Bari this season have nothing in common with last year's team, which was so exciting, brave and fast - one of the most spectacular teams to watch in Serie A. Too many key players injured prevented Ventura to repeat last season performances.
Leonardo wanted to kill the game stright away so he fielded three forwards [Eto'o, Milito and Pazzini] with Kharja in an unusual left midfielder position, with Zanetti on the right and Thiago Motta deep in the middle. The back four from right to left was Maicon, Ranocchia, Materazzi [oh, yes] and Chivu. The offensive-gamble didn't pay off as Kharja was too worried to keep his position and the gulf between midfield and the three upfront was huge. It turned out more confused than static as Eto'o left his initial position to play deeper and deeper - nearly a fourth midfielder.
Leonardo urged then Zanetti and Kharja to push forward otherwise the 4-3-3 would be a nonsense. It's no coincidence that the first goal was scored by Kharja after a one-two with Eto'o. Bari was dead and buried then. But there was still time for a Chivu's jab; and two more goals from Pazzini and the returning Sneijder [brilliant assist from Kharja].
The tv evidence of Chivu's boxing ability is so evident that the Romanian will certainly pay the penalty for his moment of madness. But after the game Christian was man enough to apologise with everyone: "I am sorry. I do not know why I behaved that way. I lost control and I can't explain it. I am here only because I have some dignity left and I want to apologise with Marco Rossi. I feel like shit. I have never done anything like that before and I have to apologise with him and with all the football fans. I am sorry for my two daughters too, they could see that their dad didn't behave properly".
Chivu left the press-room crying. The best comment came from Marco Rossi himself: "I accept his apology. I can understand him, as during a football game we all can lose control sometimes. Let's go forward now". A good epitaph.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Julio Cesar. A clean sheet is a kind of event under Leonardo. The Brazilian goalkeeper brought back confidence to the whole back four. He dominated his box with the typical bravery, helping a lot Ranocchia and Materazzi. A great save in the first half denied Bari the lead, while Inter were struggling. Decisive.
Serie A 2010-11 - Day 23
BARI: Gillet; A.Masiello, Glik (92' Rivas), Rossi, Parisi; Gazzi, Almiron, Donati; Bentivoglio; Rudolf (68' Huseklepp), Okaka. Coach: Ventura
INTER: Julio Cesar; Maicon, Ranocchia, Materazzi, Chivu; Zanetti, Kharja, Motta; Pazzini, Milito (61' Sneijder), Eto'o (87' Cambiasso). Coach: Leonardo
Goals: Kharja 25', Pazzini 94', Sneijder 95'
Yellow cards: Bentivoglio, Glik; Ranocchia, Thiago Motta, Materazzi, Eto'o
Follow ESPNsoccernet's Football Correspondents on Twitter and Facebook