Final score

28 January 2009 20:30

26' (2nd half) Ibrahimovic
5' Stankovic
Referee: Gianluca Rocchi / Linesmen: Ayroldi, Lanciano / Fourth official: Bergonzi
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Minute Text commentary
48' Paolucci's corner is cleared by Ibra. Capuano's shot from the loose ball is blocked.
48' Another corner for the home side. Paolucci's cross is tipped clear by Julio Cesar and Santon starts a counter-attack down the left.
48' Half time. Inter lead Catania 1-0 thanks to Stankovic's early header. The Nerazzurri were reduced to ten men just past the half hour when Muntari was shown a straight red card.
47' Cordoba blocks Paolucci before he can cross, conceding a corner.
46' Capuano turns Maicon in the box and goes even closer with a curling shot that goes inches wide.
45' Catania go close to a half-time leveller as Cambiasso makes a last-ditch clearance from Morimoto.
45' Three minutes of added time.
44' Ibrahimovic is fouled in a central positio about 30 yards from goal.
44' The Swede's thunderous effort from the resulting free kick is over Bizzarri's bar.
42' Paolucci turns Cordoba in the box but the angle is too tight and his left-foot effort flies wide.
39' Paolucci is denied by Julio Cesar as Catania turn up the heat.
39' Santon blocks Morimoto's back-post volley from the resulting left-wing corner.
38' Capuano looks for openings down the middle but there's no way past Esteban 'Cuchu' Cambiasso.
34' Unbelievable miss by Mascara. The Catania number seven curls wide with just Julio Cesar to beat.
32' Inter down to ten men as Sulley Muntari is shown a straight red card after challenge from behind on Tedesco in the middle of the park. A bit harsh that.
31' Catania win a free kick inches outside our area after a foul by Cordoba on Mascara.
31' Julio Cesar reads Mascara's curling effort perfectly and makes the save.
27' Back at the other end Catania win a free kick. Paolucci wastes his free kick and Sulley Muntari makes an easy block.
27' Inter break and Muntari finishes off the move with a curling shot that is high over Bizzarri's crossbar.
26' Julio Cruz blazes over from the left edge of the Catania box.
25' Second-place Juventus are trailing Udinese by a goal to nil at the Stadio Friuli.
23' Julio Cesar outjumps Martinez at his back post, beating the Uruguayan to Tedesco's floated cross.
22' Ibra twists and turns in the Catania box before shaving the bar with a perfectly executed angled drive.
21' Julio Cesar makes a punched clearance from Capuano's left-wing cross.
20' Zlatan Ibrahimovic sends a fiercely struck free kick a yard wide of Bizzarri's left-hand post.
18' Catania attack back and Martinez sends a rising drive high and wide.
17' Stankovic blasts into the side-netting after running on to an Ibrahimovic pass.
15' Free kick to the Rosazzurri about 35 yards from goal. Paolucci plays into the area and Martinez tries to divert his cross on target but is unsuccessful.
15' Ibrahimovic is booked for diving in the Catania box.
13' Catania have a goal disallowed. Paolucci crashes home from close range but Rocchi blows for a foul by Morimoto on Burdisso.
13' Mascara is booked for protesting.
11' Morimoto gets into a shooting position after a short pass from Mascara but Nico Burdisso is right on the case and the Argentine defender blocks the Japanese winger.
10' Muntari gets into the Catania box but is swiftly intercepted by Stovini who sets up a counter-attack.
5' Javier Zanetti has a shot blocked by Bizzarri.
5' GOAL!!!! Inter make the perfect start as Dejan Stankovic steals in behind Silvestre and powers home his header from Cruz' right-wing cross. CATANIA 0-1 INTER.
5' That was the Serbian midfielder's third of the season after efforts away to Roma and at home to Chievo.
4' Inter win the first corner of the game. Cambiasso's cross is headed clear by Baiocco and it's another corner.
4' Bizzarri parries Cambiasso's second cross and Mascara boots to safety.
3' Stovini intercepts Muntari's lofted pass for Cruz, denying the Argentine a clear chance on goal.
2' Free kick to us out on the left wing. Maicon's inswinging cross is punched clear by Catania keeper Bizzarri.
1' Welcome to a packed Stadio Massimino in Catania on the east coast of Sicily for tonight's Serie A Week 21 clash against Walter Zenga's Rosazzurri.
