Final score

14 February 2013 21:05

41' (2nd half) Palacio
20' Palacio
2 - 0
CFR Cluj
referee Michael Koukoulakis / linesmen D.Saraidaris, D.Efthimiadis / 4th man C.Mpaltas / assistants S.Tritsonis , A.Kakos
Minutes Text commentary
48' The first half comes to a close here at the Meazza with Palacio's goal separating the two sides: 1-0 to Inter at the break
48' Cluj have a free kick in a dangerous position. Rada bends it past the wall but Handanovic dives at full stretch to tip it around the post. Great goalkeeping from the big Slovene
48' Kovacic shows a burst of pace to get away from his man before pulling the trigger from the edge of the box: wide, but not by much
45' The ref awards three minutes of stoppage time
43' Palacio slides the ball in behind the defence for Cassano, who knocks it past Felgueiras but not quite hard enough and the keeper is able to scoop it back into his possession
41' Nagatomo pings one into the centre for Guarin, whose audacious bicycle kick goes wide, but he's blown up for a foul anyway
39' Substitution for Cluj: Godemeche makes way for Maftei
38' More lovely football from Inter: Guarin finds Cassano with a delightful ball, but the Italian striker is closed down in the box and can't get his shot away
36' Brilliant from Cassano! He sees Palacio's movement in the box and picks him out with a rabona, but Felgueiras is quick off his line to block Palacio's shot
35' Muresan's long-range drive goes well wide
32' Pereira receives a caution for sliding in on Godemeche
30' Pereira's delivery from the left is too high
25' Kovacic plays the ball upfield for Cassano, the striker is flagged for offside
21' Cluj try to hit back immediately as Muresan lets fly from the left of the box: wide
20' GOAL FOR INTER!!! Guarin wins a challenge inside his own half and surges forward before releasing Palacio: his finish is clinical. 1-0!
19' Kovacic tries his luck from range but that's a fairly comfortable save for Felgueiras
17' Good chance for Inter: Cassano dinks a ball over the defence for Cambiasso to run onto, Cuchu tries to centre first time for Palacio but his touch is a tad too heavy and it sails beyond Palacio's reach
14' Cassano looks to play in Palacio but Felgueiras is out and onto it
10' Stramaccioni makes an enforced change, sending Palacio on in place of Milito
7' Milito is in trouble after clashing with an opponent. Bad news for Inter: he has to leave the pitch on a stretcher
5' Cambiasso rolls the ball to Nagatomo with the sole of his foot and the Japanese defender sends a cross towards the far post. It's overhit though and goes behind for a goal kick
4' Maah latches onto Silvestre's clearance and unleashes a shot from outside the box: wide
2' Rui Pedro gets an early effort in... or tries to at least. It goes out of play well wide of goal
1' Welcome to the Stadio Meazza for tonight's Europa League clash between Inter and Cluj
1' Cluj take the kick-off and we're up and running at the Meazza
1' Cambiasso, Kovacic, Gargano and Guarin start in midfield, Cassano and Milito up top
1' Handanovic is between the sticks, with a back four of Nagatomo, Silvestre, Ranocchia and Pereira
Minutes Text commentary
47' That's it! Koukoulakis blows the final whistle and Inter have beaten Cluj 2-0. Return leg in Romania next Thursday
46' Alvarez zips away and releases Guarin, the Colombian's right-footer is off target
45' The ref has given two minutes of added time
44' Bjelanovic is booked for a foul on Nagatomo
43' Stramaccioni makes his final substitution, with Jonathan taking over from Kovacic
41' GOAL FOR INTER! Kovacic dinks the ball over the defence for Palacio to run onto and lob Felgueiras from a tight angle. 2-0 to Inter
41' Palacio beats two players and goes for goal: over
39' Substitution for Cluj: Bjelanovic comes on for Rui Pedro
37' Muresan is booked for trying to take Kovacic's legs away
33' Cluj make a change: Hora replaces Maah
28' Change for Inter: Cassano comes off, Alvarez goes on
25' Silvestre is shown a yellow card for bringing down Maah
25' Inter hit on the break. Cassano receives the ball close to the left touchline, sees Palacio's run through the middle and chips it forward, Felgueiras rushes out of his area to boot it clear
22' Maah goes into the book for protesting
20' Inter cranking up the pressure as they go in search of a second: Cassano, Cambiasso and Palacio link up well before El Trenza's shot is deflected behind for a corner
19' Guarin's flick-on sets Palacio free to charge down the wing unchallenged, he fizzes a low cross into the box for Cassano: under pressure from his marker, the striker is unable to connect with it and a good chance goes begging
15' Muresan's effort from outside the box sails high over the bar
11' Bit of a free-for-all inside the box after Cassano's free kick, Cambiasso gets a shot away but it's deflected clear
8' Guarin blasts a free kick into the wall
7' Palacio collects the ball on the byline and rolls it back for Cassano, who takes one touch before bending it the wrong side of the far post
1' We're back under way at the Meazza as Inter begin the second half
Average rating 6.87
4 shots on target 1
4 shots off target 6
18 fouls committed 20
1 corners 2
4 offsides 1
ball possession
Stramaccioni versus Sergio: first encounter

Andrea Stramaccioni and Paulo Sergio are meeting as coaches in opposite dugouts for the first time today.

