Inter’s mixed pre-season continued on Friday as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Schalke in Changzhou.
A second-half strike from Daniel Caligiuri looked enough to give the Bundesliga side the win, but Jeison Murillo’s thunderbolt earned a draw for Luciano Spalletti’s side, who start their International Champions Cup campaign against Lyon in three days’ time.
Manchester United target Ivan Perisic played the first 45 minutes of the match, despite the persistent speculation over his future, but made little impact as a still-disjointed Inter made it a win, a defeat and a draw from three friendly matches.
Spalletti named Perisic in a strong starting line-up at the Changzhou Olympic Sports Center as he sought a response to last week’s 2-1 loss to Nurnberg.
There was little by way of goalmouth action in the opening 45 minutes, though, with Caligiuri denied perhaps the clearest opportunity by Yuto Nagatomo’s timely intervention from Weston McKennie’s cross.
Spalletti made a handful of changes at half-time, including replacing Perisic with Joao Mario, and Inter certainly looked the stronger of the sides in the early part of the second half.
Stevan Jovetic fired a shot straight at Alexander Nubel from point-blank range before Marcelo Brozovic rippled the side-netting with a free-kick from 20 yards out.
Just before the hour mark, however, Schalke snatched their lead. A fine run from Bernard Tekpetey ended with him sliding the ball into the path of Caligiuri, who cut inside past Nagatomo’s sliding challenge and fired low past Samir Handanovic.
Gabriel Barbosa swiped at thin air when attempting to reach a promising throughball but Inter found their equaliser soon afterwards thanks to some brilliance from Murillo.
The 25-year-old cut in from the right wing before unleashing a dipping left-foot shot that soared over Nubel and into the top-left corner.
Nubel made a brilliant save to stop Pablo Insua turning Nagatomo’s cross into his own net but, despite continued Inter pressure, there was to be no winner.
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