RISCONE DI BRUNICO – Thousands of Nerazzurri fans flocked to the tiny stadium in Riscone Di Brunico this afternoon to see Inter contest their first friendly of the 2015/16 season.
Roberto Mancini named Handanovic in goal, new No. 14 Montoya at right-back, Juan Jesus and Ranocchia in central defence and D’Ambrosio on the left. The midfield diamond returned, with Gnoukouri at the base, Kovacic and Brozovic in the middle and Hernanes taking on trequartista duties. The all-Argentine pairing of Palacio and Icardi led the line up front.
The match got off to a quick start, with Palacio nipping past two defenders and slotting home to make it 1-0 in just the third minute. The Kickers almost struck straight back through Muller, who was unlucky to see the post deny him a moment’s glory. It proved to be but a momentary blip, as Icardi controlled Gnoukouri’s lofted pass with consummate ease before slipping in an inch-perfect pass for Palacio to roll under the goalie’s legs for 2-0.
It was 3-0 on 23 minutes, as Palacio crossed in to Hernanes in the middle of the area, only for the Brazilian to unwittingly tee up Brozovic to fire home. There was no let-up from the Nerazzurri, who went four goals up in the 29th minute as Icardi took advantage of a Muller defensive error to collect the ball and make the net bulge. The visitors looked to rally, but Handanovic proved there was no preseason rustiness in his trusty goalkeeping gloves.
Mancini rung the changes at the break and Inter lined up for the second half with Carrizo in goal, Nagatomo, Andreolli, Popa and Santon at the back, Gnoukouri, Di Marco and De Micheli in midfield and Baldini, De Micheli and Hernanes up front.
Stuttgarter Kickers seemed to make the most of the subs, pulling one back not long after half-time after some good work from Manuel Fischer. On 65 minutes, Geoffrey Kondogbia entered the fray in a central-midfield position, while Delgado relieved Hernanes. There was not too much to report from the Frenchman’s performance, save a lovely ball in behind which drew applause from the crowd.
On 85 minutes, Fischer took advantage of some confusion between Andreolli and Popa to beat Carrizo at the near post, while the Germans added a third with virtually the last kick of the match after Andrea Ivan found the far corner from outside of the box.
A winning start for Inter, then, who will now look ahead to their second friendly against Carpi on 15 July.