MILAN – Inter defeated Udinese 5-2 on Sunday night to end Serie A 2016/17 on a high and give Rodrigo Palacio and Juan Pablo Carrizo a winning send-off on their final appearances for the club.
While Palacio started on the bench, Carrizo was named in the starting line-up behind a back four of Danilo D’Ambrosio, Marco Andreolli, Gary Medel and Davide Santon. Roberto Gagliardini and Geoffrey Kondogbia formed the central midfield two, while Antonio Candreva, Marcelo Brozovic and Ivan Perisic provided support to central striker Eder.
Inter started well, Andreolli glancing a header wide from a Candreva cross on three minutes in what proved to be a prelude to the Nerazzurri’s first goal: Brozovic and Perisic combined well, with the latter firing in a low cross from the left for Eder to slot home for 1-0.
Despite the early blow, Udinese grew into the game and enjoyed half chances through Angella and Zapata in the minutes that followed. Yet there was more to come from Inter, as Eder robbed the ball from Heurteaux before picking out Perisic at the back post with a fine cross. The Croat stretched out his toe to poke Inter into a 2-0 lead.
It was all Inter now, with Gagliardini and Perisic both seeing good chances go begging. The Nerazzurri didn’t have long to wait for their third, however, as Perisic pulled back from the byline into the path of the onrushing Brozovic, who made no mistake in slotting home on 36 minutes.
Stefano Vecchi replaced Medel with Yuto Nagatomo at half time, with Santon moving into the centre of defence. The chances did nothing to interrupt Inter’s flow, however, with Brozovic and Perisic again combining to devastating effect as the latter teed up Eder in the box for the Italian international’s second goal of the game. With Inter four goals to the good, Vecchi, brought on Palacio for Perisic, with the Argentine receiving a huge ovation from the San Siro faithful. Soon afterwards, Trent Sainsbury became the first Australian ever to play for Inter as he replaced Santon.
Palacio nearly sealed a fairy-tale end to his Inter career as he scuttled in behind the Udinese defence only to see his shot come back off the post, with the visitors then pulling one back with a fine Balic effort from outside the box.
The consolation goal was never going to put Inter off their stride, however, and the Nerazzurri promptly restored their four-goal lead as Kondogbia’s cross deflected off Angella and into the goal for 5-1.
Udinese reduces the arrears further through Zapata at the death, but a 5-2 victory proved a fitting farewell for Carrizo and Palacio. The striker calls time on his Nerazzurri career having scored 58 goals for Inter in his five seasons at the club.
The club would like to thank the fans who have supported the team at San Siro this season, with an average of 46,622 supporters turning out for every game.
INTER 5-1 UDINESE (HT: 3-0)
Scorers: Eder 5, Perisic 19, Brozovic 35, Eder 54, Balic 75, Angella O.G. 78, Zapata 90+2.
INTER: 30 Carrizo; 33 D'Ambrosio, 17 Medel (Nagatomo HT), 2 Andreolli, 21 Santon; 5 Gagliardini, 7 Kondogbia; 87 Candreva, 77 Brozovic, 44 Perisic (Palacio 55); 23 Eder.
Subs not used: 1 Handanovic, 97 Radu, 8 Palacio, 11 Biabiany, 19 Banega, 20 Sainsbury, 40 Vanheusden, 41 Gravillon, 42 Rivas, 55 Nagatomo, 94 Yao, 99 Pinamonti.
Coach: Stefano Vecchi.
UDINESE: 22 Scuffet; 75 Heurtaux (Matos 29), 30 Felipe, 4 Angella; 27 Widmer, 99 Balic, 14 Jankto (Badu HT), 23 Hallfredsson (Evangelista 60), 34 Gabriel Silva; 9 Zapata, 77 Thereau.
Subs not used: 1 Karnezis, 8 Badu, 19 Matos, 37 Faraoni, 53 Adnan, 63 Scordino, 64 Vasko, 65 Djoulou, 95 Evangelista.
Coach: Luigi Delneri.
Referee: Di Paolo.
Assistants: Gava, Pegorin.
Fourth official: Di Iorio.
Additional assistants: Damato, Mainardi.
Yellow cards: D'ambrosio, Widmer, Sainsbury.