By David Rodich,
After a lackluster season opening tie against Bologna and a UEFA Super Cup loss to Atlético Madrid, Inter was hoping to return to form this Saturday against Udinese. While the team didn’t exactly dazzle, they did enough to earn a 2-1 victory over a respectable side in Udinese that finished 7th in the league last year.
The scoring opened with a Lucio goal in the 7th minute. It was a measured left footed strike to the far post resulting from a poorly punched Handanovic clearance of a Sneijder corner. Unfortunately for the Brazilian, it was his poor marking that allowed an Udinese equalizer just after the half hour mark when Floro Flores rose above him to head home a Di Natale cross.
The tie was broken in the 67th minute when Samuel Eto (photo) scored on a rebound from his own missed penalty kick, which was awarded when Udinese sub Angella handled a Sneijder cross in the box. The Cameron international came very close to making it 3-1 when a beautifully struck 20 yard curving shot was denied only by the post.
Inter, while getting the victory, did not look particularly inspired, and with crosstown rival AC Milan’s recent big name signings (Ibrahimovic and Robinho), the team will have to find a higher gear if they are going to successfully defend their title. Fans must be hoping that Maicon’s knee injury heals soon, and that transfer rumors linking the dynamic attacking defender to Mourinho’s Real Madrid are indeed just rumors.