Spezia 2 - 1 Inter
Spezia 2 - 1 Inter
Team— Mar 10th 2023
The Nerazzurri fall to defeat in La Spezia despite a dominant display: Lukaku's penalty isn't enough
SPEZIA 2-1 INTER | LIVE
Goalscorer: 55' Maldini (S), 83' Lukaku (I) pen., 87' Nzola (S) pen.
SPEZIA (3-5-2): 69 Dragowski; 4 Ampadu, 29 Caldara, 43 Nikolaou; 27 Amian, 77 Zurkowski (8 Ekdal 46'), 6 Bourabia, 33 Agudelo (24 Kovalenko 66'), 11 Gyasi; 14 Shomurodov (30 Maldini 46'), 18 Nzola. Substitutes: 1 Zoet, 40 Zovko, 7 Sala, 10 Verde, 19 Krollis, 21 Ferrer, 25 Esposito, 55 Wisniewski, 65 Giorgeschi, 72 Cipot. Coach: Leonardo Semplici.
INTER (3-5-2): 1 Handanovic; 33 D'Ambrosio (2 Dumfries 66'), 15 Acerbi, 95 Bastoni; 36 Darmian, 23 Barella (20 Calhanoglu 66'), 77 Brozovic, 22 Mkhitaryan (9 Dzeko 66'), 8 Gosens (32 Dimarco 66'); 90 Lukaku, 10 Lautaro. Substitutes: 21 Cordaz, 24 Onana, 5 Gagliardini, 6 De Vrij, 12 Bellanova, 14 Asllani, 45 Carboni, 46 Zanotti. Coach: Simone Inzaghi.
Booked: Gyasi (S), Caldara (S), Nikolaou (S) Added time: 2' -
Referee: Marinelli. Assistants: Mondin, De Meo. Fourth official: Baroni. VAR: Di Paolo. VAR assistant: Abisso.
Football can be cruel. It’s impossible to really believe what happened this evening, with the Nerazzurri falling to a 2-1 away defeat to Spezia. It’s another loss on the road following a match that really is difficult to explain: the hosts scored from both of their shots on target, while Inter finished with 28 attempts to their name, a missed penalty and numerous chances wasted. Even more frustrating is the fact that Inzaghi’s team equalised through Lukaku’s 83rd-minute spot-kick, only to then concede straight after and hand the Ligurian side victory. Although it’ll be difficult, it’s a result that Inter quickly have to put behind them ahead of their second-leg showdown in Porto in the round of 16 of the Champions League.
The Nerazzurri, quite simply, dominated the first half. Their approach was excellent, they played at a high tempo and launched wave after wave of attacks. Despite a great team effort from Spezia, who fought for every ball, the game was played in just one half of the pitch, with all of Inter’s players getting involved. From D’Ambrosio, who was part of the three-man backline alongside Bastoni and Acerbi, through to the entire midfield: everyone was contributing to the team’s attacking play.
With the Nerazzurri at full throttle and showing plenty of desire, D’Ambrosio was brought down by Caldara in the box in the ninth minute and, following a prolonged VAR check that lasted over four minutes, a seemingly clear penalty was finally awarded. Lautaro, who had already had two attempts in the opening five minutes, stepped up but was denied by a fine Dragowski stop. Nevertheless, the Nerazzurri kept on pushing and creating chances: Dragowski once again thwarted El Toro (20’), Lukaku had an effort charged down by the home defence (26’) and Mkhitaryan saw his volley go narrowly over (29’).
As for Spezia, they were pinning their hopes on counter-attacks, with Nzola, Shomurodov and Agudelo all capable of making a mark in attack. And the Colombian almost opened the scoring completely against the run of play in the 33rd minute as his shot came off Acerbi, looped up and hit the top of the crossbar. It was a brief scare for Inter, who immediately went back on the attack: Lautaro charged towards goal following Barella’s lovely flick, but Dragowski excelled once again.
Having witnessed the big difference between the sides in the opening 45 minutes, Semplici responded with substitutions and a formation change. With Lautaro having had a goal ruled out due to Lukaku’s offside position straight after the restart, the Spezia coach – incredibly – saw his team take the lead ten minutes into the second half. As previously mentioned, football is cruel. The goal was scored by the newly introduced Maldini, who fired past Handanovic following some good forward play by Nzola.