1' When these two teams met in the second round of the season in Milan last September, Inter came from behind to win 2-1.
1' Back to tonight's clash and Inter make several changes to the team that beat Sampdoria 1-0 on Sunday evening. At the centre of defence Cordoba and Burdisso replace injured pair Chivu and Samuel, while Santon makes his third consecutive start at left-back.
1' Up front it's Julio Cruz, back in the starting eleven for the first time since January's 1-1 draw with Cagliari, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who missed Sunday's match through suspension.
1' José Mourinho, suspended after being 'sent off' against Sampdoria, will watch the match from the stands. Vice coach Giuseppe Baresi will take his place in the dugout.
1' Catania: 1 Bizzarri; 21 Silvestri, 4 Silvestre, 6 Stovini, 33 Capuano; 25 Martinez, 17 Baiocco, 19 Tedesco; 15 Morimoto, 9 Paolucci, 7 Mascara.<br> Subs: 20 Acerbis, 2 Sardo, 3 Sabato, 8 Ledesma, 11 Llama, 18 D'Amico, 24 Spinesi.
1' Inter: 12 Julio Cesar; 13 Maicon, 2 Cordoba, 16 Burdisso, 39 Santon; 4 Zanetti, 19 Cambiasso, 20 Muntari; 5 Stankovic; 9 Ibrahimovic, 8 Cruz.<br> Subs: 1 Toldo, 6 Maxwell, 7 Figo, 18 Crespo, 24 Rivas, 33 Mancini, 77 Quaresma.
1' Inter kick off. FORZA RAGAZZI!
Minute Text commentary
48' That's it. Ten-man Inter beat Catania 2-0 and move six points clear at the top of the table. Ciao for now. See on Sunday for Inter v Torino.
46' Luis Figo replaces the excellent Dejan Stankovic.
45' More good news as Genoa have equalised at the Meazza, cancelling out David Beckham's free kick.
45' Three minutes of added time.
44' Catania sub D'Amico is yellow-carded for a foul on Ibrahimovic.
43' Inter replace Davide Santon with Nelson Rivas.
42' Catania bring on D'Amico for Martinez.
41' Zanetti has a go from a tight angle on the right. Bizzarri saves but the ball had already gone behind for a goal kick.
40' Martinez sets up Morimoto with an acrobatic pass but Cordoba intecepts. Moments later, Baiocco forces a tipped save from Julio Cesar.
37' Maxwell combines well with Ibrahimovic but Stovini intervenes.
35' Stovini sends a long-range effort way off target.
32' Good news from Italy's northeast. Udinese have doubled their lead against Juventus at the Stadio Friuli.
31' Catania bring on Spinesi for Paolucci.
30' Mascara blazes over from 25 yards after combining with Martinez.
27' Zenga makes his first change. Llama replaces Capuano.
26' IBRACADABRA!!!!! Zlatan beats the offside trap as he runs on to Stankovic's lofted pass and then lifts the ball over Bizzarri before slotting into an open goal. CATANIA 0-2 INTER.
22' Paolucci pokes into the six-yard box after weaving past three but Burdisso is alert to the danger and the Argentine makes the clearance.
20' Stankovic goes for goal from 30 yards but his right-foot shot is high and wide.
19' Substitution time. Julio Cruz makes way for Maxwell.
18' Back in the Catania third, Julio Cruz looks for the top left corner with a curling shot but it's high and wide.
17' End-to-end stuff at the Massimino as Julio Cesar keeps out a Mascarra shot.
16' Catania close as Mascara's long-range shot takes a deflection off Burdisso and cannons off the post.
16' Stankovic's right-wing cross for Cruz is intecepted by Silvestre.
15' Tedesco is yellow-carded for protesting after a foul by Ibra.
13' Stankovic chests down Stankovic's ball into the box and bursts past Capuano before forcing Bizzarri into a save. Bizzarri punches clear Cambiasso's cross from the resulting corner kick.
12' Martinez intercepts Stankovic on the edge of the box, conceding a corner. Nothing comes of Cambiasso's cross.
10' Julio Cesar scrambles down to his right and blocks Tedesco's low strike from 25 yards.
8' Baiocco's outswinging cross from the right is smothered by Julio Cesar.
4' Stankovic pumps the ball upfield and Cruz races for it but Bizzarri comes out of his area and boots to safety.
2' Ivan Cordoba wins the ball off Morimoto and makes a sliding clearance to avoid a Catania corner.
1' Catania kick off the second half.
Julio Cesar
Average rating 7.3
8 shots on target 6
10 shots off target 8
14 fouls committed 12
8 corners 4
0 offsides 2
31:44 ball possession 20:12
Zenga v Mourinho

