TURIN – The Stadio Olimpico in Turin was practically full when referee Doveri whistled to kick off the game between Torino and Inter. For this season-opening encounter, coach Walter Mazzarri fielded his players in a 3-4-2-1 formation. Medel and M’Vila were tasked with shielding the back line. Hernanes and Kovacic sat in front of them to create dangerous situations for spearhead Icardi. Jonathan and Dodo patrolled the flanks, while Ranocchia, Vidic and Juan Jesus formed the defence. Handanovic lined up between the posts, as usual.
Jonathan was the first player to earn applause from the crowd with his dribbling run in the ninth minute. The pattern became clear early in this match: the Nerazzurri would possess the ball as the Granata looked to hit on the break. It wasn’t easy to find space for either side considering the tactical organisation employed by both coaches, and it was obvious something special would be necessary to tip the balance. It appeared to arrive on 20 minutes when Doveri whistled for a questionable penalty following Vidic’s challenge on Quagliarella. Larrondo stepped up to the spot but Handanovic showed why he’s one of the top penalty stoppers in the world when he launched himself to successfully block the attempt.
The game was showing itself to be a largely tactical affair between the two sides with few notable moments. In the 38th minute there was contact in the Torino box as Icardi went down. However, Doveri stayed silent and the match played on.
The Nerazzurri players then delivered an assault at the end of the half, when Icardi got on the end of a dead ball from Dodo, and then Ranocchia benefitted from another of Jonathan’s mazy runs. However both chances came to naught.
The second half began without substitutions as Osvaldo started warming up along the touchline. On 49 minutes a golden chance fell to Inter on a counterattack, as Hernanes picked out Icardi with only Padelli to beat. But Inter’s number 9 was let down by a poor first touch and failed to get his shot off. At the other end Larrondo missed a chance before El Kaddouri forced Handanovic into a save. The Granata were gaining confidence and sent on Sanchez for the Belgian. Mazzarri responded by taking off M’Vila for Osvaldo.
The action slowed until the 65th minute when Osvaldo brought things to life with a threatening header from Jonathan’s corner. Three minutes later the Buenos Aires-born striker brought an excellent save out of Padelli after getting on the end of Hernanes’ through ball. Icardi then slipped when trying to put away a tap-in and Medel was foiled at the last second when shooting at a wide-open goal, allowing the Olimpico to breathe a sigh of relief. Three minutes later the Profeta once again sent the Torino keeper into action.
The Granata soon responded when Molinaro’s cross from the left flashed untouched across the Inter goal. Mazzarri went to his bench again, inserting D’Ambrosi for Dodo on the left flank. The final change consisted of Nagatomo for Jonathan, although he moved to the left as the number 33 player shifted to the right. The Nerazzurri’s last attack came on 88 minutes when an offside Osvaldo failed to beat Padelli.
Three minutes of injury time were added, but the match ended scoreless. But not after the Nerazzurri notched their first red card of the season when Namanja Vidic was sent off by referee Doveri.
Torino 0-0 Inter
Inter: 1 Handanovic; 23 Ranocchia, 15 Vidic, 5 Juan Jesus; 2 Jonathan (Nagatomo 84), 18 Medel, 90 M'Vila (Osvaldo 56), 22 Dodo (D'Ambrosio 79); 88 Hernanes, 10 Kovacic; 9 Icardi.
Unused subs: 30 Carrizo, 46 Berni, 6 Andreolli, 7 Osvaldo, 14 Campagnaro, 17 Kuzmanovic, 20 Obi, 33 D'Ambrosio, 44 Krhin, 55 Nagatomo, 97 Bonazzoli.
Coach: Walter Mazzarri.
Torino: 30 Padelli; 5 Bovo, 25 Glick, 24 Moretti; 19 Maksimovic (Molinaro 70), 23 Nocerino, 14 Gazzi, 7 El Kaddouri (Sanchez Mino 55), 36 Darmian; 27 Quagliarella, 9 Larrondo.
Unused subs: 1 Gillet, 3 Molinaro, 9 Vesovic, 17 Martinez, 18 Jansson, 21 Silva, 28 Sanchez Mino, 32 Masiello, 94 Benassi
Coach: Giampiero Ventura.
Assistants: Giallatini, Dobosz.
Additional assistants: Giacomelli, Fabbro.
4th official: Tasso.