Inter Milan put an end to Fiorentina’s unbeaten start to the Serie A season as they came from behind to win 2-1 at the San Siro.
The home side were also coming into the game with an unbeaten record this season, but fell behind to Giuseppe Rossi’s 60th penalty.
However, a remarkable Inter comeback compounded Fiorentina to defeat as goals from Esteban Cambiasso and Jonathan gave Walter Mazzari’s side all three points.
It took Inter under a minute to get a shot on target in front of a crackling Milanese crowd, but Yuto Nagatomo’s ambitious effort was comfortably saved from range by Neto. Suprisingly, it was Inter’s only positive note in a lacklustre first half as Fiorentina dominated the opening 45 minutes.
The away side played some lovely football and forced Samir Handanovic into a number of top saves. In the 11th minute, Joaquin’s nice pass played in Rossi, but the Italian striker’s low shot was well tipped around the post by the Inter goalkeeper. It was the double act of Rossi and Joaquin that caused all the problems for the home side, but Handanovic stood tall to save from the Spanish winger after Rossi slipped him in with a good pass.
Despite Fiorentina’s dominance of possession, the Viola failed to make an impact in front of goal and struggled to break down a rear-guard Inter defensive line. It meant we were goalless at half-time and Inter boss Mazzari’s team talk caused a reaction in his side at the start of the second period.
Freddy Guarin had been pretty ineffectual throughout the first half, but forced Neto into a top save just three minutes after the break. The winger let fly from 30 yards and looked to have scored a great goal, but Neto stretched out an arm and tipped the ball away with a wonderful piece of goalkeeping.
Despite the change in attitude, it was Inter who fell behind after an hour and it all came from sloppy defending. Joaquin looked to get on the end of Borja Valero’s cross but was stupidly tugged down by Juan and unsurprisingly, Fiorentina were awarded a penalty. Rossi stepped up and continued his great form by firing in from 12 yards, but Handanovic might fell he could have saved it as he was close to getting a hand to the ball. In fact, it was just the second goal that Inter have conceded in the league so far this season.
Inter had half an hour to save their unbeaten league record, but it took just 12 minutes for them to pull level. Neto made the costly mistake as he fumbled a simple punch from a corner and the impending melee led to Cambiasso scoring a cultured goal. The Argentine brought the ball down on his chest and swivelled in mid-air before he volleyed in from close range to the delight of the expectant home fans.
Despite Fiorentina surrendering their lead, they had an amazing chance to go back in front with just ten minutes to go. Valero did well to skip free on the left wing and the midfielder’s low cut-back fell perfectly for Josep Ilicic, but the substitute fired straight at Handanovic who saved easily. If the attacker found either of the two sides of the goalkeeper, Fiorentina would have retaken the lead.
It proved to be a vital miss as Inter grabbed the winning goal with seven minutes to go. Ricky Alvarez’s great cross to the back post picked out the attacking full-back Jonathan and the Brazilian slammed past Neto on the half-volley to give Inter an important three points against one of the top sides in Italy.
Match Report by Kyle Dixon (@kyledixon95)