Inter's home win over Catania in the first half of the season is the only previous meeting between the two coaches.

2008/09 Serie A Catania-Inter ---- 1-2

Zenga v Inter

Ex-Nerazzurri goalkeeper and current Catania coach Walter Zenga, a product of the club's youth system who went on to make 473 appearances for the first team between 1982/83 and 1993/94, faces Inter for the second time in his coaching career after Catania's away defeat last September.

2008/09 Serie A Catania-Inter ---- 1-2

Mourinho v Catania

José Mourinho faces the Rosazzurri for the second time in his coaching career after last September's win in Milan.

2008/09 Serie A Inter-Catania 2-1 ----

Catania winless against Inter since 1966

The Rosazzurri's last victory over Inter was way back on 20 February 1966 when Facchin scored in a 1-0 home win. Inter travelled to Sicily as Serie A leaders on that occasion, with 32 points against the 29 of second-place teams AC Milan and Napoli. The Sicilians were penultimate in the table with 13 points. Catania were relegated that season while Inter stayed on top until the end of the campaign, winning the Scudetto with a four-point lead over Bologna. In the 13 competitive meetings between the two teams since then, there have been 2 draws (both 0-0) and 11 Inter victories (8 out of last 8).

No Catania clean sheet since October's Sicily derby

The Sicilians have conceded in their last 14 Serie A matches, letting in a total of 23 goals since their last clean sheet: a 2-0 home victory over island rivals Palermo on 19 October 2008.

Serie A milestones for Silvestri, Tedesco

Defender Cristian Silvestri is poised to complete a century of Serie A appearances. Silvestri, who made his Serie A debut in Chievo 2-1 Lecce on 9 December 2001, has played 99 matches in the top flight for Lecce and Catania. Midfielder Giacomo Tedesco is one away from his 200th Serie A game, having made 199 appearances for Salernitana, Napoli, Reggina and Catania. Tedesco made his Serie A debut in Roma 3-1 Salernitana on 12 September 1998.

Birthday wishes to Plasmati

Catania striker Gianvito Plasmati, born in Matera on 28 January 1983, celebrates his 26th birthday today.

Inter goalless in just one of last 16 games

Inter have failed to score in just one of their last 16 matches (Inter 0-1 Panathinaikos in the Champions League on 26 November 2008), scoring 30 goals in the other 15. The Nerazzurri have hit the target in their last 11 league fixtures scoring a total of 21 goals. Inter's last match without scoring was on 29 October 2008 when they were held to a goalless draw away to Fiorentina.

