Serie A - Inter recover to take draw
A second-half fightback from Inter Milan ended their losing streak on Sunday evening, as Claudio Ranieri’s side drew 2-2 at home against Catania.
Having lost their last four league games going into this one matters appeared to be worsening for the Nerazzurri as they went into half time two goals down after Alejandro Gomez and Mariano Izco both struck for Vincenzo Montella’s team.
However, Diego Forlan and Diego Milito both found the back of the net in a nine-minute blitz from Inter as Ranieri’s team managed to score twice having not registered a goal in their previous four league outings.
The game got off to a slow start, exactly not what was needed for Ranieri, who despite making comments to the contrary was under pressure in the lead-up to this game. Failing to set the pace, a couple of tame efforts from Forlan were all that the hosts had to show after the opening 20 minutes.
It was then that Catania struck with their first meaningful attack on goal, Gomez capitalising on a mistake from Walter Samuel to go one-on-one with Yuto Nagatomo, cutting inside and curling a right-footed shot into the bottom-right corner of Julio Cesar’s goal.
If Ranieri was hoping that going a goal down would shock his side into a rapid response he was to be left disappointed, as despite having more possession they did not make it count.
Catania went close to doubling their lead but a poor first touch from Pablo Barrientos after a marvellous through ball from Sergio Almiron let them off the hook. The Nerazzurri were to have no such luck immediately after in the 38th minute when the linesman failed to spot that Giovanni Marchese was offside when receiving the ball inside Inter’s area.
With the flag staying down, he squared to the centre of an open goal for Izco who very nearly made a hash of the simple conversion but managed to get the ball over the line with a scuffed finish.
The boos rang out from the home fans as the players trudged off at half time, and Ranieri looked to Wesley Sneijder for inspiration, sending the Dutchman on for the second half having left him on the bench for kick-off.
Sneijder did add a touch more to Inter’s attack but after a marginally brighter start to the second half the home side were again struggling to trouble their opponents, and Catania sensed their opponents’ disorganisation in defence.
Julio Cesar was twice forced to rush out of his area to clear through balls, and a misplaced free header from Marco Motta saw a chance for a third goal passed up by Catania.
The game then swung on its head with two Inter goals in the space of nine minutes. Forlan, who had not been willing to take a shot on goal all evening, did so when cutting in off the left after taking a pass from Sneijder and firing straight at Juan Pablo Carrizo, who was unable to keep the effort out and only succeeded in palming it into his own net.
Spurred on, Inter continued to push and in the 80th minute Forlan turned provider as he spread play to the right inside Catania’s area, finding Milito. The Argentine was clinical with his finish, slamming the ball into the roof of the net and completing an impressive recovery from Inter.
There was still life in the game though and Catania substitute Felipe Seymour passed up a great opportunity when he found himself free inside Inter’s area but shot straight at Cesar, and Giampaolo Pazzini did likewise at the other end in the 90th minute as any hope Inter had of snatching the win disappeared.
The result leaves Inter seventh in the Serie A table, with Catania climbing to sit just behind them in eighth.