SERIE A, GENOA 0-1 INTER: ANOTHER NAGA-GOAL

The Japanese defender's 67th-minute header from Alvarez's cross is enough to earn the 3 points

GENOA - On the pitch for the three points but first of all for the families who were hit by the flash floods on 4 November. Last month's tragedy was in everybody's minds as the rescheduled Week 11 match between Genoa and Inter took place this evening. After a goalless first half, in which Milito's unlucky spell in front of goal continued, Genoa had a goal ruled out in the second half before Nagatomo scored for the second game running to earn the Nerazzurri the 3 points.

FIRST HALF – Former Genoa players Milito and Thiago Motta returned to play in their ex-stadium for the first time since joining the Nerazzurri two years ago. Another player returning to his former stomping ground was one-time Sampdoria midfielder Andrea Poli, who made his full debut for Inter at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris. Faraoni made his third consecutive start. For Genoa, Ze Eduardo played as a lone striker.

After a quiet start to the game, in the 8th minute Motta played a useful ball in behind the defence for Pazzini, who was a fraction offside. Five minutes later Pazzini laid off for Milito, whose shot was deflected behind by Kaladze. Faraoni was full of energy once again, running and pushing forward: he earned a corner after a quarter of an hour but got fouled by Constant in the process, remaining down injured for a few minutes. Genoa's main threat seemed to be in long balls for Ze Eduardo; after cutting out one such ball, Lucio bounded forward with the ball at his feet and tried to spread play to Milito but the move broke down as the Prince couldn't quite reach it (27 minutes). Some good work by Milito earned a corner in the 33rd minute which Faraoni went over to take: Samuel got on the end of it and powered a header goalwards, Frey made a great save and the ball fell for Lucio again; the Brazilian touched on for Milito but the Prince's luck was again lacking: his clean strike from 5 yards out went straight into Frey's arms. The Argentine had another good chance on 37 minutes when he latched onto a ball over the top and was bearing down on goal when Granqvist pushed him from behind: Banti chose not to use his whistle for what was a clear goal-scoring opportunity. As the first half entered four minutes of added time, Constant got to the byline and whipped in a dangerous cross to the near post looking for Rossi, but Julio Cesar was on hand to punch clear. And there was still time for perhaps the best move of the half. Following a corner, Zanetti's long ball back in found Lucio on the right and the centre-half stretched to centre first time; Nagatomo connected but only with his thigh and the ball bounced through the six-yard box and wide of the far post. The first half ended 0-0.

SECOND HALF -  The second half began with Alvarez replacing Faraoni. A foul by Zanetti in the 55th minute gave Genoa a free kick on the left wing near the byline: Veloso curled it in and Granqvist nodded home at the far post but the goal was chalked off for offside - a close call, but the defender was ahead of Lucio when the free kick was taken. On 67 minutes the deadlock at the Marassi was broken by another header, this time from Nagatomo. Alvarez curled in a delightful ball and the Japanese defender ghosted past Mesto at the far post to score his second in as many games, and his second against Genoa out of his four total goals. On 72 minutes Pazzini hoped to pick out Milito with a cross but the Argentine couldn't quite get there. Alvarez did it all by himself in the 79th minute: after playing a one-two near the halfway line, he advanced 20 yards before releasing a swerving shot from all of 30 yards, which frustratingly came back off the post. Milito came off on 81 minutes, allowing Diego Forlan to make his return after a two-month layoff. The Uruguayan immediately started making up for lost time, going for goal five minutes after coming on, but Frey was alert. There was a moment of panic in injury time as two good chances for an equaliser fell to the home side in a matter of seconds: Nagatomo saved Julio Cesar's goal with his head and then Veloso's powerful shot from the edge of the box was acrobatically tipped over the bar by Julio Cesar. It was a save worth two points for Inter, who claimed victory after five minutes of added time. Inter move up to 20 points in the table.

Genoa 0-1 Inter (HT: 0-0)
Scorer: Nagatomo 22.

Genoa: 1 Frey; 3 Dainelli, 5 Granqvist, 13 Kaladze, 24 Moretti; 20 Mesto, 7 Rossi, 4 Veloso, 52 Merkel (Caracciolo 75), 27 Constant (Jankovic 60); 9 Ze Eduardo (Pratto 51).
Unused subs: 22 Lupatelli, 14 Seymour, 19 Jorquera, 32 Marchiori.
Coach: Alberto Malesani.

Inter: 1 Julio Cesar; 4 Zanetti, 6 Lucio, 25 Samuel, 55 Nagatomo; 37 Faraoni (Alvarez 46), 8 Thiago Motta, 19 Cambiasso, 18 Poli (Obi 69); 22 Milito (Forlan 81), 7 Pazzini.
Unused subs: 12 Castellazzi, 2 Cordoba, 28 Zarate, 77 Muntari.
Coach: Claudio Ranieri.

Booked: Kaladze 57, Alvarez 61, Pratto 73.
Added time: 4 + 5 minutes.


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