Patience was key for Inter, says Mazzarri

The 52-year-old was pleased with the Serie A outfit’s display and singled out Hernanes and Mateo Kovacic for special praise


Inter coach Walter Mazzarri has voiced his satisfaction with his side’s performance in their 3-0 Europa League win over Stjarnan and believes their patient approach was key to their away victory.

Mauro Icardi gifted the Serie A outfit the lead shortly before the interval, with Dod and Danilo D’Ambrosio effectively putting the tie to bed in the second half.

“It was good that we managed to break the deadlock,” Mazzarri told Inter Channel.

“It wasn’t easy at the start because they got men behind the ball and battened down the hatches, waiting to strike on the counter. We were smart enough to bide our time and wait for the goal to come.

“Getting the second straight after the restart was important too, and it came following a nicely worked move. Up until that point we were very careful in making sure we weren’t caught on the counterattack.

“Maybe we started to wane a bit physically towards the end and we ended up letting them in a few times.”

Mazzarri also spoke highly of midfielders Hernanes and Mateo Kovacic, stressing the pair were finding their feet as Inter generals.

“Hernanes did pretty well. He’s improving, as all the players are. He and Mateo played well tonight, because they had to work hard and both defend and attack.

“I’ve mentioned those two but overall I’m happy with how all the lads played.”

The return will take place at the Giuseppe Meazza on August 28.

PAOK 0-0 Inter: Nerazzurri held by Greek side

Walter Mazzarri’s men were toothless against the Superleague runners-up in the friendly which comes just a week before they play in the Europa League qualifiers

Inter have much to do before next week’s Europa League play-off against Stjarnan after playing out a dull 0-0 draw at PAOK on Thursday.

The Serie A giants may have been solid defensively throughout the friendly in Greece, but their lack of chances and fluidity in attack will have alarmed coach Walter Mazzarri.

PAOK enjoyed the best chance of a poor game just after the half-hour mark, when Dimitris Salpingidis forced a fine one-handed save from Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic after shooting from an acute angle.

Inter - who missed out on European football last term - play Stjarnan of Iceland over two legs in the Europa League’s play-off round, with a spot in the group stages up for grabs.

Mazzarri selected a strong side from the start, with new signing Nemanja Vidic partnering Andrea Ranocchia at the heart of Inter’s defence, while Mauro Icardi led the line up front.

But despite the impressive team at Inter’s disposal, they never found their rhythm in stifling conditions in Thessaloniki.

Temperatures of 30 degrees made life difficult for players and it was PAOK who made the brighter start, with Handanovic reacting quickly to keep out Stelios Kitsiou’s deflected cross.

Stefanos Athanasiadis was next to go close for the hosts, who were enjoying success down the right, but he could only head over before Salpingidis stung the palms of Handanovic in the 32nd minute.

Hernanes’ tame shot straight at PAOK goalkeeper Panagiotis Glykos was as close as Inter came during a lacklustre first half and new signing Yann M’Vila showed his frustration with a late challenge on Salpingidis that earned him a yellow card four minutes after the break.

Yuto Nagatomo cut inside promisingly on the hour-mark, but he blazed well over for Inter, as the game petered out even further following a string of substitutions.

Inter’s first assignment against Stjarnan sees them hit the road for Wednesday’s first-leg.

PAOK are also involved in the Europa League play-offs, and face Zimbru of Moldova.

PAOK 0-0 Inter: Nerazzurri held by Greek giants

Walter Mazzarri’s men were toothless against the Superleague runners-up in the friendly which comes just a week before they play in the Europa League qualifiers

Inter have much to do before next week’s Europa League play-off against Stjarnan after playing out a dull 0-0 draw at PAOK on Thursday.

The Serie A giants may have been solid defensively throughout the friendly in Greece, but their lack of chances and fluidity in attack will have alarmed coach Walter Mazzarri.

PAOK enjoyed the best chance of a poor game just after the half-hour mark, when Dimitris Salpingidis forced a fine one-handed save from Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic after shooting from an acute angle.

