Final score

6 January 2011 20:45

10' (2nd half) Motta
37' Cambiasso
3' Motta
3 - 1
25' Pazienza
Referee: Gianluca Rocchi / Linesmen: Padovan, Di Fiore / Fourth official: Mazzoleni
Watch highlights
Minute Text commentary
46' The first half between Inter and Napoli ends 2-1
46' Stankovic's shot is deflected by De Sanctis
45' Rocchi awards one minute of extra time
44' Cannavaro elbows Lucio
42' Zanetti move the ball onto Stankovic, he controls with his right and shoots from 20m, Campagnaro deflects
37' GOAL FOR INTER: CAMBIASSO scores. Maicon's cross from the right, Cambiasso runs into the box and headers the ball into the net. Inter-Napoli 2-1
34' Chivu's cross from the left, Milito with his left wasted a good chance with the ball just over the bar
33' Shot by Maggio from the right, after receiving ball from Cavani: ball just wide
29' Hamsik for Cavani, one on one with Zanetti who stopped his 17m out, Chivu helped out
25' GOAL FOR NAPOLI: PAZIENZA scores. Corner from the left, Pazienza's run is followed by a header which anticipates the Nerazzurri defenders
22' Hamsik in between the lines, ball into the middle for Cavani: Lucio clears
21' Yellow card to Zanetti for hand-ball
19' From the developments of a Napoli corner, Pazienza headers the ball from 13m: easy catch for Castellazzi
15' Zanetti for Pandev in space on the right, ball into the middle, Cannavaro clears
12' Thiago Motta with the free-kick: ball goes over the bar
11' Aronica booked for a foul on Pandev
9' Maggio's cross ends behind the goal-line
7' Cavani's goal disallowed for Dossena offside, the Italian had served the striker
6' Yellow card to Chivu for a foul on Lavezzi
3' GOAL INTER: THIAGO MOTTA scores! Pandev from the right serves Motta, he passes to Stankovic , the ball goes back to the Brazilian who strikes with his left with an unstoppable shot. Inter in front
2' Zanetti strikes from the right, De Sanctis saves
1' WELCOME TO THE MEAZZA STADIUM! Before the start of Inter v Napoli, the five trophies of 2010 were in the centre circle and FIFA awarded Moratti and Zanetti the World Champions badge for the Nerazzurri's jersey
1' Nerazzurri start the match
1' everything is ready for the start of the game
1' First game of 2011, first game for Leonardo on the Nerazzurri bench, the team to play Napoli from the start is Castellazzi in goal, Maicon and Chivu full-backs, Lucio and Cordoba in the middle; midfield with Zanetti, Cambiasso, Thiago Motta; Stankovic behind Pandev and Milito
Minute Text commentary
49' After 4 minutes injury time, Leonardo's first game on the Nerazzurri bench Inter v Napoli finishes 3-1. After the firs game of 2011, the Nerazzurri reach 26pts in the table
45' Rocchi awards 4 minutes injury time
42' Substitution for Inter: Thiago Motta off, Muntari on
41' Biabiany serves Milito from the left, he turns and takes a shot but the ball goes wide
38' Substitution for Inter: Pandev off, Biabiany on
37' Yebda on the turn headers the ball, Castellazzi collects it
36' Yellow card to Maicon for a foul on Zuniga
34' Substitution for Inter: Stankovic off, Mariga on
31' Substitution for Napoli: Pazienza off, Sosa on
30' Napoli corner, Lavezzi takes it, and Maggio gets his head to it: the ball goes just wide
28' Hamsik crosses from the right, Castellazzi strugles a bit but the ball goes out for a corner
25' Run by Zanetti on the right, the captain takes the shot but it is just wide
23' Yellow card to Campagnaro for a foul on Stankovic
21' Substution for Napoli: Dossena off, Zuniga on
17' Lucio takes two efforts to stop Hamsik
13' Substitution for Napoli: Gargano off, Yebda on
10' GOAL INTER: THIAGO MOTTA scores. Pandev with the corner, the Brazilian's gets into position and slots it home for the 3-1
9' Maggio deflects Milito's shot out for a corner
8' Lavezzi finds himself in space 24m out: his poweerful right footed shot goes over the bar
5' Stankovic on the volley from the edge of the box, ball goes wide
2' After Cavani's pass, Hamsik's effort goes just wide
1' Second half of Inter v Napoli kicks off
Average rating 7.14
4 shots on target 5
7 shots off target 7
8 fouls committed 13
3 corners 8
5 offsides 2
50% ball possession 50%
Leonardo v Mazzarri: two draws

This is the third time Leonardo and Walter Mazzarri have met as coaches in a competitive fixture. Both games between Milan and Napoli in Serie A 2009/10 ended in draws: 1-1 in Milan and 2-2 in Naples.

