By David Rodich
Both Inter and Samodoria scored a goal a piece in the second half for a 1-1 draw at the San Siro. This is Inter’s second consecutive home tie, leaving them four points behind early league leaders Lazio.
Compared to the first half, in which Inter had an astounding 70% possession and Sampdoria stayed defensively compact, the second half was run-and-gun up and down the pitch. Inter looked the more likely to open scoring, especially when Coutinho played a nice ball to Maicon who was denied by a goal line stop from Zauri, but it was the visitors who struck first instead. Just four minutes after Maicon’s chance, Cassano dispossessed Chivu in the corner before crossing to Guberti who scored on a volley that deflected off of Cesar into the Inter goal. Inter supporters complained that Cassano’s challenge was a foul, but the referee disagreed letting the goal stand.
Down one, Inter threw all their chips in and went wholeheartedly forward. In the midst of this all out attack Eto’o netted his 7th goal of Serie A season and 15th overall this year to bring the home side even. While they continued to push forward desperately looking for the winning goal, the match would end like this, in a 1-1 tie.
Coach Benitez had this to say, “It was a pity to concede a goal like this, which came from a foul by Cassano that wasn’t given, and Cassano himself was looking at the linesman. You can see it from the replay. That mistake affected the game.”
He added, “The team gave a great reaction tonight. We were just lacking a bit of lucidity and luck, but we could have won.”