Serie A: Inter defeat Fiorentina to close gap on AC Milan

Defending champions move into third place and five points behind AC Milan after 2-1 win in Florence

Kieran Beckles
By Kieran Beckles
inter milan
(Photo: Inter.it)

inter milan

Giampaolo Pazzini scored the winner as Inter Milan closed the gap on Serie A leaders AC Milan to five points with a 2-1 win over Fiorentina on Wednesday night.

Leonardo’s Inter took the lead within six minutes when Samuel Eto’o’s cross was deflected past former Celtic goalkeeper Artur Boruc.

But La Viola struck back on the half-hour mark through full-back Manuel Pasqual. The 28-year-old’s intended cross evaded the entire Inter defence, who were preoccupied by the presence of Fiorentina front-man Alberto Gilardino, and crept past Júlio César to level the match.

The Nerazzurri then secured a vital victory at the Stadio Artemio Franchi thanks to new signing Pazzini’s fourth league goal since signing from Sampdoria.

Eto’o dribbled past two Fiorentina defenders on the right wing before squaring a ball to Inter’s number seven who steered the ball past Boruc after 61 minutes.

The result pushes Inter back into third place and five points behind Serie A pacesetters and derby rivals AC Milan. The result provides the perfect remedy for the defending champions after their disappointing 1-0 defeat to Juventus last Sunday in the Derby della Italia.

“Tonight was important to take the 3 points, especially after the defeat of Juventus, to get back in the race,” said Inter’s assistant manager Giuseppe Baresi after the match. “We met one of the fittest teams in the league but we played well and we were compact.”

Speaking about the Serie A title race, he added: “We are behind and we must recover, playing every game like a final.”

Meanwhile, Fiorentina boss Siniša Mihajlović admitted his disappointment at the result after a match that the Serb felt his side deserved to win.

“I prefer to win and play well, but I think we got half of that right this evening,” Mihajlovic said after the match.

“We didn’t deserve to lose today, as Inter scored with their only chance of the first half, while we created a great deal. Unfortunately, you pay for your first mistake against the Nerazzurri.

The 41-year-old added: “My team gave their all and played well, so it hurts to suffer a defeat like this.”

MORE:

MORE: The latest football transfer news

MORE: Meet the Premier League's most stylish footballers

MORE: Do you know the top Muslim footballers in the Premier League?

MORE: Man United latest news

MORE: Arsenal latest news

MORE: Chelsea latest news

MORE: Liverpool latest news

Rotterdam Open
The Sport Review
Roger Federer sweeps past Grigor Dimitrov for 97th title in Rotterdam: ‘It’s great to win this way!’
The Sport Review
Top 50 most stylish footballers in the world in 2017: Arsenal, Man United, Chelsea, Liverpool stars feature
The Sport Review
Top 40 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Man United stars feature
The Sport Review
Top 25 footballers’ cars: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Real Madrid players feature
The Sport Review
Top 20 Nigerian footballers in Premier League: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool stars feature
The Sport Review
Arsenal player wages 2017: Do you know how much Xhaka, Ozil and Coquelin earn each week?
The Sport Review
Eden Hazard delivers clear update on his Chelsea FC future
The Sport Review
Steven Gerrard reacts to Chelsea FC’s 1-1 draw with Barcelona
The Sport Review
Pat Nevin: What Paul Pogba needs to prove to Man United supporters