Final score

12 February 2017 15:00

9' (2nd half) Candreva
14' Eder
2 - 0
Referee: Domenico Celi / Linesmen: Giulio Dobosz, Giorgio Schenone / Fourth official: Andrea Crispo / Assistants: Daniele Doveri, Aleandro Di Paolo
Watch highlights

Minute Text commentary
47' The Nerazzurri lead at half-time thanks to a goal from Eder
47' Kondogbia shoots on his left from outside the area: an easy take for Skorupski
46' Kondogbia is shown a yellow card for a foul in midfield
44' The referee has indicated there will be two minutes of extra time
41' El Kaddouri is the first to go in the referee's notebook
39' Palacio with a vital contribution in defence, running back to make the tackle and halt a counter attack from Empoli
36' Eder drives to the byline and crosses. Skorupski doesn't take it cleanly and it drops to Candreva, but the Italian is closed down in time
32' D'Ambrosio cuts it back for an onrushing Gagliardini, with the whole goal to aim at. Skorupski somehow pulls off an instinctive save
30' Nerazzurri claim a penalty for a foul on Eder by Diousse. Celi waves play on
29' The visiting side tries a free-kick move, El Kaddouri chipping it for Pucciarelli but Handanovic reads it well and gathers
25' El Kaddouri cuts inside the area and shoots, but Handanovic dives to save
20' Candreva tries to hit one on the volley. He gets the timing right but his aim is off
17' The tempo has dropped a touch in the last few minutes. Empoli are trying to get back into the game but Inter remain in control
14' GOOOAAAAL!!! Palacio nods it on to Eder at the far post and the Brazilian bundles it home with his chest
10' Skorupski pulls off a wonder save from a Palacio header to prevent Inter taking the lead
8' D'Ambrosio crosses and Miranda heads it goalwards, but an Empoli defender gets the block in
6' Another great cross from Candreva; Skorupski comes off his line and claims
2' Candreva crosses from the right, but Laurini gets in front of Palacio and heads clear
1' And they're off! Inter v Empoli begins. Good luck, lads
1' Everything's ready at San Siro. We have the kick-off
1' Inter and Empoli make their way out onto the playing surface at the Meazza. We're moments away from kick-off
Minute Text commentary
49' All over! Inter get back to winning ways with a 2-0 win over Empoli thanks to goals from Eder and Candreva
48' Pinamonti drills a half-volley from the 18-yard line. Skorupski gets down to it
46' Inter inches away from 3-0, heading straight into Skorupski's hands after Gagliarini had nodded it on
45' There will be four minutes of extra time
44' Gagliardini jumps highest on an Ansaldi cross, but Skorupski saves once again
42' Nice lay-off from Pinamonti to Joao Mario, who plays it wide to Gabigol. The young Brazilian shoots narrowly wide
39' Zajc tries to find a team-mate at the far post but it's too long and goes behind
36' Tello replaces El Kaddouri in Empoli's final sub
35' Andrea Pinamonti is handed his Serie A debut, coming on for Eder
32' Croce with a wonderful volley across his body; Handanovic with an equally good save
31' Empoli replace Krunic with Zajc
28' Gabriel Barbosa's time has come: he's on for Palacio
25' Kondogbia tries to snake his way into the area and shoots. Empoli get the block in
21' Eder with a long ball, but it's too long for his team-mates and Empoli have a goal kick
19' Empoli substitute: Barba comes on for Dimarco
14' Maccarone tries to chip one over Handanovic but gets it all wrong
12' Joao Mario on the counter for Inter: he makes it as far as the opposition penalty area where his shot is blocked by the defence
9' GOOOOAAAAAL!!! Eder hits a cross deep to the far post and Candreva volleys home to double our lead
8' Krunic bursts into the area and draws a great save from Handanovic. Maccarone sends the rebound over
6' Eder drills one into the area for Gagliardini to hit first-time on the volley, but it goes over
4' Dimarco upends Eder and it's a booking for the Nerazzurri youth product
2' Ansaldi latches onto a Joao Mario through-ball; his cross is too close to Skorupski and the Pole makes it his
1' Celi blows his whistle to start the second half
1' Inter make a change at half-time, Ansaldi coming on for D'Ambrosio

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Joao Mario
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Average rating 6.61 SEND RATINGS
8 shots on target 4
4 shots off target 3
13 fouls committed 21
9 corners 2
1 offsides 0
53% ball possession 47%
10 out of 11

Inter have won 17 of the 23 previous meetings between these two sides and are unbeaten in the last nine. The Nerazzurri have also won ten of the last 11 games against Empoli at San Siro.

We miss them

Icardi and Ivan Perisic, who will both miss Sunday's game through suspension, have produced 42% of Inter's efforts on goal between them in the current campaign.

stat pack

Nerazzurri have a 74% win record against the Tuscans. Candreva, Handanovic, Miranda, Icardi ever-presents so far. Eder and Dimarco face former clubs

A lot of crosses

Inter have put in more crosses from open play in 2016/17 than any other side in the top five European leagues and also boast the best attack in the final 15 minutes.

Eder looks back

Eder will be facing off against his former employers at the Meazza. The Brazil-born Italy striker scored 27 goals in 45 Serie A and Serie B appearances for Empoli earlier in his career. The 30-year-old has also scored in two of his last three games for Inter.

wins(14) draws(0) defeats(2)

MILAN – A goal in each half from Eder and Antonio Candreva was enough to put away a spirited Empoli this afternoon, but the gap might have been bigger had it not been for Lukasz Skorupski in the visitor's goal.

