SPAL scored a last-gasp equaliser to rescue a point against a lacklustre Inter side, in a 1-1 draw at the Stadio Paolo Mazza. The result made it seven games without a win for I Nerazzurri, whose Champions League qualification hopes continue to fade rapidly.
After a turgid first half, Inter took the lead early in the second period – with Francesco Vicari diverting the ball comically into his own net. SPAL threw caution to the wind after the visitor’s breakthrough, and finally got their reward in the last minute of the match with Alberto Paloschi sealing the dramatic late draw for his side.
SPAL started the game on the front foot, taking the game to their superior opposition against the backdrop of 13,000 roaring home supporters. After weathering the early storm of attacking pressure, Inter began to dominate possession – seeing I Biancazzurri sitting deep and frustrating the San Siro side.
in the 13th minute, Inter had the first opportunity of the game. The visitors worked the ball neatly up the left wing before Matías Vecino found Andrea Candreva with acres of space on the edge the box. The Italian international powered a low drive at goal, which was saved by the feet of goalkeeper Alex Meret, who denied I Nerazzurri an early lead.
SPAL’s organised approach began to frustrate Luciano Spalletti’s side, who were harried by their opponents at every turn. Midway through the second half, SPAL had their first shot on target. Borja Valero gave the ball away cheaply, allowing Mirco Antenucci to snatch the ball off him, before driving into the area and having his dipping shot well held by Samir Handanovi?.
Mauro Icardi almost gave Inter the lead on the stroke of half-time. Danilo D’Ambrosio found the Argentine striker in the middle of the box with a pin-point pass, but the diving challenge of Vicari was enough to put off Icardi – who’s right-footed effort went just wide of Meret’s far-post.
Inter started the second half brightly, with substitute Eder giving some much-needed support to Icardi. Inter took the lead in the 47th minute, after a nightmare own-goal from the home side. João Cancelo turned beautifully and charged down the left-wing, before whipping a tantalising ball across the face of goal that the stretching Vicari could only divert into his own net.
In the 54th minute, Cancelo’s sloppy mistake let in Federico Viviani, who surged towards goal and saw his deflected effort dip just over the crossbar. The SPAL fans responded to their side’s efforts, and the players began to pour forward in search of an equaliser. Moments later Inter spurned a chance to double their lead, as an unmarked Vecino blazed a shot over the bar.
Two minutes later, Cancelo powered up the field unchallenged by opposition defenders, and his curling right-footed shot drifted perilously close to Meret’s far post as it flew behind for a goal kick. A dipping free-kick caused chaos in the Inter box as the game headed into the final quarter, with Vicari’s overhead kick scrambled away by Milan Škriniar.
In the 70th minute, Jasmin Kurti? danced his way across the face of the visitor’s penalty area, but his shot was comfortably held by the Inter stopper. Marcelo Brozovi? drew a fine save from Meret moments later – who tipped the arching shot over the bar. From the resulting corner, Icardi should have made it 2-0, but his close-range shot was deflected behind by the dogged defence.
Jasmin Kurti? missed his side’s best chance of the game in the 75th minute: SPAL raced through the Inter defence with some smart link-up play, before finding the Slovenian international unmarked on the back-post. Kurti? was unable to convert from ten yards out – leaning back and powering a wild effort over the bar to the relief of the travelling Inter fans.
As the game head into the final ten minutes, Mirco Antenucci clipped a perfect cross into the penalty area – which was completely missed by the onrushing Handanovi?, but Paloschi’s free header flew just over the crossbar as SPAL passed up yet another clear goalscoring opportunity.
In the 91st minute, Antenucci clipped an inviting ball across the face of goal, allowing Paloschi to break free of his marker and power a header beyond his Handanovi? and into the bottom right-hand corner of the net.
SPAL held on for the point, with Inter racking up the unwanted record of two months without a win in Serie A after a particularly lacklustre, directionless display.