MILAN - Inter beat Chievo 2-0 in the early kick-off of Serie A 2010/11 Week 32 this evening. The first half ended 0-0, despite Giampaolo Pazzini and Samuel Eto'o both going close. The Nerazzurri took the lead in the 65th minute thanks to Cambiasso, whose goalbound effort took a double deflection off Andreolli and Sorrentino before hitting the back of the net. Maicon made the points safe with 6 minutes of normal time remaining, when he neatly slotted home after picking up a rebound in the box. Inter thus go up to 63 points to put pressure on the leaders, awaiting the results of tomorrow's games.
FIRST HALF – Leonardo made a few changes to the team that started against Schalke: Lucio returned from suspension to partner Ranocchia at centre-half while Nagatomo started at left-back. The coach fielded a three-man midfield of Zanetti, Cambiasso and Stankovic, with Kharja getting the nod over Sneijder to play in the hole behind Pazzini and Eto'o.
Chievo made a lively start to the game and Inter had to wait until the 7th minute for their first shot on goal: Zanetti set up Eto'o, whose effort was blocked easily by Sorrentino. Shortly afterwards, Stankovic tried to play a long ball for Pazzini but the ball bounced away from the striker and ended up in Sorrentino's arms. With just over a quarter of an hour played, Inter had two great chances to take the lead in quick succession: first Nagatomo, after being set away down the left flank by Pazzini, reached the by-line and pulled back for Eto'o, who failed to connect when he only needed the slightest of touches to turn it in. A minute later, Pazzini clipped his shot inches wide of the far post after being played in beautifully by Maicon. Chievo went close in the 28th minute when Bogliacino shot from the edge of the box, but Julio Cesar showed safe hands. Then on 34 minutes a dangerous cross-shot from Sardo looked as if it might trouble the Inter keeper, but the Brazilian managed to collect. Two minutes later Eto'o hit a ball into the centre looking for Pazzini, who couldn't quite reach it. Another decent chance came Inter's way with 38 minutes on the clock, and this time it was Eto'o's turn to hit an effort just wide of the post. Chievo hit back on 41 minutes when Sardo picked out Pellissier's head with a cross, but the striker's effort went over. And with half-time approaching, the Meazza crowd thought the Nerazzurri had taken the lead when Maicon's rocket hit the side-netting and created the illusion of a goal, after Ranocchia and Pazzini had both seen shots blocked. So the deadlock remained and the teams headed in for the break after two minutes of stoppage time were played.
SECOND HALF – Leonardo looked to shake things up at half-time and brought on Sneijder in place of Stankovic. Yokic's 51st-minute cross was inviting for Pellissier, but he again failed to keep his header down. Three minutes later Pellissier had another chance, this time with his feet, Julio Cesar saving comfortably. In the 58th minute Sneijder picked out Nagatomo and the Japanese full-back tried to set up Pazzini, but Mandelli was covering. On the hour mark the Nerazzurri keeper had to be alert to clear with his fists as Mandelli tried to nod home a dangerous high ball yards from goal. And Maicon made an important interception on Constant shortly afterwards, as Chievo continued to threaten. That, however, was the cue for Inter to score: Sneijder took a freekick out wide in the 65th minute, Lucio collected on the far side and laid back for Maicon to cross to the Argentinian, who was free in a crowded box. His shot took two deflections, off Andreolli and then Sorrentino, before nestling into the back of the net. Inter were 1-0 up. Pellissier had a fantastic opportunity to level the score in the 78th minute, following Yokic's low cross, but he contrived to shoot skywards when the goal was much closer. A few minutes later Thiago Motta's backheel allowed Milito to get a shot in, though he wasn't able to trouble Sorrentino with it. The Chievo shotstopper then made another save, from Sneijder, while down the other end Uribe went close for the visitors, who hadn't given up hope of snatching a point. Fortunately though, Inter were soon two goals to the good: Maicon played a ball to Sneijder, whose shot from the edge of the box was half charged down and went to Milito, before finding its way back to Maicon in the middle of the area; the Brazilian kept his cool to turn and slot into the corner and give the Nerazzurri some breathing space. Milito could have made it three, first when he tried to curl an effort into the top corner (on 89 minutes), then when Yokic unintentionally set him up, but the Prince couldn't get his header on target. In stoppage time Nagatomo had another chance, as he stormed into the box and shot left-footed, but he was denied by Sorrentino. After 5 minutes of added time, the match between Inter and Chievo finished 2-0.
Inter 2-0 Chievo (HT: 0-0)
Scorers: Cambiasso 65, Maicon 84.
Inter: 1 Julio Cesar; 13 Maicon, 6 Lucio, 15
Ranocchia, 55 Nagatomo; 4 Zanetti, 19 Cambiasso, 5 Stankovic (Sneijder
46); 14 Kharja; 7 Pazzini (Milito 61), 9 Eto'o (Motta 76).
Unused subs: 12 Castellazzi, 2 Cordoba, 23 Materazzi, 27 Pandev.
Chievo: 28 Sorrentino; 20 Sardo, 5 Mandelli, 3
Andreolli,17 Yokic; 6 Fernandes, 16 Rigoni, 23 Costant (Marcolini 68);
26 Bogliacino (Uribe 76); 80 Moscardelli (Thereau 55), 31 Pellissier.
Unused subs: 18 Squizzi, 4 Mantovani, 12 Cesar, 84 Pulzetti.
Coach: Stefano Pioli.
Referee: Antonio Giannoccaro (Lecce).
Booked: Sardo 20.
Added time: 2 + 5 minutes.