MILAN - Inter Milan moved menacingly up to
fourth in Serie A, six points behind neighbours Milan with a
game in hand, after overcoming a spirited Cesena side 3-2 at the
San Siro on Wednesday.
Early goals from strikers Samuel Eto'o and Diego Milito put
the champions in control but Cesena stunned the Inter faithful
when Erjon Bogdani and Emanuele Giaccherini levelled the scores,
only for Cristian Chivu to restore Inter's lead before half-time.
Inter moved ahead of Juventus and Roma with their fourth
successive league win since coach Leonardo took over from Rafa
"We started excellently, but all credit to Cesena," the
Brazilian coach told reporters. "Psychologically we weren't
prepared for their comeback. Our defence had had nothing to do
until then and we were ragged.
"But I'm pleased with how they recovered in the second half
and in the end we deserved the win."
The Nerazzurri and Eto'o in particular began as they had
left off after their 4-1 demolition of Bologna at the weekend.
With 14 minutes on the clock, the Cameroonian played a
typical give-and-go with Milito before dribbling into the area
and firing an unstoppable cross-shot low into the corner for his
12th goal of the season.
A minute later the home side were two goals to the good as
Eto'o slipped in Goran Pandev who unselfishly squared for Milito
to side-foot into an empty net.
It was devastating stuff from the rejuvenated European and
Italian champions, but after Milito limped off on 20 minutes the
Serie A newcomers struck back.
Bogdani chested down a long pass close to the penalty spot,
turned and fired into the corner in one movement and six minutes
later, Giaccherini ghosted into the box and volleyed home Luis
Jimenez's clipped pass.
But just as it looked as though the sides would go into the
dressing-rooms level, Chivu spared Leonardo a stiff half-time
team talk when he rose highest to head home Maicon's perfect
In a much more subdued second period, Eto'o smashed the ball
against the crossbar on 66 minutes before Cesena were reduced to
10 men when Giaccherini was sent off for a second caution.
Pandev should have saved the home fans late worries but
blazed a good chance over and Igor Budan twice went close for
Cesena in the dying minutes to suggest Leonardo still has work
to do if Inter are to win a sixth successive scudetto.
Berlin will stage Champions League final for the first time in 2015
Borussia Dortmund's Mario Gotze ruled out of Champions League final against Bayern Munich
Manchester United centre-back Rio Ferdinand signs one-year contract
Malaga coach Manuel Pellegrini will leave the La Liga club at the end of the current season
Ten years on, the legends speak to FFT
Your questions answered by an A to Z of legends
He's here, he's there, he's...
The cost of Premier League away travel
Nike CR7 IX for you
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010