Icardi gets In­ter on track

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

Mauro Icardi scored two and pro­vided the as­sist for Ivan Perisic, as man­ager­less In­ter struck late on to beat Cro­tone.

Frank de Boer was fired this week and care­taker man­ager Ste­fano Vec­chi had al­ready over­seen a 2-1 Europa League de­feat at Southamp­ton. It’s widely re­ported Ste­fano Pi­oli will be the next Coach, but un­cer­tainty and ten­sion hung over the side that had lost eight of its 15 com­pet­i­tive games this sea­son.

Gary Medel was sus­pended, Rodrigo Pala­cio and Cris­tian An­saldi in­jured, while Cro­tone were still bot­tom of the ta­ble de­spite fi­nally get­ting their first Serie A win last week.

The ul­tras in the Curva Nord staged a protest with a ban­ner that read: ‘Only those who go on the pitch are do­ing worse than this non-ex­is­tent club. You risk dis­hon­our­ing 108 years of his­tory. Be care­ful, be­cause the sit­u­a­tion is get­ting heavy…’

Ever Banega saw an early ef­fort beaten away by Alex Cor­daz’s foot, while Mar­cello Trotta volleyed off tar­get from a Djamel Mes­bah cross from six yards.

An­drea Ranoc­chia made a sur­prise start, but it didn’t last long, as he went off with an in­jury.

In­ter thought they had taken the lead on the half-hour when An­to­nio Can­dreva’s fe­ro­cious half-vol­ley from 25 me­tres bounced off Cor­daz’s chest for Danilo D’Am­bro­sio to tap in, but it was flagged off­side. Re­plays sug­gest it was in­cred­i­bly close and prob­a­bly level.

Cor­daz palmed a Joao Mi­randa header off the line from a cor­ner and Marcelo Bro­zovic’s snap­shot skimmed the upright. It was goal­less at the break and the jeers from the San Siro crowd were deaf­en­ing.

Mi­randa’s div­ing header was over the bar from a free kick and Ever Banega’s low drive was de­flected just wide, as In­ter were cer­tainly more pro-ac­tive in the sec­ond half, but not nec­es­sar­ily closer to get­ting a goal.

Ever Banega’s free kick was head­ing to the near top cor­ner be­fore Cor­daz palmed it away and on the re­sult­ing cor­ner Jei­son Murillo’s over­head kick was im­pres­sive, but in­ac­cu­rate.

De­spite the in­creas­ingly dire need for a win, In­ter strug­gled to raise the tempo or pres­sure on Cro­tone by much and con­tin­ued to at­tempt spec­tac­u­lar ef­forts.

They did fi­nally break through with some route one foot­ball. Perisic trapped an in­spired long cross-field Icardi pass and ran at de­fend­ers down the right, pick­ing his spot for a right-foot fin­ish into the far bot­tom cor­ner.

Cro­tone cracked and Gian Marco Fer­rari dragged down Icardi by the arm for a penalty moments later. Mau­rito stepped up to con­vert it him­self and se­cure the three points.

Icardi put the ic­ing on the cake with the last kick of the game, meet­ing Eder’s cross from the right with a vol­ley from seven yards.

Palermo 1-2 AC Mi­lan: Late La­padula strike gives vis­i­tors vic­tory

Gian­luca La­padula scored his first ever Serie A goal with a cheeky back-heel flick, earn­ing com­pla­cent Mi­lan a 2-1 win at Palermo.

The Ros­soneri wanted to con­sol­i­date third place after win­ning six of the last eight rounds and vis­ited a Si­cil­ian side in to­tal cri­sis. Roberto De Zerbi had man­aged one point from the last six games and the Rosanero had lost all five of their home fix­tures this sea­son, scor­ing two goals and con­ced­ing 12.

M'Baye Niang, An­drea Ber­to­lacci, Da­vide Cal­abria, Ric­cardo Mon­to­livo and Leonel Van­gioni didn’t make the trip, but Mati Fer­nan­dez and Luca An­tonelli were avail­able after lengthy lay­offs and Gabriel Paletta re­turned from sus­pen­sion. Palermo missed An­drea Ris­poli, Gian­carlo Gon­za­lez, Nor­bert Balogh, Ac­cur­sio Ben­tivegna and Alek­san­dar Tra­jkovski.

The Si­cil­ians had lost six of their pre­vi­ous eight meet­ings with Mi­lan, home and away, with a lone 2-0 vic­tory at San Siro in Novem­ber 2014 and 2-2 draw at the Bar­bera in Oc­to­ber 2012. The Ros­soneri were un­beaten in this Serie A fix­ture since a 1-0 in March 2011.

Jack Bon­aven­tura flashed an an­gled drive across the face of goal, but Palermo gifted the opener to Mi­lan with a to­tal lack of com­mu­ni­ca­tion.

Mat­tia De Sciglio’s cross was de­flected into the air and Josip Posavec came out to grab it, but Haitam Aleesami also went for the ball and they col­lided, al­low­ing Suso to turn into the empty net.

Car­los Bacca forced 20-year-old Posavec into a tricky save and Sin­isa An­delkovic pre­vented Mario Pasalic get­ting on the re­bound, but as the half wore on the hosts were pil­ing on more pres­sure and get­ting more of the ball.