Mazzarri against Inter

Walter Mazzarri has only beaten the Nerazzurri once in 13 meetings, and his teams have yet to win or score in Milan in 6 previous attempts.

One defeat for Inter in 56 home games

Inter have lost just one of their last 56 competitive matches played at the stadio San Siro: the Serie A match against AC Milan on 14 November 2010 (0-1). Inter's record in the other 55 games in that period is 41 wins and 14 draws.

Inter's fair play

Inter are one of four teams in the Serie A 2010/11 season - along with Cagliari, Palermo and Sampdoria - yet to have had a player sent off. The last player to be sent off for Inter in a league tie was Muntari on 12 March, in a game Inter lost 3-1 away to Catania. Since then they have played 25 league games without receiving a red card.

Inter undefeated at the start of the year since 1999

Inter haven't lost their first game in a calendar year since the last century, when they lost 1-0 at Parma on 6 January 1999. In the 11 years since then Inter have collected 7 wins and 4 draws.

46 candles for Branca

There is a birthday in the Inter family today: technical director Marco Branca, born in Grosseto on 6 January 1965, celebrates his 46th birthday.

Napoli's defence unbreached for 393 minutes

Napoli haven't conceded a single goal in all competitions since 28 November, when they were beaten 3-1 away to Udinese, the third goal being scored by Di Natale on 57 minutes. Since then, in the remaining 33 minutes of that match plus the league games against Palermo (1-0 at home) and Genoa (0-1 away), the Europa League home game against Steaua (1-0) and another home game in the league against Lecce (1-0), their defence has remained unbreached.

Napoli: second-half energy; and in the last 15 minutes...

In Serie A 2010/11 Napoli are the team that has earned the most points in the second half. Compared to their first-half score lines, they are 9 points better off after 90 minutes. Napoli are also the side that has scored most often in the final quarter of an hour, having netted 13 of their 26 goals (50%) after the 75th minute.

First game of the year: only one defeat in the last 10 years... in Milan!

In the last 10 years Napoli have only once opened the new year with a defeat: it happened on 13 January 2008, when they went down 5-2 away to AC Milan. In the other 9 seasons they have won their first game of the year 6 times and drawn 3 times.

wins(54) draws(17) defeats(9)

MILAN – Three goals against Napoli, who managed just the one. Inter opened their 2011 as they did in the previous ten years, by winning their opening game of the year, which was also Leonardo’s first. The dream of the Inter coach and of all the Inter fans has begun.

With still two games to make up, but with an extra World Cup medal in the bag, Inter resumed their title chase and are ready to fight for the top spots of the table. This evening the five trophies were on display on the field of the Giuseppe Meazza stadium to remind everyone of the unforgettable year, the year 2010, and to kick-start another, with Leonardo, which will hopefully be just as exciting. The first excitement of 2011 arrived quickly: just three minutes into the game and Thiago Motta took Inter into the lead, but Napoli, it is known, do not give up easily and eventually found the equaliser through Pazienza. But Cambiasso did not hang about on 37 as he connected with Maicon’s cross to beat De Sanctis. And it was a great effort that led to Inter’s third goal, even greater was the embrace between the goal scorer Thiago Motta, on his second of the evening on 55, and Leonardo, who waited for him on the bench with his arms stretched.    

