If you remember, Cris suffered a life threatening injury. He fractured his skull in the Chievo game earlier this year while challenging for a header. Seeing him back training with the squad recently made me extremely happy. Usually I go on the Inter website to check the starting line-ups but today I didn’t, cooking lunch seemed a bit more important.
After lunch was done I sat down to watch the match. When I saw Cris emerge from the tunnel I literally choked! I was, and I’m sure a lot of you were shocked to see him start! Seeing him start a mere 77 days after his horrify injury made me so happy. When he was substituted at the end of the game, he received a standing ovation, hugs from teammates, a chant and some tears of joy from me! (If you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m a sucker for emotional moments) BRAVO CRIS!
This was a game that we were always expected to win. Expecting to win and actually going out and winning are two completely different things as we have learnt over the past few weeks. Thank God we actually went out there and did what was expected of us. Quaresma, Matrix and Cordoba came in and all did their jobs with relative ease. This match was a test of depth more than anything else. There we’re only a few moments during the match in which Livorno threatened our goal, but each time Julio Cesar dealt with the danger.
Hugs for Cris on his return to action
Julio Cesar – 7
JC was kept relatively busy throughout the entire match. Did well with what action he saw. Literally jump started the attack for our first goal with a point blank save.
Maicon – 7.5
Maicon did what Maicon does. What’s that you ask? Be bipolar of course. The real Douglas showed up today and ran riot up and down the right flank. He scored a fantastic goal today with a close range cannon of a shot that left Rubinho with no chance.
What a scorcher!!!
Matrix – 7
Not too many complaints about Marco today as he did his job. Rolled back the years to remind the world that the Matrix-Cordoba partnership is still awesome 10 years later. My only really issue is that his distribution isn’t what it used to be and he should stop attempting the long balls.
Cordoba – 7
Looked his 28 years old today. He hardly missed a beat in defensive and he showed us a few times that he hasn’t lost a step when it comes to pace.
Chivu – 7.5
Just having Cris on the pitch was massive today. Huge moral boast for him and the entire team. He played as if he hasn’t missed the last few months with an injury as he slotted right back into the left back position. Attacked well and defended like a true champion all while sporting headgear “a la Cech”.
Motta – 8
He’s starting to show consistently the Genoa/Barca form that made me fall in love with him. What a terrific box-to-box midfielder we acquire for relatively cheap. I still hold that he is our best passer of the ball. Oh yeah! And he provided Maicon with the assist to top off a great performance.
Cambiasso – 7
Played well for the hour that he was on the pitch. Mou’ pulled him off early obviously to rest him up for the weekend.
Zanetti – 7.5
With Chivu back, JZ4 went back into midfield where he silently went about his work. Javier in the midfield is the main reason why Maicon played so well as he covers for him the majority of the time with he goes on his little runs. Yet another reason it’s good to have Cris back! No more Zanetti at leftback!
Pandev – 5.5
Ok, let’s be real here. Besides for the assist on the second Eto’o goal, Goran had a stinker. He looks exhausted, probably a result of not playing for the entire first half of the season.
Eto’o – 8.5 and Man of the Match
Score a beautiful brace today. The first was a typical Eto’o strike, while the second was pure magic. Thank God the real Samu is back! And he could pick a better time to re-emerge.
Strangest Celebration Ever! Hilarious though
Quaresma – 8
Talking about players who’ve rediscover their form… RQ7 looked like his old Porto self today and played as such. Created space for himself on the wings time and time again. We really needed this and HIM more than anything this season seeing that we’re challenging on 3 fronts. Someone over at the offside made a joke asking "Whose that on the pitch wearing Figo's number?". Thought that was funny...
Mariga – 6
Came on and did an ok job. Picked up a stupid yellow card though.
Muntari – 6 (I almost give him a 10 for just staying on the pitch)
Survived more than 85 seconds today, and he actually made a tackle that didn’t result in a yellow card! Yes, I know, shocking to say the least!
Samuel – n/a
Came on for Cris in the dying minutes. His appearance was probably done just to give Chivu the credit that he was due from the San Siro crowd.
All in all, it was a pretty good round for us as we picked up the win and made ground over our nearest opponents, all this while missing and resting key players. Now we have the match of our season against our old friends AS Roma on Saturday. Couldn’t say that I’m surprised that they’re our main rivals for the Scudetti. They’ve been there harassing our soul for the better part of seven years (if you include the Italian Cup days) and they will always be there. This will be our 243747439 epic battle. Whose ready?
Forza Inter and PARMA!