A second half goal from Ciro Immobile threatened to derail Internazionale's slim title hopes despite a late Esteban Cambiasso equaliser at the San Siro.
Immobile pounced with little over ten minutes remaining to heap pressure on Andrea Stramaccioni’s side. And although Cambiasso’s headed equaliser rescued a point, it still leaves Inter nine points off the pace of runaway leaders Juventus after substitute Marko Livaja spurned a glorious chance to win the game late on.
Genoa started with an understandably cautious 4-1-4-1 formation but they nearly caught Inter out on the break in the third minute, Marco Rossi finding space down the right to fire in a dangerous cross that just failed to find Immobile.
But it was Inter who dominated the early possession, with Andrea Stramaccioni’s attacking trio of Antonio Cassano, Rodrigo Palacio and Diego Milito causing no end of problems to the Genoa defence. Milito should have put the hosts ahead five minutes in from Cassano’s lovely cross but mistimed his header. Moments later Cassano again created another clear cut chance, delightfully playing in Palacio on goal only for the striker’s touch to let him down.
Despite Inter creating the majority of chances, they were liable to be caught on counter-attacks. Rossi’s cutback found Juraj Kucka in a good shooting position on the edge of the box but he fluffed his chance. And just before the half-hour mark, Inter had Samir Handanovic to thank for keeping the scores level, the keeper pulling off a good save low to his right to deny Immobile.
Genoa then briefly had three on two but Juan Vargas took the wrong option: letting fly at goal with Kucka and Immobile well placed to his right. Inter ended the half on top and another dangerous Cassano cross looked destined for Milito’s head before a wonderful last-ditch clearing header from Michele Canini saved the day.
Inter upped the tempo at the start of the second half and were nearly ahead two minutes after the resumption. Milito played in Palacio who shot just over the bar and the same duo combined minutes later, Frey denying Palacio before Milito also blasted his follow-up over. Andrea Rannochia headed over when it seemed easier to score before Genoa struck. Luca Antonelli’s pass found Immobile and the striker turned past Andrea Rannochia before rifling his shot under Handanovic’s body for the goal which may have ended Inter's title hopes.
Still there was time for late drama. Finally, one of Cassano’s accurate crosses paid dividends, Cambiasso planting his header past Frey. And Inter really should have wrapped the game up with a minute of normal time remaining. Milito got to the byline and picked out substitute Livaja at the far post, only for the striker to hit the post instead of slot the ball into an empty net. Cambiasso should have made the miss academic with the follow-up but he too missed the target.
It leaves Inter with a mountain to climb to win the title but boosts Genoa, who remain second from bottom, in their bid for survival.
- Sports & Recreation
- Ciro Immobile
- Esteban Cambiasso
- Diego Milito
- Antonio Cassano
- Rodrigo Palacio