Good performances by players returning from injury; the Nerazzurri hit the post and the bar

APPIANO GENTILE – The friendly match played at the Centro Sportivo Angelo Moratti between Inter and Lugano this morning finished 0-2.

The first half ended goalless, with Poli showing great personality on his Nerazzurri debut. The team moved the ball around nicely and created lots of openings down the right wing as Maicon and Jonathan linked up well; Jonathan had a shot that came off the post. Coutinho looked more dangerous after the restart and he shook the goal frame when he hit the crossbar around the hour mark. Lugano took the lead in the 65th minute thanks to an overhead bicycle kick from Bebeto, and five minutes later the same player grabbed a second as he nodded home from a corner. Inter saw the match out with lots of youngsters on the pitch, and the friendly turned into an intense training session.

FIRST HALF – For the friendly match against Challenge League (Swiss second division) outfit Lugano, coached by ex-Nerazzurri player Francesco Moriero, Claudio Ranieri went with a four-man defence of Maicon, Lucio, Samuel and Cordoba; the Colombian was making his first appearance since undergoing a knee operation in April. Andrea Poli featured in an Inter line-up for the first time since joining the club in August: he began in the centre of midfield alongside Cambiasso, with Jonathan and Coutinho in the wide berths. Up front a fit-again Milito partnered Zarate.

The first shot on target came from Poli in the 7th minute; though the shot in itself didn't have enough on it to trouble Lugano keeper Russo, it's worth mentioning that the ex-Sampdoria midfielder started the match very brightly, showing plenty of enthusiasm and linking up well with his team-mates. On 11 minutes, Lucio made a decisive block on the line as Lugano went close to breaking the deadlock. Two minutes later, Russo rushed off his line to snatch the ball from Coutinho, who was putting himself about on the left flank. Milito then fired over after working a one-two with Zarate, played in by Coutinho. A nicely constructed move by the Nerazzurri in the 18th minute ended with Jonathan feeding Milito and the Argentine driving his shot towards the corner of the goal, only for Russo to push it behind for a corner. Jonathan went even closer after 21 minutes as he skipped past his man and released a powerful right-footed shot that struck the post. A minute later Russo dealt with Maicon's cross-shot by punching clear, and soon after that Milito's through ball picked out Jonathan in the area: the Brazilian's first-time strike was saved by Russo.

The first half finished goalless but Inter looked comfortable and showed good movement and team play, with Jonathan and Maicon linking up particularly well and creating danger on the right wing.

SECOND HALF – Ranieri made three changes at half time: Galimberti for Samuel, Zanetti for Maicon and Castaignos for Milito. Jonathan moved into the right-back position with Zanetti filling the gap in midfield.

Castaignos had the first chance just a minute after the restart, but it was Coutinho who most troubled the Lugano keeper: the Brazilian's 54th minute effort was saved by Russo, and he went even closer on 58 minutes as he struck the bar. Lugano went ahead after 65 minutes with a stunning overhead bicycle kick by Bebeto: Tornaghi, who had just replaced Castellazzi between the sticks, couldn't do much about it. The Swiss visitors then doubled their lead in the 70th minute as Bebeto headed home from a corner. With many youngsters now on the pitch, Inter had a makeshift look about them but they tried to reduce the deficit all the same: Coutinho saw another effort go just wide with 10 minutes to go before Russo denied Zarate and Castaignos a consolation goal: the Swiss shotstopper was a candidate for man of the match.

Inter 0-2 Lugano (HT: 0-0)
Scorer: Bebeto 65 and 70.

Inter: 12 Castellazzi (Tornaghi 60); 13 Maicon (Zanetti 46), 6 Lucio (Giannetti 38), 25 Samuel (Galimberti 46), 2 Cordoba; 42 Jonathan, 18 Poli (Mella 60), 19 Cambiasso (Benassi 75), 29 Coutinho; 22 Milito (Castaignos 46), 28 Zarate.
Unused subs: 21 Orlandoni, Bessa.
Coach: Claudio Ranieri.

Lugano: 30 Russo (Badalli 84); 16 Thrier (Maffi 76), 14 Sarhi, 6 Bega (Dankwah 65), 3 Iapichino (Preisig 76); 4 Baldo, 8 Basic; 11 Chatton (Bottani 56), 9 Bonanni, 7 Da Silva (Colina 46); 31 Pimenta (Bebeto 46).
Unused subs: 15 Maggetti, 19 Rey, 2 Shala.
Coach: Francesco Moriero.

Referee: Ghersini (Genoa). Assistants: Basile/Giampetruzzi.

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