Monday, 28 January 2013

Inter 2-2 Torino

Torino produced one of their best performances of the season, but were denied a deserved victory at the San Siro after substitute Esteban Cambiasso's equalised for the Nerazzurri in the second half.

Giampiero Ventura decided to stick with the same eleven that played so well against Pescara last weekend, so that meant Riccardo Meggiorini was preferred to Rolando Bianchi upfront, despite the fact the Toro skipper had returned from suspension.

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After scoring in the first ten minutes in their last two games, it was Torino's turn to concede early on as Cristian Chivu put Inter ahead with an excellent 25 yard free kick after five minutes. Whilst it was certainly a fantastic strike, the award of the initial free kick was somewhat controversial, as it looked as though Antonio Cassano had in fact fouled Matteo Brighi.

Torino reacted extremely well after going behind, and displayed their confidence by dominating possession against their more illustrious opponents. The Granata scored a deserved equaliser mid-way through the first half when Freddy Guarin was dispossessed by Riccardo Meggiorini, and when Paulo Barreto played the ball back to the former Inter striker, he curled a fine left footed shot into the bottom corner - his first goal of the season.

Toro continued to impress at the start of the second half, and just seven minutes after the restart they surprisingly took the lead. Alessio Cerci sprinted past Alvaro Pereira on the right wing before delivering a low cross that Riccardo Meggiorini side footed past Samir Handanovic. 

Esteban Cambiasso replaced the injured Gaby Mudingayi immediately after the goal, and his introduction seemed to give Inter a boost. However, the experienced Argentine missed a great chance to equalise, as he somehow blazed over the bar from eight yards.

But that missed chance was perhaps just delaying the inevitable as moments later, Javier Zanetti rolled back the years to glide past Guillermo Rodriguez and pulled the ball back for, who else, Cambiasso who this time couldn't miss from six yards out. 

However Torino refused to give in, and when substitute Valter Birsa's cross found fellow sub Rolando Bianchi, it looked as though the Granata would regain the lead - but the Toro captain was denied by an outstanding save from Samir Handanovic, as he turned Bianchi's effort onto the post. In the final minute of the match, an excellent through ball from Giuseppe Vives found an onside Meggiorini, but he was denied an unexpected hat trick by Handanovic, who once again produced a fine save.

This was a great result for Torino, although there will perhaps be some regret, because their performance undoubtedly deserved all three points. It was also a great individual display by Riccardo Meggiorini, who proved his many critics (including myself) wrong by scoring two excellent goals, to supplement another excellent performance. 

Forza Torino

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