Italian Serie A Roundup, Mar. 11
Inter Milan needed goalkeeper Julio Cesar to save a penalty two minutes from time to earn a 1-1 draw at Brescia in Serie A on Friday.
Samuel Eto’o gave Inter the lead in the first half, but Andrea Caracciolo equalized with six minutes remaining.
He then had the chance to earn Brescia a famous victory after Ivan Cordoba gave away a penalty and received a red card for pulling down Brescia substitute Eder. But Caracciolo’s weak spot-kick was easily saved by Cesar.
The result means Inter trails league leader AC Milan by four points, with Milan able to stretch its lead to seven points when it plays Bari on Sunday.
”We had a lot of chances and it could easily have been a different result,” Inter coach Leonardo said. ”We created chances and (Wesley) Sneijder hit the post. We created chances in the second half, but when we didn’t take them Brescia’s confidence grew.”
Inter fullback Yuto Nagatomo had the first chance of the match. He raced down the left, muscled his way past Marco Zambelli but Jonathan Zebina got back to deflect his shot for a corner.
Five minutes later though Inter took the lead. Sneijder swung over a corner, Andrea Ranocchia flicked the ball on to the back post where Eto’o got behind Brescia’s Gaetano Berardi to stab the ball in from close range.
Sneijder then fired in a freekick that Brescia goalkeeper Michele Arcari punched away.
Brescia finally made it into Inter’s area in the 35th minute, but from Zambelli’s pass, Caracciolo lifted the ball over Cesar and the bar.
Caracciolo went close to pulling a goal back right from the restart, but he headed over the bar from close in. Soon after Cesar had to race off his line and make a low save from the striker after he had escaped behind Inter’s defense.
Inter hit back in attack and Sneijder was left unmarked to fire a shot against the post from outside the area before Accari stopped Goran Pandev from doubling Inter’s lead when he dived at the Macedonian’s feet to block.
Cesar then came to Inter’s rescue again when he dived low to stop Panagiotis Kone’s shot.
Pandev came close again 10 minutes from the end, but Accari again stopped his close range effort.
Caracciolo was eventually rewarded for his effort in attack. Zebina headed Alessandro Diamanti’s corner into the area and Caracciolo rose above the Inter defense to score his eighth goal of the season.
Brescia didn’t settle for the draw, but the occasion got to Caracciolo and his team remains in 19th place, three points clear of safety.
”It shouldn’t have finished in a draw, but that is the way it finished,” Leonardo said. ”We aren’t the first team that Brescia has caused problems for.”