Palermo-Inter Preview: Mazzarri wants more goals

The Italian has urged his side to continue their high-scoring start to the season as they hit the road in search of more goals on Sunday

Walter Mazzarri has warned his Inter side not to rest on their laurels ahead of Sunday’s tricky Serie A visit to Palermo.

Inter have enjoyed a superb start to the campaign, winning four and drawing one of their five competitive fixtures without conceding a goal.

Head coach Mazzarri witnessed his side embarrass Sassuolo 7-0 at San Siro last Sunday, with Mauro Icardi stealing the show with a hat-trick.

The Milan outfit followed that impressive showing by grinding out a 1-0 win at Dnipro in their Europa League Group F opener on Thursday, Danilo D’Ambrosio’s 71st-minute strike doing the damage.

Mazzarri is now preparing his side for a third match in the space of eight days when Inter travel to the Stadio Barbera Palermo to face Giuseppe Iachini’s recently promoted side.

While Inter have impressed in the busy run, Mazzarri is keen for his side not to congratulate themselves too soon ahead of the clash with Palermo – a side he rates highly.

“We will have to recover quickly because we have a match against Palermo waiting,” Mazzarri said. “It will not be easy, in the first two matches of the season Palermo have collected less points than they deserved.

“Iachini is a great coach and he’s good at preparing the team. It’s going to be a tough game.”

With Inter facing a European campaign to go with their domestic commitments, Mazzarri is well aware that he will have to utilise his entire squad.

“We need everyone, everyone should feel like starters, in the hope of always having many commitments,” he added. “This would mean that we are still in the running for the Europa League.”

Mateo Kovacic (foot) and Yuto Nagatomo (knock) sat out the Dnipro fixture and the pair remain a doubt for the weekend.

Palermo returned to the Italian top-flight after finishing top of Serie B last season.

Thus far, the home side have drawn 1-1 with Sampdoria and lost 2-1 at Verona and Inter are sure to start as favourites for Sunday’s match.

However, Palermo defender Sinisa Andjelkovic fancies his team to pull off an early upset.

“They have no weaknesses,” he told Corriere dello Sport. “We must study them in detail and repeat the performance levels shown against Sampdoria and Verona because, whatever people may say, we played well.

“Palermo need to be protagonists, without fear. Can we surprise Inter? Yes we can.”

The last time the two sides met in Serie A, Palermo ran out 1-0 winners in April 2013.

Mazzarri urges Inter to continue good form in Palermo clash

The coach of the Milan club has urged his side to maintain its recent high standards against the Sicilian outfit

Walter Mazzarri has warned his Inter side not to rest on their laurels ahead of Sunday’s Serie A visit to Palermo .

Inter have enjoyed a superb start to the campaign, winning four and drawing one of their five competitive fixtures without conceding a goal.

Head coach Mazzarri witnessed his side embarrass Sassuolo 7-0 at San Siro last Sunday, with Mauro Icardi stealing the show with a hat-trick.

The Milan outfit followed that impressive showing by grinding out a 1-0 win at Dnipro in their UEFA Europa League Group F opener on Thursday, Danilo D’Ambrosio’s 71st-minute strike doing the damage.

Mazzarri is now preparing his side for a third match in the space of eight days when Inter travel to the Stadio Barbera Palermo to face Giuseppe Iachini’s recently-promoted side.

While Inter have impressed in the busy run, Mazzarri is keen for his side not to congratulate themselves too soon ahead of the clash with Palermo – a side he rates highly.

“We will have to recover quickly because we have a match against Palermo waiting,” Mazzarri said. “It will not be easy, in the first two matches of the season Palermo have collected less points than they deserved.

“Iachini is a great coach and he’s good at preparing the team. It’s going to be a tough game.”

With Inter facing a European campaign to go with their domestic commitments, Mazzarri is well aware that he will have to utilise his entire squad.

“We need everyone, everyone should feel like starters, in the hope of always having many commitments,” he added. “This would mean that we are still in the running for the Europa League.”

Mateo Kovacic (foot) and Yuto Nagatomo (knock) sat out the Dnipro fixture and the pair remain a doubt for the weekend.

Palermo returned to the Italian top-flight last season after spending the 2013-14 campaign in Serie B, where they finished champions.

Thus far, Iachini’s men have drawn 1-1 with Sampdoria and lost 2-1 at Verona and Inter are sure to start as favourites for Sunday’s match.

However, Palermo defender Sinisa Andjelkovic fancies his team to pull off an early upset.

“They [Inter] have no weaknesses,” he told Corriere dello Sport . “We must study them in detail and repeat the performance levels shown against Sampdoria and Verona because, whatever people may say, we played well.

“Palermo need to be characters, without fear. Can we surprise Inter? Yes we can.”

The last time the two sides met in Serie A, Palermo ran out 1-0 winners in April 2013.

Materazzi excited for ISL stint

The former Inter defender is looking forward to beginning his new career as a player-coach for the Indian Super League outfit

Marco Materazzi is set to arrive in India on Saturday after having signed a two-year deal with the Indian Super League’s Chennai team, as Goal exclusively reported last week.

The former Inter star has also been confirmed as the coach of the side owned by Bollywood star Abhishek Bachchan and Vita Dani of Asian Paints, who is also the first cousin of Indian business magnate Mukesh Ambani.

