Saturday, March 24, 2018

Inter 3 Udinese 1: Jovetic brace keeps Champions League hopes alive

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 23 Apr 2016


Inter’s slim hopes of Champions League qualification were boosted as they came from behind to beat Udinese 3-1 at San Siro.

Cyril Thereau put Udinese into a shock early lead with his first touch of the game, volleying home a pinpoint lofted through-ball from Emmanuel Badu.

But Inter equalised before half-time, with Stevan Jovetic finishing off Mauro Icardi’s pullback for a simple goal.

Jovetic got his second of the game 15 minutes from time, chesting in a terrific cross by Jonathan Biabiany, before Eder added a third deep in injury time in a game notable for it being the first in Serie A history to begin without any Italian players in either starting line-up.

It was Inter’s first victory at home against Udinese in Serie A since September 2010 and Roberto Mancini’s side close the gap to third-placed Roma to four points before Luciano Spalletti’s team host second-placed Napoli on Monday.

Udinese took a surprise lead after nine minutes. Badu’s ball over the top was superb and Thereau beat Samir Handanovic with a sweet volley from 14 yards.
Orestis Karnezis made a good save from a drive from Geoffrey Kondogbia, back for Inter after suspension, before Marcelo Brozovic had a fine chance but his shot was blocked.
Inter did equalise in the 36th minute, with Jovetic scoring his first Serie A goal since the reverse fixture in December.

Icardi did well to roll the defender and his low cross, which may have been intended as a shot, was tapped home by Jovetic.

Edenilson forced a fine save from Handanovic shortly after half-time and Silvan Widmer could not quite reach the rebound.

Widmer then teed up Bruno Fernandes, whose 20-yard strike caught the top of the crossbar, and the rapid pace of the second half continued when Karnezis superbly tipped Brozovic’s shot around the post.

Jovetic tested Karnezis with a viciously swerving strike after 63 minutes, the goalkeeper shovelling the ball wide, before Icardi shot off-target from just outside the box.

Inter had not come from behind to win in Serie A all season, but they took the lead with 15 minutes to play.

Biabiany got down the right wing and produced a sublime cross, which Jovetic chested into the open goal from a few yards out with Karnezis nowhere.

Thereau and Widmer went close to equalising for Udinese and Handanovic made a superb block to deny Zapata, with Eder scoring his first Inter goal on the break to seal a sixth home victory for Inter in their last seven games at San Siro.

Key Opta stats:
– This is Inter’s first come-back win of the season. The Nerazzurri had collected only three draws and nine losses in their 12 previous games from trailing situations in this campaign.
– Cyril Thereau has equalled his best goal scoring tally in Serie A (11 goals, like in 2012-13).
– Stevan Jovetic has scored eight goals in eight league games against Udinese, his favourite opponent in Serie A.


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