Not a classic but another tough game. Fiorentina had some good spells, whereas Inter lost some fluidity in the search of the right balance between the new attacking culture and the need to protect a defence which is missing both Samuel and Lucio, the core of last season triumphs.
Leonardo changed very little after the game lost in Turin - Stankovic replaced Thiago Motta; Nagatomo started on the left, while Zanetti replaced Kharja in right side of the midfield diamond. Nagatomo is no Maicon but he can be a new weapon in Leonardo's arsenal. The left flank at Inter is often used to slow down the game's pace and let the other players regroup, with Nagatomo an offensive option again. The Japanese full back has pace and skills to break defences and create panic. Not a grey sub.
After the initial advantage [thanks to a Camporese's own goal at the 6th minute] Inter never looked comfortable or dominating. The Viola's equaliser came in the most unexpected way [a cross from the left which ended its curve in goal] but it was a deserved reward for the home team efforts.
A great save from Julio Cesar and another couple of chances from both teams could have added some more goals in the final three minutes of the first half. A well timed tap in from the ex Viola Pazzini at the minute 62 gave Inter the lead. Nerazzurri, led by an increasingly confident Ranocchia, managed to control the result until the end, which can be seen as a good sign by Leonardo.
In Turin Inter had to face a possible draw (1 point) turned into a defeat (no points); in Florence the Italian champions managed to turn a very likely draw (1 point) into a win (3). Easy math. Inter are back in the Scudetto race, plenty of chances and opportunities ahead. The League version of AC Milan, where Cassano and Van Bommel are eligible to play, is much stronger than the timid and confused outfit seen against Tottenham or, some months ago, against the likes of Real Madrid and Ajax. So it's an open contest again.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Nagatomo. If his movement is called into action more timely by his team mates he can be more than a mere alternative to Chivu.
Serie A 2010-11 / Day 17 rescheduled fixture
Fiorentina: Boruc; Comotto, Gamberini, Camporese, Pasqual; Montolivo, Donadel (73' D'Agostino), Behrami (86' Babacar); Santana (27' Ljajic), Mutu; Gilardino. Coach: Mihajlovic
Inter: Julio Cesar; Maicon, Ranocchia, Cordoba, Nagatomo (72' Kharja); J.Zanetti, Cambiasso, Stankovic (89' Obi); Sneijder (82' Mariga); Eto'o, Pazzini. Coach: Leonardo
Goals: Pasqual 32'; Camporese (og) 6', Pazzini 62'
Yellow cards: Comotto; Stankovic
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