Simply unbelievable. After a short spell where things slowed down for Inter, Inzaghi made four changes in one fell swoop, with Dzeko joining Lukaku and Lautaro up top. Even if the Nerazzurri were now creating fewer chances, they were still coming. After the introduction of Carboni, Inzaghi’s men finally equalised in the 83rd minute thanks to Lukaku’s composed 83rd-minute spot-kick. 1-1 and perhaps the opportunity to go on and win it.
But no. It just wasn’t going to be Inter’s night. Dumfries, who had won the penalty at the other end, went through the back of Kovalenko in his own box, and Marinelli promptly pointed to the spot. Nzola converted and the Nerazzurri found themselves behind once again. Inter threw the kitchen sink at Spezia right up until the 96th minute as Dzeko and Lautaro both had attempts at goal, but it remained 2-1. All Inter can do now is look ahead to their upcoming encounter in the Champions League.
FULL-TIME: SPEZIA 2-1 INTER
95' The ball falls to Lautaro at the edge of the area; El Toro shoots wide with his right foot.
Six minutes added on.
90' Dzeko's volley is cleared by Caldara from practically off the line.
87' Nzola scores from twelve yards out. 2-1.
85' Penalty to Spezia: Dumfries goes through the back of Kovalenko.
83' GOAL! 1-1! Lukaku sends Dragowski the wrong way!
82' Penalty to Inter: Ferrer misses the ball and makes contact with Dumfries in the box!
75' Lautaro meets Calhanoglu's corner but can only nod off target.
70' Dzeko's shot is charged down. Moments later, Calhanoglu's attempt from the edge of the area flashes wide.
55' Maldini scores for Spezia.
50' D'Ambrosio knocks Barella's cross back across the face of goal for Bastoni, who turns over from a very promising position.
46' Lautaro has the ball in the net but it's chalked off due to Lukaku's offside position at the start of the move.
46' The second half kicks off!
HALF-TIME: SPEZIA 0-0 INTER
Two minutes added on.
42' Barella sends Lautaro racing through on goal with a lovely flick, but Dragowski is there again as he tips the Argentine's shot over.
33' Spezia almost score as Agudelo's shot from a tight angle is deflected, loops up and hits the top of the bar.
29' Mkhitaryan fires just over on the volley from inside the D.
20' D'Ambrosio receives the ball from Bastoni and rolls it across for Lautaro, who is once again denied by the goalkeeper. Lukaku then slips as he tries to convert the rebound and another chance goes begging.
19' Lukaku gets on the end of Gosens' cross but his finish is wayward.
14' Lautaro's spot-kick is saved by Dragowski. It remains 0-0.
12' Penalty to Inter after a VAR review: Caldara is penalised for a foul on D'Ambrosio!
5' Lautaro strikes from distance and forces Dragowski into a diving stop.
4' Darmian plays in a cross for Lautaro, who, on the half-volley, doesn't connect cleanly, allowing Dragowski to save.
1' Away we go in La Spezia!
Spezia 2-1 Inter 11/03/2023, 15:00 CET, Empoli vs. Udinese 11/03/2023, 18:00 CET, Napoli vs. Atalanta 11/03/2023, 20:45 CET, Bologna vs. Lazio 12/03/2023, 12:30 CET, Lecce vs. Torino 12/03/2023, 15:00 CET, Cremonese vs. Fiorentina 12/03/2023, 15:00 CET, Hellas Verona vs. Monza 12/03/2023, 18:00 CET, Roma vs. Sassuolo 12/03/2023, 20:45 CET, Juventus vs. Sampdoria 13/03/2023, 20:45 CET, Milan vs. Salernitana
Napoli 65 Inter 50* Lazio 48 Roma 47 Milan 47 Atalanta 42 Juventus 35 (-15) Bologna 35 Torino 34 Udinese 32 Monza 32 Fiorentina 31 Sassuolo 30 Empoli 28 Lecce 27 Salernitana 25 Spezia 24* Verona 18 Cremonese 12 Sampdoria 12
*one more game played