Serie A - Brilliant Inter end Juventus run to close gap

Serie A, Juventus Stadium - Juventus 1 (Vidal 1) Internazionale 3 (Milito 59 & 75, Palacio 90)

Serie A - Brilliant Inter end Juventus run to close gap

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Diego Milito Juventus Inter 2012

Diego Milito scored twice as Internazionale came from behind to win 3-1 at Juventus, ending the Serie A leaders’ 49-match unbeaten run in the league.

Juve, who had not lost in nearly two years, were looking to better Arsenal’s 49-match streak from their ‘unbeatable’ spell in 2004.

But despite taking the lead through an offside Arturo Vidal goal, the Bianconeri could not resist a superb Inter side, who had their own run to extend – their ninth win in a row.

Milito levelled from a penalty he had won just before the hour mark, with the Argentine adding a poacher’s second before Rodrigo Palacio added a late third to inflict a first defeat for Juventus in their new stadium.

Aside from announcing Andrea Stramaccioni’s arrival as a top coach, the result means Inter close the gap on Juve to one point, the Nerazzurri on 27 points from 11 matches.

A frantic opening yielded instant dividends as Juventus took a controversial lead straight from kick-off.

Kwadwo Asamoah was offside when he met Mirko Vucinic’s pass but the sleepy assistant kept his flag down and the Ghanaian’s cross-shot was met by the arriving Vidal.

At 18 seconds it was the fastest goal in Serie A this season. The hammer blow knocked Inter for six, Andrea Ranocchia looking particularly uneasy in the back three as Juve carved them apart.

Vucinic just failed to convert a Sebastian Giovinco cross while Samir Handanovic made a good stop from Claudio Marchisio as Juve overran their guests.

But Inter steadied the ship, tightening up defensively and creating chances as Esteban Cambiasso twice shot over, while Palacio was offside when he headed in a free-kick from the Argentine midfielder.

Antonio Cassano curled an effort inches wide from a short corner as Inter ascended, but they were still a poor decision on the wrong side of the scoreline.

Another weak decision – this time from the referee – also irked the visitors, as Stephan Lichtsteiner escaped a second booking after a wild, late, high hack on Palacio just after he had been yellow carded for a check on Cambiasso. He was subbed off soon afterwards.

Vidal had an effort saved and his follow-up go wide just before half-time, but Inter continued to impress in the second half.

After an injury to Vucinic, Juve had to bring Nicklas Bendtner into the play and they immediately lacked a touch of guile up front and Inter continued to press for a leveller.

Leonardo Bonucci strode up from the back to see a long-shot stopped by Handanovic, but it was mostly Inter as Palacio hit the side netting before putting over after he was played clean through by Milito.

Yuto Nagatomo curled just wide too so it was just desserts that the Nerazzurri should be awarded a penalty when Milito was hauled down by Marchisio on 58 minutes. The Argentine had never scored against Juve in Inter colours, but he clipped it past Gianluigi Buffon for 1-1.

The momentum was with the visitors, Martin Caceres denying Cambiasso a tap-in with a saving tackle before Milito got his second.

It came from an error by Vidal, giving the ball away in midfield, but credit should go to substitute Freddy Guarin, who was harshly dropped after scoring against Sampdoria last week. The Colombian went on a driving run from midfield, holding off several challenges before drilling a low shot that Buffon did well to save. But Milito, ever the goalmouth predator, was on hand to give Inter a deserved advantage.

Juventus threw caution to the wind, bringing off sub Caceres for striker Fabio Quagliarella, who fired an effort just wide, as did Bendtner and Andrea Pirlo.

They were over-committing though, and Inter exploited that on the counter when the excellent Nagatomo raced towards goal, his run checked but Palacio arriving to toe-poke a finish off Buffon.

Inter celebrated wildly, as Juve fell short of Fabio Capello’s 58-match unbeaten run with Milan.


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