Serie A - Novara stun sloppy Inter

Sun, 12 Feb 16:16:00 2012

Serie A's basement side Novara pulled off one of the surprises of the season by beating Internazionale 1-0 at the Giuseppe Meazza.

2012 Internazionale-Novara - 0

Andrea Caracciolo's 51st-minute strike was enough for the visitors to secure only their third league win of the campaign, their second against the hosts.

The home side had plenty of possession but were lacking in ideas, instead choosing to bombard the biancoazzurri box with crosses into the box which were met by a resilient defence.

Wesley Sneijder's 88th minute shot was the closest Inter came to equalising, when he hit his strike against the underside of the crossbar from the edge of the Novara area.

Giampaolo Pazzini also had a chance deep into stoppage time, when his attempt was fired straight at goalkeeper Samir Ujkani.

Inter have now gone four games without a win in Serie A, and will drop down to sixth if Roma beat Siena on Monday night.

The home side dominated the early stages as Sneijder, Stankovic and Chivu tried their luck from long range, but rarely threatened Ujkani's goal.

It took some time for Novara to get going, until Caracciolo and Jeda combined to test Julio Cesar in the 29th minute.

The Nerazzurri felt they should have had a penalty when Andrea Poli appeared to be brought down in the box by Santiago Garcia. Referee Carmine Russo believed the Argentine got enough of the ball and waved play on.

Claudio Ranieri changed it up at half time, bringing on Pazzini for Ricardo Alvarez, but his side still found it hard to break down the opposition's defence.

The breakthrough came in the 51st minute when moments after Lucio had slid in to meet a cross from Sneijder, Novara broke away for Caracciolo to let fly with a stunning 20 yard curler past Julio Cesar.

The crowd began to get restless, as Ranieri introduced Diego Forlan and Yuto Nagamoto to try and find the equaliser, to little effect.  

Inter left it until three minutes from time to truly threaten the Novara defence, when Sneijder fired a right-footed shot on to the underside of the bar.

In the final minute of stoppage time, Pazzini found himself all alone with space and time for an opportunity to level the match, but shot straight at Ujkani, who held the Italian's powerful shot well.

Emiliano Mondonico’s side have beaten Inter twice this season and although they still find themselves at the foot of the table, they are now three points from safety.

Atalanta drew 0-0 with Lecce while Catania thrashed Genoa 4-0 in Sunday's other games.

Francesco Lodi's penalty gave Catania an early lead before Pablo Barrientos scored twice in the second half and his fellow Argentine Gonzalo Bergessio completed the scoring.

Richard Newman / Eurosport

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