MILAN – Inter were forced to settle for a point after they drew 1-1 with Palermo at San Siro on Sunday evening.
Andrea Rispoli gave the visitors the lead on 48 minutes, his shot deflecting off Davide Santon and into the net, but Mauro Icardi struck with 18 minutes to secure a 1-1 draw for his team.
The match began with a minute’s applause for the victims of the recent earthquake in central Italy, with the whole stadium coming together in a show of solidarity with all those affected.
There was a quiet start on the pitch, but Inter eventually sprung into life midway through the first half. Ivan Perisic swung in a dangerous cross for Gary Medel in the middle of the penalty box – the Chilean controlled and fired towards goal, but Sinisa Andelkovic stuck out a leg to clear off the line and thwart the Nerazzurri.
Seconds later, Ever Banega picked out Perisic on the left with a 50-yard pass. The Croatian cut in onto his right and then back onto his left, but Josip Posavec managed to palm his rifled effort behind. From the resulting corner, Miranda should have scored after his free header whistled inches past the far post.
It was all Inter by this point, Jeison Murillo heading another Banega delivery just wide minutes later, while Medel was again involved as he linked up with Icardi and Eder only to watch his right-footed shot sail agonisingly wide of goal.
Half time came at the wrong time for Inter in truth, but there could be no predicting what was to happen within a few minutes of the restart. Rispoli gathered a loosed ball a few yards out from the Inter box and let fly with a hopeful shot – it took the wickedest of deflections off Santon to leave Samir Handanovic rooted to the spot and send the Palermo bench wild. 1-0.
It was a bitter blow given the raft of chances the Nerazzurri had created minutes previously, but De Boer’s men wasted no time in going looking for the equaliser. First Perisic headed a great chance straight at Posavec, then Medel’s own headed effort looped just wide of the Croatian keeper’s goal.
There were cries of frustration around San Siro on 70 minutes as an unmarked Icardi headed an inch-perfect ball over the bar, but the captain was to make amends two minutes later as he popped up at the near post to head home substitute Antonio Candreva’s cross.
The momentum had shifted and Inter smelled blood. The excellent Candreva whipped another cross into the danger zone, but Eder’s bullet header fizzed wide of the post. Candreva himself had a chance to score the winner minutes later, but his volley sailed over the bar.
With time ticking away, Inter continued to push to no avail. And with Palermo happy to run the clock down, the result was soon confirmed.
INTER 1-1 PALERMO (HT: 0-0)
Scorers: Rispoli 48, Icardi 72.
INTER: 1 Handanovic; 33 D'Ambrosio, 25 Miranda, 24 Murillo, 21 Santon (Miangue 87); 17 Medel, 19 Banega, 7 Kondogbia; 23 Eder, 9 Icardi, 44 Perisic (Candreva 68).
Subs not used: 30 Carrizo, 46 Berni, 5 Melo, 8 Palacio, 11 Biabiany, 13 Ranocchia, 27 Gnoukouri, 77 Brozovic, 94 Yao.
Coach: Frank de Boer.
PALERMO: 1 Posavec; 4 Andelkovic (Cionek 85), 6 Goldaniga, 2 Vitiello; 19 Aleesami, 18 Chochev, 14 Gazzi, 10 Hiljemark, 3 Rispoli; 21 Quaison (Sallai 54), 30 Nestorovski (Balogh 76).
Subs not used: 55 Marson, 68 Fulignati, 11 Embalo, 12 Gonzalez, 24 Bouy, 27 Bentivegna, 28 Jajalo, 70 Giuliano, 97 Pezzella.
Coach: Davide Ballardini.
Yellow cards: Goldaniga 18, Aleesami 36, Gazzi 69, Murillo 76, Sallai 80, Rispoli 84.
Added time: 2 + 4 minutes.
Referee: Carmine Russo (Nola).
Assistants: Preti, Fiorito.
Fourth official: Schenone.
Additional assistants: Calvarese, Aureliano.