Serie A - Inter lucky to draw with Brescia
Internazionale failed to make inroads into Lazio’s Serie A lead after they stumbled to a fortunate 1-1 draw against Brescia in the Lombardi derby at the Giuseppe Meazza in Milan.
The champions, who were comprehensively beaten by Tottenham in midweek Champions League action, were awarded a dubious penalty when Samuel Eto’o tumbled in the box on 72 minutes.
The Cameroon striker dispatched the spot-kick to cancel out Andrea Caracciolo’s early goal.
Inter missed a last-gasp chance to win it when Diego Milito spooned over from close range but, while they were the better side overall, a win would have been undeserved given the circumstances of the equaliser.
There were several efforts for Eto’o, who hit the bar with a cross-shot and fired just wide with a low drive, while Goran Pandev was wasteful, blasting high and wide when put through on the left.
Brescia had fewer chances but took their first opportunity thanks to a combination of determined play by Caracciolo and bungled defending from Walter Samuel.
On 15 minutes a long ball was taken down by the Brescia striker, who lunged inside to leave the wooden Samuel floundering before prodding it past Luca Castellazzi.
It was painful to watch the defence so tight last season make such a mess, and a poor night for Samuel went from bad to worse when he was carried off later with a serious-looking knee injury after an innocuous clash with Caracciolo.
His replacement, Davide Santon, did well cutting in from the right-back position earlier vacated by Maicon - who injured a hamstring - and the young Italy international set Joel Obi for a shot that deflected just wide.
Obi had come on at the break for an ineffectual Wesley Sneijder, who for the second game running failed to dictate the tempo of the play and looked a shadow of the player who led Inter to a treble and the Netherlands to a World Cup final last season.
That effort was five minutes into the second half and little of note happened until Eto’o won a dubious penalty 21 minutes later.
The Cameroon striker latched on to a clever ball from Pandev and was rather fortunate to be awarded the spot kick after the faintest of contact if any at all from defender Gaetano Berardi.
Brescia were furious, Jonathan Zebina booked for his protests, and Eto’o rolled the ball into the bottom left with Arcari going the wrong way.
Until that point the hosts had started to toil, with the game degenerating into a scrap and Brescia actually looking fairly comfortable sitting deep and waiting for the counter.
After Eto’o’s controversial intervention though it was all Inter.
Chances were sparse though, as Brescia got everyone behind the ball.
Inter had a better penalty appeal rejected when Zebina appeared to sweep Milito’s legs from under him, but the real miss came in the fourth minute of injury time.
It would - and should - have been a comedy goal, as the ball ricocheted off four Brescia players to put the Argentine striker one-on-one.
But, in keeping with his poor form this season, Milito clipped it over keeper and bar and Inter had to contend themselves with their fourth draw from 10 league games this season.
Brescia move above Fiorentina to 16th, although they play on Sunday.