No history between Inter and Cluj

Inter have never crossed paths with Cluj in competitive competition before.

Nerazzurri unbeaten and always score against Romanian teams

The Nerazzurri are facing Romanian opposition for the 17th time, with their record currently standing at W10, D3, L3. Of the eight games contested in Milan, Inter have won six and drawn two, hitting the net at least once on every occasion (21 goals in total).

Italy has upper hand over Cluj: four games, all with goals

Cluj have locked horns with Italian teams four times before today, with one Romanian win, one draw and two Italian wins. Both teams have been on the score sheet in all four fixtures: five goals for Cluj and seven for Italy.

Inter unbeaten at home in 14

Inter haven't lost a home fixture since 23 September 2012, a 0-2 defeat at the hands of Siena in Serie A. They have since gone on a 14-game unbeaten streak, 10 wins and four draws, scoring in every game (28 goals in total). Andrea Stramaccioni's side still have some way to go to equal the Nerazzurri's record unbeaten home run of 53 matches, which they put together between 2008 and 2010.

wins(1) draws(0) defeats(0)

MILAN - Rodrigo Palacio hit a brace at the Meazza to settle the first leg of Inter's 2012/13 UEFA Europa League round-of-32 tie with Cluj.

There were just seven minutes on the clock when Diego Milito went to the ground in pain. He left the pitch on a stretcher and was replaced by Palacio a few minutes later.

A good chance went begging in the 17th minute as Cassano picked out Cambiasso on the far side of the box and Cuchu overhit his cross for Palacio. The Argentine striker did get a bite of the cherry just three minutes later, however, and he gobbled it up. Guarin muscled an opponent off the ball in his own half and galloped upfield before laying off for Palacio, whose finish left Felgueiras with no chance.

On 37 minutes Inter had two opportunities to double their lead: first Cassano showed sublime skill to release Palacio in the box, only for Felgueriras to deny him; then Piccolo stopped another Palacio strike with what appeared to be handball – no penalty was given though.

Inter rounded out the scoreline with four minutes of normal time remaining. Mateo Kovacic, who impressed on his full debut at the Meazza, chested the ball down before sending Palacio away with an exquisite pass; El Trenza bore down on goal and lobbed the ball over the keeper from a wide angle.

The stage is set for the return leg at the Stadionul Dr. Constantin Radulescu next Thursday: Cluj v Inter kicks off at 19:00 local time.

Inter 2-0 Cluj (HT: 1-0)
Scorers: Palacio 20, 86.

Inter: 1 Handanovic; 55 Nagatomo, 6 Silvestre, 23 Ranocchia, 31 Pereira; 19 Cambiasso, 29 Kovacic (29 Jonathan, 88), 21 Gargano; 14 Guarin; 22 Milito (8 Palacio, 10), 99 Cassano (11 Alvarez, 73).
Subs not used: 27 Belec, 4 Zanetti, 24 Benassi, 40 Juan Jesus.
Coach: Andrea Stramaccioni.

Cluj: 1 Felgueiras; 3 Ivo Pinto; 13 Piccolo, 20 Cadu, 45 Camora; 6 Muresan, 23 Godemeche (12 Maftei, 84), 24 Rada, 8 Sepsi; 14 Maah (22 Hora, 78), 30 Rui Pedro (19 Bjelanovic, 84).
Subs not used: 44 Stancioiu, 10 Valente, 26 Celestino, 62 Paun-Alexandru.
Coach: Paulo Sergio.

Referee: Michael Koukoulakis (GRE).
Booked: Pereira 31, Maah 67, Silvestre 70, Muresan 82.
Added time: 3 + 2 minutes.
Attendance: 14,790.

starting lineups

Handanovic 1 Felgueiras
Nagatomo 55 Ivo Pinto
Silvestre 6 Cadu
Ranocchia 23 Piccolo
Pereira 31 Rada
Cambiasso 19 Camora
Kovacic 10 Muresan
Gargano 21 Maah
Guarin 14 Godemeche
Milito 22 Rui Pedro
Cassano 99 Sepsi


Belec 27 Stancioiu
Zanetti 4 Maftei
Palacio 8 Celestino
Alvarez 11 Diogo Valente
Benassi 24 Hora
Jesus 40 Paun-Alexandru
Jonathan 42 Bjelanovic