Parma 1-0 Inter: Lone Sansone strike downs Nerazzurri
Inter visited the Stadio Ennio Tardini to take on Parma on Monday night as the Nerazzurri looked to get back on track after a string of disappointing results. A win would see Andrea Stramaccioni’s men pull within one point of Juventus at the top of the table, whilst the Ducali could move into seventh place with the three points. However, it was not to be for the Milanese giants, as a lone goal from Nicola Sansone gave the home side yet another upset victory at home.
Parma nearly snatched an early lead as Jonathan Biabiany was played down the right flank to put a low cross into the area; Walter Samuel attempted to clear on the slide but instead sent the ball goalwards, where Samir Handanovic was well positioned to spare Inter blushes.
On 12 minutes Ricky Alvarez won a free-kick on a foul by Marco Marchionni in a dangerous position. Fredy Gaurin stepped up to take the set-piece, curling a fierce effort just inches wide of the near post as the Colombian signalled his intent.
Parma central defenders Gabriel Paletta and Cristian Zaccardo made a crucial intervention each as Diego Milito and Rodrigo Palacio threatened to shoot at Mirante’s goal from inside the area.
Milito used a smart turn to sprint away from his marker in midfield and charge toward the box to find Palacio, who in turn laid off for Guarin, but the former Porto man’s drive was tamed by a deflection.
In the 32nd minute, Biabiany once again came free down the right to curl in a wonderful cross that was met by the head of Amauri, but Handanovic beat away the relatively central effort from the Brazilian.
At the other end, Esteban Cambiasso sent a header in after Andrea Ranocchia had played to ball back across the face of goal, but Antonio Mirante palmed away the veteran Argentine’s attempt.
Just before half, Biabiany blazed just wide from distance, whilst another header from Amauri was gripped in the centre of goal by Handanovic.
After the restart, Biabiany was at it again, nearly heading home a sumptuous cross from Massimo Gobbi as the Frenchman charged valiantly into the area.
Guarin brought down a lofted ball in area after a well worked move from Inter, but blasted high and wide from a difficult angle.
On 54 minutes, Jaime Valdes sent in a fizzing missile from a free-kick that was deflected by Cambiasso, but luck appeared to be on the side of the Nerazzurri as the ball floated directly into the thankful arms of Handanovic.
Antonio Mirante was forced into a flying save when Guarin uncorked a sizzling drive from 25 yards, just pushing the ball around the post as the strike continued to rise throughout its flight.
Milito cut inside from the right flank to send in a left footed shot, but Mirante easily gathered as it was not nearly powerful enough.
Philippe Coutinho replaced Ricky Alvarez for the visitors, while Yohan Benalouane stepped in for Aleandro Rosi for Parma.
On 75 minutes, the stalemate was finally broken on a fantastic solo effort from young Nicola Sansone. The 21 year-old picked up the ball in midfield and embarked on a surging run, leaving Guarin in his wake, letting fly into the bottom left corner from just outside the penalty area to put the home side on top.
Not long after, Mirante got down well to beat away a first-time shot from Coutinho after the Brazilian had been set up by a Milito layoff.
Substitute Benalouane lasered a header on goal from a free-kick, but Handanovic was on hand to keep his side’s arrears at one as time slipped away.
Inter were unable to muster the necessary offensive production in the final minutes, with a wholehearted cheer from the Parma faithful echoing the sound of the final whistle.