Palermo Edge Inter In Seven Goal Debut
Inter Milan made a poor start into the new season as the former Italian champions were edged 3-4 by Palermo on Sunday at the Renzo Barbera stadium where the visitors led the Sicilian side twice.
Milito opened the score after half an hour, the half time going 1-0 to the Nerrazzuri. The second half saw Palermo level the score twice and grab a consistent lead with five minutes left. Forlan, who was making his first Serie A appearance with Inter, closed the game in the last minute, his goal being insufficient for a point in Sicily.
The first big chance came from Abel Hernandez whose header was saved by Julio Cesar in the ninth minute. Walter Samuel was the first to pick a yellow card in the 27th minute following a tough challenge on Palermo striker Miccoli. Five minutes later Inter got into the lead following a corner on the right the hosts saved as far as Stankovic whose powerful shot from the edge of the box was deflected into the net by Milito.
Coach Gian Piero Gasperini, who was also at his first league appearance with his new side, made the first change in the 35th minute, introducing cornerstone Wesley Sneijder for Zarate. The half time went 1-0 but the game was far from being over.
Devis Mangia replaced Della Rocca with Adriyie Acquah at the half time who first touch gave the hosts a corner. Three minutes later Miccoli leveled the score after being perfectly served with a long pass from the middle. The striker converted it past Cesar from 15 yards or so to restart the game and give his side more confidence. Julio Cesar was then booked for claiming an offside.
Inter got back into the lead through the same Milito who converted a penalty in the 52nd minute. Samuel was taken down inside the box following a corner from the left. But just a couple of minutes later, Palermo evened the situation through Hernandez who made it 2-2 after a superb five pass combination the finish of which was converted home from close range and into the empty net by the Palermo right forwarder.
Zanetti conceded his first yellow card in the 60th minute for a foul on Ilicic, while Acquah was shown his first one a couple of minutes later following a foul on Forlan. Gasperini then replaced Nagatomo with Joel Obi. Coach Mangia made his second change in the 69th minute replacing Ilicic with Nicolas Bertolo, while Gasperini replied with yet another one in the 71st minute, replacing Cambiasso with Ricky Alvarez.
Mauricio Pinilla was then introduced for Abel Hernandez for Palermo who would look totally difference in the last minutes. Miccoli completed his double with four minutes left, giving his side the first lead of the meeting with a lovely finish from 20 yards. Palermo won a free kick just outside the box the striker converted over the wall and into the right hand corner.
Things looked much worse a couple of minutes later when newly introduced Pinilla made it even four with a screamer from outside the box over the exited Cesar. Forlan closed the meeting with a shot into the top corner. Sneijder picked the Uruguayan inside the box with a superb lob the former Atletico Madrid striker put it home past Tzorvas.
Palermo won the meeting in what must have been a sweet revenge after the Italian Cup final loss. They sit fifth with three points in one game, the same as five other sides, including Juventus and Napoli who lead the table thanks to more comprehensive wins.
As for Inter, they lie 14th, alongside AS Roma whom they will meet next weekend at Giuseppe Meazza. Palermo will next meet newly promoted Atalanta who drew Genoa away in their first match of the season.
Said Zanetti after the loss: “Gasperini has his ideas and they must be respected. Every coach sees football in his own way and that’s only right. You just need a bit of time to take in what he wants. The most important thing is that we are all receptive to those ideas. And let’s not forget that it’s only the first league match.”
Inter will next face Trabzonspor in the first day of the UEFA Champions League group stage. Gasperini’s side will meet the Turkish on Wednesday at the Meazza.
Palermo – Tzorvas; Balzaretti, Migliaccio, Silvestre, Pisano; Ilicic, Della Rocca, Barreto, Alvarez; Hernandez, Miccoli. Reserves: E. Zahavi, A. Acquah, M. Cetto, A. Mantovani, M. Pinilla, F. Benussi, N. Bertolo.
Inter Milan – Julio Cesar; Lucio, Samuel, Zanetti; Jonathan, Stankovic, Cambiasso, Nagatomo; Forlan, Zarate, Milito. Reserves: L. Castaignos, P. Orlandoni, W. Sneijder, A. Ranocchia, R. Alvarez, G. Pazzini, J. Obi.11