BELGRADE – Inter sealed their place in the UEFA
Europa League round of 32 with two games to spare. Rodrigo Palacio
grabbed two after coming off the bench before Fredy Guarin made it three
late on: Partizan were defeated 1-3. It was the Nerazzurri’s tenth victory on the spin in all games and also their tenth consecutive away win – a new club record.
The first half finished goalless thanks to Handanovic, who kept the scores level with a couple of top-class saves from Ivanov in the
space of a minute, proving once again how important he is for this team. After the restart, having rode their
luck a little with Juan Jesus almost inadvertently succeeding where Ivanov failed,
Inter took the lead thanks to Palacio, the Argentine well placed to chest home
Guarin’s powerful cross. Partizan intensified their efforts and sought an equaliser but Handanovic kept the door shut. With 75
minutes on the clock Palacio made it 0-2, latching onto Guarin’s
through ball and sprinting towards goal before beating Petrovic with
a neat angled finish. Guarin twice the provider, Palacio twice the
finisher. Inter weren’t in the mood for sitting on the lead though, and with three minutes
to go Guaro added his own name to the score sheet after collecting
Cassano’s through ball, with Palacio involved in the build-up. Tomic
scored a consolation goal for Partizan in the last minute of normal
Stramaccioni’s side now sit on 10 points, level with Rubin Kazan and their place in the knockout stage is certain. All that remains to be decided is who will qualify as group winners: Rubin Kazan v Inter in two weeks’ time may well settle the matter.
Partizan Belgrade 1-3 Inter (HT: 0-0)
Scorers: Palacio 51 and 75, Guarin 87, Tomic 90.
30 Petrovic; 2 Miljkovic, 40 Ostojic, 15 Ivanov, 18 Lazevski; 4 Medo
(M. Scepovic 55), 99 Smiljanic; 50 L. Markovic, 22 S. Ilic (Jojic 30), 7 Tomic; 12 S. Scepovic (Mitrovic 69).
Unused subs: 33 R. Ilic, 3 Volkov, 11 Ninkovic, 17 Sretenovic.
Coach: Vladimir Vermezovic.
1 Handanovic; 42 Jonathan, 6 Silvestre, 40 Juan Jesus, 55 Nagatomo (Palacio 46); 4 Zanetti, 14 Guarin, 16 Mudingayi (Gargano 14), 19
Cambiasso, 31 Pereira; 88 Livaja (Cassano 76).
Unused subs: 12 Castellazzi, 28 Pasa, 52 Romanò, 22 Milito.
Coach: Andrea Stramaccioni.
Referee: Pereira Gomes (Por).
Booked: Ostojic 48, Juan Jesus 55, Silvestre 73, Jojic 78.
Added time: 2+2 minutes.