Stadio Renzo Barbera, Palermo, Italy
79′ Murillo Sent Off (Second bookable offence)
Roberto Mancini’s Inter extended their form of three draws to move them up into second in the Italian Serie A, as they were frustrated by an inspired Palermo side. Knowing a victory would have moved them into first place, they were unable to make the most of their chances in a game in which they were reduced to ten men, having Jeison Murillo dismissed for a second booking.
After a bright and open start for both sides it was the hosts who created the first real chance after five minutes when Achraf Lazaar picked out Alberto Gilardino with a fine cross, but the latter leaned back to head the ball over the bar. Twelve minutes later a diagonal cross found Franco Vázquez on the left but his half-volley was well-saved by Samir Handanović, with Gilardino lurking at the back-post.
It was a quiet start from Roberto Mancini’s side who, despite having some nice spells on the ball, couldn’t really get a foot-hold on the game early on. Eight minutes later, Andrea Rispoli crossed for Gilardino and again his header was high and wide under pressure from Miranda. Moments later the hosts had carved-out another opening, with the impressive Vázquez testing Handanović again, this time tipping his effort away.
However, seven minutes before the interval, the Nerazzurri almost punished them for failing to take their chances when Fredy Gurarín’s effort was charged-down to deny a certain goal. It was another Colombian however, who could have given the visitors the lead, Murillo came inches away from connecting from a teasing set-piece. The first-half drama wasn’t over though, Guarín was in the thick of the action again, seconds before the interval. He thought he should have had a penalty after Aljaž Struna had a grab of his shirt, but his claims were waved away by the referee as the first-half drew to a close.
After the interval, Inter dominated and five minutes into the half, Stevan Jovetić won a freekick, which he took himself, which drew a good save from Stefano Sorrentino in the Palermo goal. The game had died down for a period and the former Manchester City coach decided to make a change bringing on the pacey winger Jonathan Biabiany for Geoffrey Kondogbia on 55 minutes. The decision proved to be a success, five minutes into his introduction, the winger did well to bring the ball down and then put it on a plate for Ivan Perišić, who couldn’t miss from a yard out, giving the Nerazzurri the lead.
However the lead lasted barely six minutes, Vázquez found space from a set-piece to fire a deflected effort across goal that former AC Milan striker Gilardino tapped-in to draw the Rosanero level.
The goal had changed the complexity of the game, and both teams were eager to get the next goal, and the visitors almost got it when Guarín’s deflected effort was excellently tipped onto the woodwork and behind by Sorrentino. Moments later, Vázquez broke and was brought down by the already-booked Murillo, who received his marching-orders. However, it looked as though Vázquez, who was previously booked for diving, had left his foot on the Colombian’s trailing leg and played for the foul. Despite this, it was the side with ten men, that looked as if they would score.
Guarín surged forward from his own half to fire just wide of the top-corner. The ten-men had a golden opportunity, a minute from the ninety when super-sub Biabiany was one-on-one with Sorrentino, with the latter pulling-off a fine save to deny Mancini’s side the win.
The result meant that Inter climb up to second temporarily with 18 points, before Fiorentina’s showdown with Roma, and Palermo remain 11th with 12 points.