A wonder-goal by Nicola Sansone gave Parma a surprise 1-0 win at home to Internazionale, who slipped to third in Serie A.
With a quarter of an hour left, Italy U21 striker Sansone ran the ball from halfway before firing a crisp low finish past Samir Handanovic, who had been a rock for the Nerazzurri until that point.
Parma probably deserved to win the match on the balance of play, Antonio Mirante making some decent stops but his Inter counterpart was the busier of the two goalkeepers.
And coupled with Napoli’s 1-0 win at Cagliari earlier on Monday, Inter slide from second to third, two points behind the Naples outfit and four short of leaders Juventus.
Parma came out of the blocks quickest and Inter – without Antonio Cassano and Wesley Sneijder – barely able to leave their half in the opening exchanges.
The hosts could have scored in the third minute but for a fantastic reflex stop from Handanovic, who somehow readjusted to prevent a Walter Samuel own goal.
Inter did settle though, as Fredy Guarin sent a low free-kick inches wide, while Esteban Cambiasso’s header was expertly kept out by Antonio Mirante.
Parma had their chances too, Handanovic showing why Julio Cesar was forced out of the club with two more good saves, from Amauri and former Inter forward Jonathan Biabiany.
Early in the second half Biabiany missed a more straightforward chance when he angled his header wide after an excellent left-wing cross from Massimo Gobbi.
Both sides were looking mostly for the counter attack, with Biabiany the main danger man for the hosts and Milito impressing for Inter.
Guarin forced an acrobatic diving save from Mirante with a fizzing long-range effort as the pendulum swung Inter’s way.
But a moment of genius changed the face of the game as former Bayern Munich youth-team player Sansone, German-born but declared for his parents’ country, exploited a gap in the Inter defence to dribble from halfway to the edge of the box, from where he pinged a left-foot drive into the bottom left.
Inter tried to crank up the pressure but Parma responded by sitting deep and sending on burly striker Ishak Belfodil, a large-framed target man who held the ball up well for the hosts.
Substitute Philippe Coutinho went closest for the visitors when his long shot was batted away by Mirante, but Handanovic made an even better stop to tip over Belfodil’s header from a Jaime Valdes free-kick.
The kitchen sink had little impact on Parma’s defence as Inter lacked creativity for all their effort, the hosts fairly comfortable in holding out for a famous win.
Inter must now seek a solution to the Sneijder situation – he has reportedly been dropped because he will not agree to a pay cut – otherwise their promising start to the season could be derailed by his absence.
- Sports & Recreation
- Nicola Sansone
- Samir Handanovic
- Antonio Mirante