Final score

23 February 2015 21:00

29' (2nd half) Carrizo o.g.
1 - 2
23' (2nd half) Icardi
2' (2nd half) Kovacic
Referee: Paolo Mazzoleni / Linesmen: Giallatini, Pegorin / Fourth official: Dobosz / Assistants: Doveri, Ghersini
Watch highlights
Minute Text commentary
45' There's no added time as the ref brings the first half to an end. There have been a glut of chances for the Nerazzurri, but it's still 0-0.
43' Lovely play from Guarin, who chips in a cross for Podolski. The German gets up well, but his powerful header is just over.
41' Podolski swings in a corner. Icardi gets up well to head towards goal, but Brkic smothers the ball before Juan Jesus can pounce.
39' Cop brings down Campagnaro. The referee blows for a Nerazzurri free-kick and shows the Cagliari man a yellow card.
38' Mpoku looks for goal from midway inside the Inter half. Carrizo can watch the ball sail comfortably behind for a goal-kick.
36' Mpoku nicks past Guarin and then Campagnaro before centring for Cop. Carrizo and Santon ensure the Croat can't tuck it away.
34' Santon tries his luck from outside of the box, but the indefatigable Brkic is on it in a flash.
33' There's confusion as Carrizo fails to claim a ball in behind, but the Nerazzurri instantly counter! Brkic foils Podolski yet again.
32' Inter really have their foot on the gas here. Guarin takes aim from distance, but Brkic gets down well to deal with the danger.
30' Wonderful double chance for the Nerazzurri. Santon sets up Brozovic, whose shot is parried to Icardi. Brkic beats it away again.
26' Icardi is set free in behind the Rossoblu defence. The Argentine skips past Brkic, but his touch takes him too wide and he can't finish.
25' Another gilt-edged opportunity for Podolski. Santon loops in a pinpoint cross, but the German's header flashes across the Cagliari goal.
22' Santon supplies a good cross from the left, but there's no-one in a black and blue jersey waiting in the box to apply the finish.
20' What a chance for Inter! Podolski latches on to Icardi's pass, jinking past two Rossoblu defenders and the keeper, but he can't find a shot.
17' Kovacic plays Icardi in behind, but the Croat's ball is just too long and Brkic can claim.
14' Brozovic upends Mpoku in the middle of the park, picking up a yellow card in the process.
12' Mpoku looks for a team-mate in the Inter box, but Ranocchia does well to cushion a header back for Carrizo.
9' Medel picks out Guarin at the far post from the corner. The Nerazzurri No. 13 tries a spectacular overhead kick, but the whistle had gone.
8' Guarin threatens again down the right, winning a corner for his troubles.
5' Podolski sets the ball in the corner. Brkic comes out to easily claim the German's cross.
4' Guarin swings a cross in from the right, but Avelar puts it behind for a corner.
2' Donsah tries his luck with a volleyed effort from outside the area, but it balloons way over the crossbar.
1' The hosts get us underway here at the Stadio Sant'Elia.
Minute Text commentary
50' And that's the final whistle! Inter record their third Serie A win on the bounce, beating Cagliari 2-1 thanks to Kovacic and Icardi.
50' Incredible effort from Hernanes! The ball comes down off the crossbar, bounces on the goal-line and back into play!
48' Mancini makes his third and final change, with Kuzmanovic coming on for goal-scorer Kovacic.
46' Avelar picks up a cheap booking for dissent.
46' Conti lets fly with a free-kick, but Carrizo has no trouble claiming it.
45' There'll be four minutes' added time here at the Stadio Sant'Elia.
44' Dangerous challenge from Campagnaro on Mpoku. Mazzoleni blows up for a free-kick and shows the Argentine defender a yellow card.
44' Medel finds Vidic at the back post, but the Serb's header is listless and Brkic can claim easily.
42' Guarin shows real endeavour to win a corner-kick after a great run.
37' Another Nerazzurri change sees Brozovic make way for Hernanes.
36' Mancini makes his first change of the match, with Dodo replacing Podolski.
33' Longo with another chance, but his powerful effort is wayward.
32' Mpoku gathers the ball on the edge of the area and takes aim at Carrizo's near post. Just wide.
29' Cagliari get one back. From the edge of the area, Longo's shot strikes the post, hits Carrizo on the back and trickles into the net.
27' Last roll of the dice for Zola, who brings on Ceppitelli in place of Crisetig.
23' GOAL! Kovacic finds Icardi, who leaves Capuano for dead and produces a lovely finish to double the Nerazzurri lead.
22' Another change for the home side - Joao Pedro trots on in place of Cossu.
19' Another decisive challenge from Juan Jesus dispossesses Mpoku after a dangerous Avelar cross.
16' Inter give the ball away at the back. Longo bursts through on goal, but Carrizo makes himself big to save the day.
15' Cagliari with some sustained pressure here. Mpoku plays in Longo from the right, but Juan Jesus excels himself to quell the danger.
14' More chaos in the Nerazzurri box. Campagnaro eventually clears after some pinball right in front of the Inter goal.
13' Mpoku picks Juan Jesus' pocket and makes a beeline for Carrizo's goal. The Argentine goalie does brilliantly to save.
11' Some indecision in the Nerazzurri defensive ranks allows Cossu to steal in behind. Fortunately, the Cagliari man skies his effort.
11' Zola makes his first change of the match, with Cop coming off to be replaced by Longo.
10' Inter play the ball around on the edge of the Rossoblu area, before Medel lets fly with a long-range effort. Brkic saves comfortably.
9' Donsah sees his attacking foray stopped by Vidic. Corner-kick.
5' Donsah cuts in from the right and unleashes a low effort, but Carrizo is there to get down well and avert the danger.
2' GOOOOAL!!! Kovacic starts the attack with a sumptuous backheel, before pouncing upon a loose ball to smash home past Brkic.
1' We're back underway here at the Stadio Sant'Elia. Neither manager has made any half-time substitutions.
Average rating 6.32
5 shots on target 9
8 shots off target 10
19 fouls committed 21
8 corners 7
4 offsides 1
39% ball possession 61%
wins(18) draws(18) defeats(7)

CAGLIARI – Inter made it three wins from as many Serie A games as they beat Cagliari 1-2 at the Stadio Sant’Elia this evening. There were big performances all over the park for the Nerazzurri, with Mateo Kovacic the stand-out man after his well-taken opening goal and canny assist for Mauro Icardi’s second proved too much for Cagliari.