Sixty out of sixty

Inter are one of four teams to have used all 60 substitutions after 20 rounds of 2008/09 Serie A matches. The other three are Chievo, Genoa and Napoli.

wins(10) draws(2) defeats(5)

CATANIA - Ten-man Inter performed magnificently to hold off a spirited challenge from Catania and come away from the Stadio Massimino with a 2-0 victory.

Dejan Stankovic headed home an early goal but Sulley Muntari was sent off just past the half hour, sparking a strong reaction from Walter Zenga's side.

But the Nerazzurri weathered the storm and the Serbian midfielder turned provider midway through the second half, setting up Zlatan Ibrahimovic for a brilliant second.

Cordoba and Burdisso came in for injured pair Chivu and Samuel at the centre of defence for the last midweek round of the season while Santon made his third consecutive start at left-back.

Julio Cruz returned to the starting lineup after a four-match absence, partnering Zlatan Ibrahimovic who missed Sunday's win over Sampdoria through suspension.

Inter make the perfect start in Sicily with Dejan Stankovic getting in behind Silvestre and heading past the despairing dive of Bizzarri after an inch-perfect cross from Cruz.

Catania thought they were back in the game eight minutes later when Paolucci slotted home from close range, only for referee Gianluca Rocchi to blow for a foul by Morimoto on Burdisso.

The Nerazzurri's early domination continued and Ibrahimovic narrowly missed out on a second when he shaved the crossbar with an angled shot.

Sulley Muntari was harshly sent off on 32 minutes after fouling Tedesco in the centre circle and the home side poured forward in search of an equaliser, Mascara, Paolucci and Morimoto all producing chances before half time.

Mascara went even closer after the restart with a long-range shot that took a deflection off Burdisso and bounced off the post with Julio Cesar stranded.

Inter soaked up the pressure and silenced a deafening home crowd on 71 minutes when Ibrahimovic raced on to Stankovic's lofted pass, lifted the ball over Bizzarri and slotted into an open goal for his seventeenth of the season.

Second-half substitute Maxwell missed a glorious chance for Inter's third in the closing stages and Catania, playing for pride, almost reduced the arrears with five minutes to go when Baiocco forced Julio Cesar into a tipped save.

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

Scorers: Stankovic 5, Ibrahimovic 71.

Catania: 1 Bizzarri; 21 Silvestri, 4 Silvestre, 6 Stovini, 33 Capuano (11 Llama 72) ; 25 Martinez (18 D'Amico 87), 17 Baiocco, 19 Tedesco; 15 Morimoto, 9 Paolucci (24 Spinesi 76), 7 Mascara.
Subs not used: 20 Acerbis, 2 Sardo, 3 Sabato, 8 Ledesma.
Coach: Walter Zenga.

Inter: 12 Julio Cesar; 13 Maicon, 2 Cordoba, 16 Burdisso, 39 Santon (24 Rivas 88); 4 Zanetti, 19 Cambiasso, 20 Muntari; 5 Stankovic (7 Figo 90+1); 9 Ibrahimovic, 8 Cruz (6 Maxwell 64).
Subs not used: 1 Toldo, 18 Crespo, 33 Mancini, 77 Quaresma.
Coach: Giuseppe Baresi (in place of disqualified José Mourinho).

Referee: Gianluca Rocchi (Florence).

Booked: Mascara 13, Ibrahimovic 15, Tedesco 60, D'Amico 89.
Sent off: Muntari 32.

starting lineups

Bizzarri 12 Julio Cesar
Silvestri 13 Maicon
Silvestre 2 Cordoba
Stovini 16 Burdisso
Capuano 39 Santon
Martinez 4 Zanetti
Baiocco 19 Cambiasso
Tedesco 20 Muntari
Morimoto 5 Stankovic
Paolucci 8 Ibrahimovic
Mascara 9 Cruz


Acerbis 1 Toldo
Sardo 6 Maxwell
Sabato 7 Figo
Ledesma 18 Crespo
Llama 24 Rivas
D'Amico 33 Mancini
Spinesi 77 Quaresma