MILAN – It was a special night: Zanetti equalled Gianluca Pagliuca in second place on the all-time list for Serie A appearances (596), Milito was back fit and amongst the goals (first strike of 2013) and Stankovic finally completed his return from injury. Most importantly however, Inter beat Chievo 3-1.
The Nerazzurri went in front after just two minutes. Cassano’s corner was only half-cleared and Fant’Antonio fizzed a half volley in towards the near post. Puggioni was caught napping and could only fumble the ball into the back of the net. Chievo were level on 21 minutes however as Rigoni had all the time in the world to head home Jokic’s cross.
Inter kept going and Cambiasso went very close on 24 minutes after great work from Cassano. The hosts’ second arrived shortly after though, Ranocchia rising highest to power a header home from Cassano’s corner. Gargano might have further extended the Nerazzurri’s lead on 37 minutes but his free-kick clattered against the post. At half time it was Inter 2-1 Chievo.
Inter made it 3-1 after the break, as Milito celebrated his first goal of this calendar year with a powerful right-footed shot which flew past Puggioni. The Nerazzurri went in search of further goals and nearly added a fourth with good efforts from Alvarez and Palacio. The hosts deserved to win by a greater margin but it ended 3-1 and the Nerazzurri move onto 43 points in Serie A.
Inter 3-1 Chievo Verona (HT: 2-1)
Scorers: Cassano 2, Rigoni 21, Ranocchia 26, Milito 50.
Inter: 1 Handanovic; 4 Zanetti, 23 Ranocchia, 40 Juan Jesus, 55 Nagatomo; 19 Cambiasso (Stankovic 76), 17 Kuzmanovic (Schelotto 83), 21 Gargano; 8 Palacio, 22 Milito (Alvarez 65), 99 Cassano.
Subs not used: 27 Belec, 30 Carrizo, 6 Silvestre, 7 Schelotto, 18 Rocchi, 31 Pereira, 42 Jonathan.
Coach: Andrea Stramaccioni.
Chievo Verona: 1 Puggioni; 7 Seymour (Luciano 70), 3 Andreolli, 2 Dainelli, 51 Acerbi, 13 Jokic; 14 Cofie (Spyropoulos 64), 16 Rigoni, 56 Hetemaj; 43 Paloschi (Pellissier 76), 77 Thereau.
Subs not used: 18 Squizzi, 88 Ujkani, 12 Cesar, 17 Sampirisi, 21 Frey, 25 Vacek, 26 Farkas, 27 Hauche, 33 Papp.
Coach: Eugenio Corini.
Referee: Marco Guida (Torre Annunziata).
Booked: Rigoni 18, Ranocchia 28, Stankovic 90+3.
Added time: 2+4 minutes.