Inter - who missed out on European football last term - play Stjarnan of Iceland over two legs in the Europa League’s play-off round, with a spot in the group stages up for grabs.

Mazzarri selected a strong side from the start, with new signing Nemanja Vidic partnering Andrea Ranocchia at the heart of Inter’s defence, while Mauro Icardi led the line up front.

But despite the impressive team at Inter’s disposal, they never found their rhythm in stifling conditions in Thessaloniki.

Temperatures of 30 degrees made life difficult for players and it was PAOK who made the brighter start, with Handanovic reacting quickly to keep out Stelios Kitsiou’s deflected cross.

Stefanos Athanasiadis was next to go close for the hosts, who were enjoying success down the right, but he could only head over before Salpingidis stung the palms of Handanovic in the 32nd minute.

Hernanes’ tame shot straight at PAOK goalkeeper Panagiotis Glykos was as close as Inter came during a lacklustre first half and new signing Yann M’Vila showed his frustration with a late challenge on Salpingidis that earned him a yellow card four minutes after the break.

Yuto Nagatomo cut inside promisingly on the hour-mark, but he blazed well over for Inter, as the game petered out even further following a string of substitutions.

Inter’s first assignment against Stjarnan sees them hit the road for Wednesday’s first-leg.

PAOK are also involved in the Europa League play-offs, and face Zimbru of Moldova.

Inter complete Medel deal

Lega Serie A have confirmed that the Chilean has finally completed his move to San Siro, having been training with his new team-mates for the past few days


Inter have completed the long-awaited signing of Chile international midfielder Gary Medel from Cardiff City for a fee believed to be in the region of €11.5 million.

The 27-year-old spent just one year with the Welsh side after signing from Sevilla for a fee of €13.5m, the club suffering relegation during his sole campaign there.

After playing a key role in his country’s impressive World Cup campaign this summer, Medel has been consistently linked with a move to San Siro.

He has been training with the Serie A side for the past few days, linking up with them during pre-season and Lega Serie A have now confirmed that he has completed his move to the Nerazzurri.

“In pre-season, I have not worked a lot because of a leg injury,” he said upon his arrival at training.

“But I am hoping to be ready in time for the start of the new season. I’m glad to be here. Forze Inter!”

Medel, a veteran of 61 international appearances, began his career with Universidad Catolica in his hometown of Santiago, before winning a move to Boca Juniors in 2009.

He spent two years in Buenos Aires before winning his first move to Europe, spending another two campaigns in Andalusia before his move to the Premier League.

Tavecchio confirmed as new FIGC president

The controversial 71-year-old has been voted in as Giancarlo Abete’s replacement as the head of Italian football’s governing body


Carlo Tavecchio has been named as the new president of the Italian football association (FIGC), the body announced on Monday.

The 71-year-old was vice-president of the federation from 2009, but confirmed his candidacy for the top job following Giancarlo Abete’s decision to resign after Italy’s early exit from the World Cup in Brazil in June.

And despite a controversial campaign, in which he caused a racism stir and was accused of sexism in a previous interview in 2009, Tavecchio fought off the challenge of former AC Milan star Demetrio Albertini to be named as the FIGC’s new president.

It took three rounds of voting for Tavecchio to overcome Albertini, having collected only 60.20 per cent of the 516 available votes originally. A minimum of 75% is needed for election on the initial vote, with 66% deemed sufficient on a second round and 51% of a third.

But while the Lega Nazionale Dilettanti (LND) chief fell short at the second time of asking too, claiming 63.18%, he eventually secured the requisite support in the final round, with 63.63% voting in his favour.

With LND clubs holding a total of 34 per cent of voting rights in the FIGC election, the Lega Pro’s announcement last week that it would support Tavecchio made his candidacy a near-certainty.

One of Tavecchio’s first duties will be to help choose the new Italy national team coach, with former Juventus boss Antonio Conte the current front-runner for the role.

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