Stefano Pioli's team had to play without the suspended Mauro Icardi and Ivan Perisic but showed the depth in their squad, as Rodrigo Palacio and Eder both made telling contributions in this victory.

Inter started the better side and were looking dangerous down the right flank, with Danilo D'Ambrosio and Candreva both putting in good crosses. Skorupski was the only thing stopping the Nerazzurri taking the lead in the ninth minute, somehow managing to leap and claw away a Palacio header that was heading for the top corner – his first of many spectacular saves.

Nevertheless, the fans could sense a goal was coming and they weren't made to wait for much longer. Candreva swung a cross to the near post, which was deflected and looped up in the air. Palacio showed great timing to out-jump a much bigger defender and nod it on to the far post, where Eder was waiting to chest home.

Despite most of the contest being played in Empoli's half, the Tuscan side did threaten on occasion. Omar El Kaddouri embarked on a mazy in the 25th minute that look him inside Inter's penalty area. Luckily, Samir Handanovic was alert enough to palm away his shot.

Five minutes later, Roberto Gagliardini had the first of three gilt-edged chances to open his goalscoring account for Inter. With the Nerazzurri in complete control of the encounter, the young Italian saw an opportunity to make a late burst into the box and come onto ball, but Skorupski saved instinctively to deflect his volley over the bar.

The second half continued where the first left off: Inter dominating the ball and Empoli looking to counter when they could. In the 51st minute, Eder drilled a ball into the area for Gagliardini to volley, but this time the midfielder couldn't keep his effort below the bar.

Empoli had a great chance to level in the 53rd minute, when Rade Krunic played a one-two and burst into the area. However, his touch was heavy and took him too close to Handanovic, who gathered and launched his side on an attack that would end in another goal. The ball eventually worked its way to half-time substitute Cristian Ansaldi, who picked out Candreva at the far post to volley smartly home and double Inter's advantage.

The goal took the tempo out of the game, as Inter were content to sit back and protect their lead, while Empoli seemed resigned to their fate. It look a couple of substitutions around a quarter of an hour from the end to inject some energy back into proceedings. First Gabriel Barbosa came on for Palacio after a typically all-action performance from the Argentine, then Andrea Pinamonti replaced Eder for his Serie A debut.

The pair actually combined to set up a good chance for the Nerazzurri: Pinamonti laid it off for Joao Mario who spread it wide for Barbosa, but the No.96's shot went narrowly wide. The Brazilian won a corner moments later, from which Gagliardini saw his header palmed away by Empoli's Polish shotstopper – luck clearly wasn't on his side this afternoon.

Inter kept pushing for the third goal – Miranda in particular had a header saved from a couple of yards out – but it didn't come and, after four minutes of additional time, Domenico Celi blew up to bring the contest to a close. 

INTER 2-0 EMPOLI (HT: 1-0)

Scorers: Eder 14, Candreva 54.

INTER: 1 Handanovic; 24 Murillo, 17 Medel, 25 Miranda; 87 Candreva, 5 Gagliardini, 7 Kondogbia, 33 D'Ambrosio (15 Ansaldi, 45); 5 Joao Mario; 23 Eder (99 Pinamonti, 80), 8 Palacio (96 Barbosa, 73).
Subs not used: 30 Carrizo, 11 Biabiany, 20 Sainsbury, 21 Santon, 55 Nagatomo.
Coach: Stefano Pioli.

EMPOLI: 28 Skorupski; 2 Laurini, 24 Cosic, 13 Veseli, 4 Dimarco (19 Barba, 64); 33 Krunic (17 Zajc, 76), 8 Diousse, 11 Croce; 10 El Kaddouri (88 Tello, 81); 7 Maccarone, 20 Pucciarelli.
Subs not used: 1 Pugliesi, 23 Pelagotti, 3 Zambelli, 5 José Mauri, 27 Thiam, 31 Picchi, 77 Buchel, 89 Marilungo.
Coach: Giovanni Martusciello.

Yellow cards: El Kaddouri 41, Kondogbia 46, Dimarco 49.

Additional time: 2+4 minutes. 

Referee: Domenico Celi
Assistants: Giulio Dobosz, Giorgio Schenone
Fourth official: Andrea Crispo
Additional assistants: Daniele Doveri, Aleandro Di Paolo

starting lineups

Handanovic 1 28 Skorupski
Murillo 24 2 Laurini
Medel 17 24 Cosic
Miranda 25 13 Veseli
Candreva 87 4 Dimarco
Gagliardini 5 33 Krunic
Kondogbia 7 8 Diousse
D'Ambrosio 33 11 Croce
Joao Mario 6 10 El Kaddouri
Eder 23 7 Maccarone
Palacio 8 20 Pucciarelli


Carrizo 30 1 Pugliesi
Biabiany 11 23 Pelagotti
Ansaldi 15 3 Zambelli
Sainsbury 20 5 Mauri
Santon 21 17 Zajc
Nagatomo 55 19 Barba
Barbosa 96 27 Thiam
Pinamonti 99 31 Picchi
77 Buchel
88 Tello
89 Marilungo

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