

starting lineups

Julio Cesar 12 Marchetti
Zanetti 4 Pisano
Cordoba 2 Astori
Samuel 25 Canini
Maxwell 6 Agostini
Figo 7 Fini
Cambiasso 19 Conti
Muntari 20 Biondini
Chivu 26 Cossu
Cruz 9 Jeda
Ibrahimovic 8 Acquafresca


Toldo 1 Lupatelli
Jimenez 11 Lazzari
Crespo 18 Parola
Materazzi 23 Larrivey
Mancini 33 Matheu
Santon 39 Ferri
Quaresma 77 Matri