Inter 1-1 Chievo: Paloschi and Nagatomo strike early as Nerazzurri labour to draw

Inter made it three games without a win since the turn of the year after they were held to a 1-1 draw by Chievo on Monday.

Alberto Paloschi handed the visitors a surprise lead after Boukary Drame’s cross caused havoc for Juan Jesus and Hugo Campagnaro, allowing the forward to rifle home into the top corner.

Inter restored parity within five minutes, however, as Yuto Nagatomo swept home Ricky Alvarez’s low cross, but Walter Mazzarri’s side failed to find a winner, meaning they only scrape back into Serie A’s top five ahead of Hellas Verona.

The draw lifts Chievo a place in the table and means they are now a point clear of the relegation zone at the halfway stage.

Both sides made two changes from their previous league outings, with Inter welcoming back Mateo Kovacic in place of the suspended Fredy Guarin and the visitors opting for Paloschi in attack instead of Sergio Pellissier.

Despite only taking one point from a possible 12 the visitors started well and broke the deadlock early on.

A move down the left ended with Campagnaro and Juan Jesus colliding in the Inter defence, the loose ball rolled to Paloschi inside the penalty area and he fired high above Samir Handanovic and into the back of the net from a tight angle.

Inter hit back almost immediately with a well-worked goal that Nagatomo converted from close range.

Alvarez teased Perparim Hetemaj on the right before delivering a low cross into the six-yard box that the Japan international swept home.

Mazzarri’s side should have gone into the break ahead but they saw another Nagatomo effort disallowed for offside, while Rodrigo Palacio and Alvarez both failed to force Christian Puggioni into a save with their chances.

Inter started the second half positively but were wasteful in attack as Kovacic, Alvarez and Rodrigo Palacio all spurned chances to put them ahead.

The latter came closest with a scooped effort following Alvarez’s through ball, but the 31-year-old saw his chance loop onto the top of the goal with Puggioni untroubled.

Chievo did create an opportunity of their own in the 71st minute as Cyril Thereau and Paloschi broke on the counterattack. The French striker was played in by his team-mate but dragged his shot well wide of Handanovic’s goal.

Inter continued to press for a winner but failed to find a way past their resilient hosts, meaning they extend their winless run in 2014.

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