Serie A - Internazionale slip up against Sampdoria

Sun, 24 Oct 19:12:00 2010

Samuel Eto'o spared Internazionale's blushes with an equaliser 10 minutes from time to rescue a 1-1 draw with Sampdoria at the San Siro.

- 0

Stefano Guberti took advantage of some lax Internazionale defending to fire Sampdoria ahead after 62 minutes.

But Cameroon international Eto'o was on hand to level proceedings, leaving Rafael Benitez's side four points behind Serie A leaders Lazio.

Internazionale went into the fixture on the back of a 4-3 Champions League victory over Tottenham Hotspur, while Sampdoria suffered a 2-1 midweek defeat to 10-man Metalist.

With heavy ran falling in Milan, Wesley Sneijder looked to take advantage of the greasy ball early on with a long distance shot which Gianluca Curci needed two bites of the cherry to save.

Sampdoria showed their attacking prowess after seven minutes when Vladimir Koman slipped in Guberti, with the 25-year-old hitting a fierce shot just over from 20 yards.

The hosts, dominant in possession, almost opened the scoring when Philippe Coutinho chipped in a lovely ball to Lucio, whose onward flick forced Curci into a fingertip save.

But the best chance of the first half fell to the visitors, forever a threat on the break, when the excellent Antonio Cassano's cross was headed back across goal by Guberti before Giampaolo Pazzini poked shot forced a fine save on the line by Julio Cesar.

Inter immediately broke and Sneijder found Coutinho, who danced into the box and tried to lift a shot over Curci, who was wise to his effort.

Benitez's troops almost edged ahead after 59 minutes when Coutinho fired a cross across the face of goal and Maicon's shot was cleared off the line by the Luciano Zauri.

And the hosts were made to pay on 63 minutes when Cassano stole the ball off Cristian Chivu on the right flank before crossing to Guberti to volley home past Cesar.

Both Chivu, too easily dispossessed, and Cesar, unable to take the sting off Guberti's effort, can shoulder the blame for the goal and the ineffective Jonathan Ludovic Biabiany was soon replaced by Goran Pandev as Benitez attempted to fire some life into his side.

Coutinho looked most likely to create a decisive opener for Internazionale and should have scored after a unintended one-two with Pandev, only to shoot at Curci.

Curci made a key intervention to punch clear Maicon's cross with Eto'o waiting at the back post and that was the former Roma keeper's last involvement having suffered an injury in the process.

Junior Costa came on in his place and the debutant was beaten within two minutes after Coutinho's near-post cross was turned home by Eto'o.

Internazionale pressed for a winner, with Sampdoria reduced to attacks on the break, and Maicon headed just over from Sneijder's free-kick.

But that was as close as they came, with the draw seeing Internazionale go above AC Milan and Sampdoria rising to eighth.

George Scott / Eurosport

Not already a Yahoo! user ? to get a free Yahoo! Account