FIRST HALF – For his debut on the Nerazzurri bench, Leonardo had to do without Eto’o, facing the third of his three match ban, as well as Coutinho, Sneijder and Julio Cesar, all injured. Castellazzi started in goal, and Prince Milito was up front alongside Pandev, with Stankovic behind them. Andrea Ranocchia started from the bench. For Napoli, Campagnaro replaced Grava. After a minute silence, to remember the Italian soldier Matteo Miotto, killed in Afghanistan, the game kicked off. And it could not have started any better for Inter, as after just 3 minutes, they took the lead through a left footed volley by Thiago Motta which beat De Sanctis and slotted in the bottom corner; that finished off the move that started with Pandev moving the ball to the outside of the box and Stankovic touching it perfectly for Thiago Motta. Napoli could celebrate just 4 later, but to their misfortune Cavani’s goal was disallowed for a Dossena offside as the original free-kick was taken. On 11, an Aronica foul gave an opportunity to the Nerazzurri just outside the box: Motta took it, searching for his second: the ball made it past the wall but also the crossbar. Napoli’s equaliser came on 25: from a Lavezzi corner Pazienza caught the entire Nerazzurri defence off guard and with his header he buried it for 1-1. On 33 it was Maggio’s turn to come close to a second, after Cavani’s pass, the Napoli number 11 sent the ball just wide. Inter also came close to a second just a few moments later, Chivu from the left served Milito in front of goal, but the Prince’s effort, despite being one on one with the goalkeeper, failed to hit the target. High tempo and lots of determination were characteristic of the game at the Meazza stadium, and they were characteristic of Esteban Cambiasso also as, on 37, he took Inter back into the lead by latching onto a perfect Maicon cross from the right and beating De Sanctis. Rocchi awarded one minute of injury time, and the Napoli keeper managed to keep Inter from getting a third by somehow deflecting a Stankovic effort from distance.

SECOND HALF – Napoli took the initiative early on in the second half, and after 2 minutes Cavani’s low cross found Hamsik who got in front of Cordoba, but his effort was just wide of the target. Inter replied with Zanetti (4), but Cannavaro stopped him, and then with a right footed volley by Stankovic which ended over the bar (5); on 9 Milito’s cross into the box almost led to Inter’s third, but Maggio was quick to block the effort. From Pandev’s corner, it was Thiago Motta who lost his marker and headed it home perfectly for the 3-1. The Brazilian got his second, and Leonardo stretched his arms out in front of the Inter bench waiting for him, their embrace will no doubt be one of the best pictures of 2011. After his goal in Abu Dhabi, the skipper searched for a carbon copy of it today: just like against Seongnam, after a fast run he dispatched a powerful right footed effort, but the ball ended just beyond the far post (25). By 31 Mazzarri had used up all his substitutions; on 35 Leonardo made his first, replacing Stankovic with Mariga, and the Nerazzurri Dragon received a standing ovation. On 38 Biabiany relieved Pandev, and on 41 the Giuseppe Meazza stadium crowd was once again on its feet to salute Thiago Motta as he made way for Sulley Muntari. The cold Milan evening did not alter the play, warmed by the support of the 60’000 fans ready to celebrate the first win of 2011; and the victory came on 94 as Rocchi called an end to the game. Inter have started again, and have done so by winning with Leonardo: now the table reads 26 points, but the chase has only just begun.

Goal scorers: Thiago Motta 3 and 55, Pazienza 25, Cambiasso 37

Inter: 12 Castellazzi; 13 Maicon, 6 Lucio, 2 Cordoba, 26 Chivu; 4 Zanetti, 19 Cambiasso, 8 Thiago Motta (11 Muntari 87); 5 Stankovic (17 Mariga 80); 27 Pandev, (88 Biabiany 88) 22 Milito.
Unused subs: 21 Orlandoni, 15 Ranocchia, 23 Materazzi, 39 Santon.
Coach: Leonardo.

Napoli: 26 De Sanctis; 14 Campagnaro, 28 Cannavaro, 6 Aronica; 11 Maggio, 23 Gargano (21 Yebda 58), 5 Pazienza (77 Sosa 76), 8 Dossena (18 Zuniga 66); 17 Hamsik, 22 Lavezzi; 7 Cavani.
Unused subs: 1 Iezzo, 2 Grava, 12 Dumitru, 13 Santacroce.
Coach: Walter Mazzarri.

Referee: Gianluca Rocchi di Firenze
Notes. Bookings: Chivu 6, Aronica 11, Zanetti 21, Campagnaro 68, Maicon 81. Injury time: 1 and 4. Attendance 60.515

starting lineups

Castellazzi 12 De Sanctis
Maicon 13 Campagnaro
Cordoba 2 Cannavaro
Lucio 6 Aronica
Chivu 26 Maggio
Zanetti 4 Gargano
Cambiasso 19 Pazienza
Motta 8 Dossena
Stankovic 5 Hamsik
Pandev 27 Lavezzi
Milito 22 Cavani


Orlandoni 21 Iezzo
Muntari 11 Grava
Ranocchia 15 Dumitru
Mariga 17 Santacroce
Materazzi 23 Zuniga
Santon 39 Yebda
Biabiany 88 Sosa