MILAN – Inter’s Primavera side turned on the style as they beat Liverpool 3-2 in their opening NextGen Series match.
This afternoon the reigning champions set about defending the title they lifted last March when they overcame Ajax in the final. And there was plenty of support for the Nerazzurri youngsters on their return to the competition: among those watching from the stands were Bedy Moratti, former chief executive Ernesto Paolillo, Inter youth academy director Roberto Samadan and first-team coach Andrea Stramaccioni.
The scoreline is somewhat misleading, however, because Daniele Bernazzani’s side were far superior to their Liverpool counterparts. Forte put them in front after a quarter of an hour when he latched onto a poor defensive header and netted with a tidy angled finish. Liverpool found themselves on level terms in the 34th minute, after the referee deemed Pasa’s contact with Sinclair to warrant a penalty: Adorjan tucked home from the spot. Inter pushed forward looking to restore their lead and they did so five minutes before the interval, as Forte’s low cross from the left was turned home by Belloni.
The Nerazzurri got a third ten minutes from time, Duncan showing his class to lay on a delightful assist for Garritano, who fired into the far corner from a tight angle. It seemed to be game over but as the match entered added time Hungarian midfielder Adorjan pulled another one back for the Reds with a well-taken free kick.
So three points for Bernazzani’s lads as they begin their 2012/13 NextGen Series campaign. Their second Group 5 match is against Borussia Dortmund next Wednesday but before then there’s a return to domestic action when they travel to Sassuolo on Saturday.
Inter 3-2 Liverpool (HT: 2-1)
Scorers: Forte 16, Adorjan 34 (pen), Belloni 40, Garritano 80, Adorjan 90+1.
Inter (4-2-3-1): 1 Dalle Vedove; 2 Donkor, 4 Bianchetti, 5 Pasa, 3 Mbaye; 8 Benassi, 6 Duncan; 7 Belloni (Terrani 81), 10 Acampora, 11 Garritano (Olsen 90+1); 9 Forte (Colombi 81).
Unused subs: 12 Smug, 13 Zaro, 14 Guglielmotti, 16 Gabbianelli.
Coach: Daniele Bernazzani.
Liverpool (4-2-3-1): 1 Belford; 2 McLaughlin
(Peterson 65), 4 Sama, 5 Jones, 3 Smith; 6 Baio, 8 Roddian; 7 Ibe, 10
Adorjan, 11 Pelosi; 9 Sinclair (Gainford 75).
Unused subs: 12 Hgaton, 13 Fulton, 14 Smith, 15 Maguire, 16 Lussey.
Coach: Borrel Rodolfo.
Referee: Dalla Palma.
Booked: Pasa 34, McLaughlin 40. Duncan 69, Sama 70.
Added time: 3 + 3.