It was the home side that threatened first, with Donsah shooting over from a good position. Gianfranco Zola would have been hoping the early effort was the beginning of a Rossoblu onslaught, but nothing could’ve been further from reality. Inter would go on to dominate the first half, with 69% possession, 86% pass accuracy and five shots on goal to Cagliari’s one.

It took just eight minutes for the Nerazzurri to start pounding on the Cagliari door. Guarin made himself a yard of space at the back post, but his spectacular overhead kick was just off target. Ten minutes later, Podolski had perhaps the best chance of the first half. Icardi held the ball up admirably, resisting the challenge of Rossettini to slip the German in. Podolski jinked past two defenders and left Brkic on his behind, but just couldn’t get a shot away. Brozovic managed to force it goalwards, but his effort sailed over – the danger had passed.

Inter could smell blood, however, and Guarin and Santon both tried their luck from distance. Cagliari were very much on the ropes, but Cop did threaten the Nerazzurri area in the 36th minute, only for Campagnaro to step in and avert the danger. Minutes before the half-time whistle, Guarin burst through the Rossoblu midfield, reaching the touchline before dinking a cross back inside for Podolski. The German rose well to meet the ball with a bullet header, but it whistled just over Brkic’s crossbar.

Though it finished goalless at half-time, the Nerazzurri needed just 120 seconds to make the breakthrough when the second half got underway. Kovacic started the move with a lovely back-heel over the top for Icardi, who used his strength to keep the attack alive, before the Croatian schemer pounced on the loose ball to fire Inter into the lead.

The goal served as a wake-up call for the Rossoblu, who threatened through Donsah. The home side managed to build some sustained pressure, with Cossu drawing a wonder save from Carrizo in the Inter goal. Half chances followed for Cossu, M’Poku and Conti, but it was just as Cagliari looked most like equalising that the Nerazzurri struck the hammer blow.

Kovacic turned provider to find Icardi with a pinpoint pass, the Argentine dummying past Capuano to work an angle on his left and fire home past Brkic. Inter could be forgiven for thinking that the match was done and dusted, but Zola’s men had other ideas.

Roared on by the home fans, Cagliari pushed for a goal, and it was on-loan Inter man Longo who got it. From the edge of the area, his right-footed effort cannoned off the post onto Carrizo’s back, trickling over the line and into the net to send the Stadio Sant’Elia into raptures.

It was time for the Nerazzurri to roll up their sleeves and see the job through, and that was exactly what they did, taking the pace out of the game and comfortably repelling the last of the Rossoblu attacks. 

Scorers: Kovacic 47, Icardi 68, Carrizo og 74.

CAGLIARI: 44 Brkic; 16 Dessena, 15 Rossettini, 33 Capuano, 8 Avelar; 30 Donsah, 5 Conti, 4 Crisetig (Ceppitelli 72); 40 M'Poku, 7 Cossu (Joao Pedro 67); 90 Cop (Longo 66).
Subs not used: 1 Colombi, 27 Cragno, 2 Gonzalez, 3 Murru, 14 Pisano, 17 Farias, 18 Barella, 22 Husbauer, 37 Diakhitè.
Coach: Gianfranco Zola.

INTER: 30 Carrizo; 14 Campagnaro, 15 Vidic, 5 Juan Jesus, 21 Santon; 13 Guarin, 18 Medel, 77 Brozovic (Hernanes 82); 10 Kovacic (Kuzmanovic 90+3); 9 Icardi, 11 Podolski (Dodo 81).
Subs not used: 46 Berni, 6 Andreolli, 20 Obi, 23 Ranocchia, 28 Puscas, 33 D'Ambrosio, 91 Shaqiri, 93 Dimarco.
Coach: Roberto Mancini.

Booked: Brozovic 14, Cop 39, Campagnaro 89, Avelar 90+1.
Added time: 0 + 4 mins.

Referee: Mazzoleni.
Assistants: Giallatini, Pegorin.
Fourth official: Dobosz.
Additional assistants: Doveri, Ghersini.

starting lineups

Brkic 44 30 Carrizo
Dessena 16 14 Campagnaro
Rossettini 15 15 Vidic
Capuano 33 5 Jesus
Avelar 8 21 Santon
Donsah 30 13 Guarin
Conti 5 18 Medel
Crisetig 4 77 Brozovic
Cossu 7 10 Kovacic
Mpoku 40 11 Podolski
Cop 90 9 Icardi


Colombi 1 46 Berni
Gonzalez 2 6 Andreolli
Murru 3 8 Palacio
Longo 9 17 Kuzmanovic
Joao Pedro 10 20 Obi
Pisano 14 22 Dodò
Farias 17 23 Ranocchia
Barella 18 28 Puscas
Husbauer 22 33 D'Ambrosio
Cragno 27 88 Hernanes
Ceppitelli 32 91 Shaqiri
Diakhité 37 93 Dimarco