MILAN - It’s now been just over a week since our 2-1 win over Empoli that secured Champions League football for next season. A victory packed with drama and eventually sealed thanks to goals from Keita and Nainggolan. This result reminded us of another previous triumph against the Tuscans, one that also came on the final day of the season and proved decisive in terms of qualifying to compete among Europe’s elite.
Empoli vs. Inter on 16 May 2004 is the subject of our latest ‘Guess the Team’. Played out at the Castellani, the Nerazzurri eventually won 3-2 despite Empoli taking the lead through Lucchini in the 18th minute.
However, it was the Nerazzurri’s No.10 who stole the show that day, with the force of nature that was Adriano blowing away Empoli with a combination of strength, power and technique. His first goal came in the 46th minute of the first half, with a lovely looping header to make it 1-1.
Much like the previous victory at San Siro on Sunday 26, it truly was a tough and fiercely-fought encounter. Yet, Alvaro Recoba soon soothed Nerazzurri nerves with a precise free-kick to make it 2-1. This was then followed by more magic from Adriano, who mazed his way through the Empoli defence before dancing his way past the goalkeeper and sliding the ball in to make it 3-1. Late on Rocchi pulled one back to make if 3-2, although the Nerazzurri battled through a nerve-racking period of injury time to ultimately clinch Champions League qualification.
Here is the Inter team that took to the field against Empoli on 16 May 2004
INTER: Toldo; Cordoba, Gamarra, Materazzi (95' Adani), J. Zanetti; Stankovic, C. Zanetti, Emre, Kily Gonzalez (91' Helveg); Adriano, Martins (63' Recoba)
Subs: Fontana, Farinos, Karagounis, Kallon.
Coach: Alberto Zaccheroni