Car­los Em­balo hit a weak ef­fort straight at Gian­luigi Don­narumma, then Bruno Hen­rique took ad­van­tage of poor de­fend­ing to shoot from the penalty spot, but the fin­ish was charged down from point-blank range by Paletta.

Mati Fer­nan­dez fi­nally made his Mi­lan de­but after a trans­fer dead­line day move from Fiorentina, but Palermo con­tin­ued to whip in crosses and shots from all an­gles. The Ros­soneri sim­ply stopped play­ing after tak­ing the lead.

Palermo even­tu­ally did get their thor­oughly de­served equaliser, as Ilija Nestorovski ran on to an Alessan­dro Dia­manti through ball and sur­prised Don­narumma by fir­ing low and hard at the near post.

That woke the Ros­soneri up, but Posavec per­formed two sensational fly­ing saves on Suso, but Bruno Hen­rique also drilled just wide from the D.

Suso was again de­nied by a stun­ning Posavec, who flew to fin­ger­tip the lob on to the cross­bar.

From the re­sult­ing cor­ner, Gian­luca La­padula saw Suso’s shot com­ing to­wards him from the edge of the box and gave it a cheeky back-heel flick to sur­prise the goal­keeper. It was a re­mark­able way to net his first ever Serie A goal and he’d only been on the pitch for three min­utes.

Chievo 1 - 2 Ju­ven­tus

In an­other match, Ju­ven­tus saw An­drea Barza­gli stretchered off and were given quite a scare, but con­quered Chievo with Mi­ralem Pjanic’s free kick.

This was an his­toric oc­ca­sion, as Gigi Buf­fon made his 600th Serie A ap­pear­ance, only the fourth player to achieve this after Paolo Mal­dini (647), Javier Zanetti (615) and Francesco Totti (607). Yes­ter­day Pescara-Em­poli .............................. 0-4 Mac­carone 12’, Puc­cia­relli 23’, Mac­carone 44’, Saponara 89’ Chievo-Ju­ven­tus ............................ 1-2 Mandzu­kic 53’ (J), Pel­lissier 66’ (C), Pjanic 75’ (J) Genoa-Udi­nese .............................. 1-1 Thereau 11’ (U), Ocam­pos 24’ (G) Palermo-AC Mi­lan .......................... 1-2 Suso 15’ (M), Nestorovski 71’ (P), La­padula 82’ (M) Sas­suolo-Ata­lanta .......................... 0-3 Gomez 19’, Cal­dara 24’, Conti 43’ Fiorentina-Sam­p­do­ria .................... 1-1 Bernarde­schi 37’ (F), Muriel 57’ (S) In­ter-Cro­tone ................................. 3-0 Perisic 84’, Icardi 88’ pen, 90+3’ AS Roma-Bologna .......................... 3-0 Salah 13’, 62’, 71’

Stand­ings

Ju­ven­tus AS Roma AC Mi­lan Lazio Ata­lanta Napoli Torino Fiorentina In­ter Genoa Cagliari Chievo Udi­nese Sam­p­do­ria Bologna Sas­suolo Em­poli Pescara Palermo Cro­tone

Serie B 12 10 12 8 12 8 12 6 12 7 12 6 12 5 11 4 12 5 11 4 12 5 12 4 12 4 12 4 12 3 12 4 12 2 12 1 12 1 12 1 0 2 1 4 1 3 4 5 2 4 1 3 3 3 4 1 4 4 3 2 2 25 9 30 2 29 12 26 3 19 15 25 2 23 13 22 4 1913 22 3 21 13 21 3 27 16 19 2 14 11 17 5 16 14 17 3 13 11 16 6 20 29 16 5 12 14 15 5 16 19 15 5 13 17 15 5 11 18 13 7 14 22 13 6 613 10 7 9 20 7 8 9 23 6 9 10 24 5

Yes­ter­day Avel­lino-Frosi­none .......................... 0-1 To­day Ter­nana-Ben­evento

Lega Pro A

Yes­ter­day Livorno-Prato .................................. 5-1 Lupa Roma-Pro Pi­a­cenza ................. 1-2 Ol­bia-Tut­tocuoio ............................. 1-0 Pis­toiese-Arezzo .............................. 1-1 Pont­ed­era-Cre­monese .................... 0-4 Rac­ing Roma-Alessan­dria ................ 1-1 Luc­ch­ese-Viterbese ......................... 2-1 Re­nate-Giana Er­minio ..................... 2-2 Siena-Car­rarese ............................... 2-0 To­day Pi­a­cenza-Como

Lega Pro B

To­day Reg­giana-Sam­benedettese

Lega Pro C

Yes­ter­day Akra­gas-Melfi .................................. 1-1 Vir­tus Fran­cav­illa-Mo­nop­oli ............ 0-0 An­dria-Vi­bonese .............................. 0-0 Catan­zaro-Juve Stabia ..................... 0-2 Cosenza-Caser­tana .......................... 1-2 Fog­gia-Cata­nia ................................. 0-0 Fondi-Lecce .................................... 2-2 Messina-Mat­era .............................. 0-0 GOALPa­ganese-Taranto ................... 2-0 Reg­gina 1914-Sira­cusa .................... 0-2

Sub­sti­tute Gian­luca La­padula res­cued AC Mi­lan with an 82nd-minute win­ner against Palermo yes­ter­day

In­ter’s Mauro Icardi cel­e­brates after scor­ing yes­ter­day

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