Serie A - Chievo stun lacklustre Inter

Sun, 21 Nov 15:10:00 2010

Chievo scored for the first time in four matches to earn a shock 2-1 win over Serie A champions Internazionale at the Stadio Marc Antonio Bentegodi.

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A towering first-half header from Sergio Pellissier and late tap-in from substitute Davide Moscardelli settled the fiery encounter in Verona, with Samuel Eto'o's stoppage time goal coming too late for an uncharacteristically sloppy Inter to mount a comeback.

Inter came closest to opening the scoring after a tentative opening 10 minutes, with Eto'o pulling the strings in the visitors' front line.

The Cameroon forward clipped a lovely ball to Goran Pandev in the box, who touched it around the onrushing Stefano Sorrentino, before striking the near post with the goal at his mercy.

Rafa Benitez's men bossed possession throughout the opening half, but failed to create any more clear-cut chances, and were made to pay for a rare moment of slack defending when Chievo stole an unlikely lead in the 29th-minute.

Fullback Nicolas Frey had an age to pick out a cross from the right wing, which Pellissier thundered into the back of Luca Castellazzi's net with a powerful header.

The half could easily have got much worse for Inter when Eto'o appeared to headbutt Bostjan Cesar five minutes before the interval.

The referee and his assistants failed to see the former Barcelona forward drive his forehead into Cesar's chest off the ball, sparing him a blatant red card, and keeping Inter in touching distance as they headed back to the dressing room a goal down, but with a full complement of players to contest the second half.

Inter came close to beating Sorrentino in the opening moments of the second half, but once again the stoic Chievo keeper was equal to Davide Santon's fizzing effort from the right touchline.

However, the second half soon fell back into the same pattern as the first, with Inter enjoying a sizeable proportion of the possession and doing very little with it.

Luca Rigoni almost doubled the lead for Chievo in the 54th-minute, but somehow hooked the ball over the bar from a yard out after Andrea Mantovani's teasing pass into the feet of the 25-year-old.

Sorrentino was then called into action twice in the space of three minutes - with a brilliant fingertip save from Dejan Stankovic's 64th-minute chip, and a close-range block on Eto'o in the 67th minute.

However, with the clock ticking ever closer to 90 minutes, Inter were undone - for the second-time - with the simplest of goals.

Rigoni chased down a long ball on the right wing, before drilling the ball across goal.

Cyril Thereau completely missed with a near-post volley, but Moscardelli was perfectly placed to tap in from a yard out and seal an unassailable 2-0 lead.

Eto'o responded with a fine solo goal in stoppage time after jinking between three defenders and slotting the ball inside Sorrentino's left-hand post, but it proved to be too little too late for Benitez's side.

The defeat signalled a fifth straight match without a win for Inter, who now trail league leaders and bitter city rivals AC Milan by nine points.

John Stead / Eurosport

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