And Materazzi has now taken to Twitter to announce his excitement at the move:

 

The new adventure of my life #ISL begins today with #Chennai #INDIA . Thanks @VitameswaniDani @juniorbachchan @BTMFC009 @Space236

— Marco Materazzi (@iomatrix23) September 19, 2014

 

The former Italy star also thanked the club’s owners, Vita Dani and Abhishek Bachchan alongside technical advisor, Prashant Agarwal of Kshatriya Sports, who played an important role in securing his signature for the Chennai franchise.

The Italian held talks with the Bangalore franchise and FC Pune City when he visited India back in May 2014.

Materazzi played in 209 league matches for Inter prior to his retirement in 2011 and won five Serie A titles, one Champions League, one Club World Cup, four Coppa Italias and four Supercoppa Italianas.

He was also part of the Azzurri’s 2006 World Cup winning squad, famously scoring in the final before being head-butted by France star Zinedine Zidane.

Inter goal my most important of my career – D'Ambrosio

The Nerazzurri defender believes the continued unbeaten streak – which has included 6-0 and 7-0 wins – shows the club’s recent successes are no mere fluke

Inter wing-back Danilo D’Ambrosio has described his goal in Thursday’s 1-0 win over Dnipro as potentially the most important of his career.

The Nerazzurri were larbouring against 10 men in Kiev until the defender struck with 19 minutes left on the clock to give them all three points in their first Europa League group game of 2014-15.

Inter have started the new campaign in excellent fashion – including a 6-0 thrashing of Stjarnan in the Europa League play-off round and a 7-0 victory over Serie A rivals Sassuolo on Sunday – and D’Ambrosio was pleased Walter Mazzarri’s men were able to maintain their unbeaten streak in Ukraine.

“It was important to play a great game and demonstrate that the triumph with Sassuolo was not random,” the 26-year-old told Mediaset Premium.

“The goal was probably the most important of my career – it is my first goal in Europe. Now that we have won this match, we must look ahead and think about Palermo this weekend. They are going to be a very difficult challenge.”

Inter top Group F ahead of Dnipro, Saint-Etienne and Qarabag – the latter two of whom drew 0-0 on Thursday – and are fourth in the Scudetto race after a draw and a win in their first two games of the domestic season.

Dnipro 0-1 Inter: Ukranians beaten by D'Ambrosio effort

Walter Mazzarri’s men struggled to break the deadlock for much of the match until a 71st-minute poked goal gave the Italians all three points in their Europa League clash


Inter marked their 350th European game with a hard-fought 1-0 win away to Dnipro in the Europa League on Thursday.

Danilo D’Ambrosio popped up 19 minutes from time to slot home after Dnipro captain Ruslan Rotan had been sent off for a second bookable offence.

An early effort from Dnipro’s Yevhen Konoplyanka was the only real test for either keeper during a tight first half in Kiev. 

A more urgent second-half performance saw Dnipro goalkeeper Denis Boyko produce a fine double-save shortly after the break, but the hosts could not hold firm after Rotan’s dismissal.

Fredy Guarin found himself quickest to react to a defensive clearance, feeding D’Ambrosio who confidently slotted home.

The result leaves Inter top of Group F, with Qarabag and Saint-Etienne having played out a 0-0 draw.

Inter welcomed back Nemanja Vidic to the heart of a defence that has yet to concede a goal this season, although they were given a scare within the first 30 seconds.

Some good work down the left flank allowed Konoplyanka to cut inside and work an opening, only for his rasping 25-yard drive to be palmed away by Samir Handanovic.

The visitors came into the game on the back of a thumping 7-0 win over Sassuolo on Sunday, but struggled to recreate such incisiveness during an evenly contested first half.

Zdravko Kuzmanovic should have done better with a 23rd-minute chance, ignoring several good options before dragging a tame effort well wide of the post from just outside the area.

Mauro Icardi was Inter’s star man at the weekend, netting a hat-trick, but was largely marshalled out of the game for much of the first half thanks to a well-drilled Dnipro defence.

The hosts were nearly rewarded for their defensive efforts after 33 minutes when Bruno Gama’s cross found Douglas in the area, but the Brazilian could not keep his header down.

Kuzmanovic came close to making amends for his earlier wastefulness four minutes later, getting on the end of a teasing D’Ambrosio cross to power a header just over the bar. 

Inter should have taken the lead five minutes after the break, when a teasing ball from Hernanes beat the offside trap to find Guarin, but the Colombian failed to keep his header under the crossbar.  

Walter Mazzarri’s men soon set about building the pressure and would have taken the lead six minutes later were it not for a terrific double-save from Boyko.

The Ukrainian was on hand to first deny D’Ambrosio’s stabbed effort, before quickly recovering to parry away Icardi’s follow-up from close-range. 

The hosts went close themselves just after the hour mark, when the lively Konoplyanka again cut inside from the left to bend a shot just past the post. 

Dnipro’s challenge soon began to fade, though, and they found themselves down to 10 men when Rotan was perhaps harshly given his marching orders following a tangle with Guarin.

The visitors took full advantage four minutes later when Guarin’s cross came straight back, allowing him to divert a header into the path of D’Ambrosio who finished with aplomb. 

The win caps what has been an impressive start for Inter who remain unbeaten in all competitions so far this season.

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