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Match Review: Inter vs. Sampdoria

Posted by Aymen Gheddai Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Inter versus Sampdoria was always going to be one of the highlights of Round 25. This match-up was anticipated for
various reasons, the Luigi Del Neri/Jose Mourinho tactical duel (the Italian appearing to have the Portuguese's number in previous encounters) and the potential that Inter could drop points at the top of the table. In spite of that, the talking points after the match were largely based on non-football matters. Inter approached the match like a typical home side would as they were looking to retain possession and create opportunities through their dominance. Sampdoria, on the other hand, had an approach of trying to win the midfield battle to limit Inter's potency. In addition, Samp utilized a well-timed offside trap in an effort to neutralize Milito and Eto'o.

Inter started to cause problems in the 13th minute as Samuel connected with Sneijder's corner only to see his header go over. Two minutes later Stankovic rifled a shot from the right but it went harmlessly wide as neither team's keepers were tested yet. The two Inter attempts woke Sampdoria up and in the 16th minute Pazzini scooped the ball over the Inter defense for Poli, but his shot was smothered by Julio Cesar. In the 31st minute Samuel was guilty of elbowing Nicola Pozzi which earned him his second yellow and a sending off. Seven minutes later Pozzi was on the receiving end of another Inter player's reckless challenge, this time the culprit was Ivan Cordoba. A poorly timed tackle resulted in Cordoba being booked for the second time, and consequently Inter were down to nine men.

Despite Sampdoria holding a two man advantage, the team from Genoa were far too hesitant in the second half, instead it was the hosts who came out strong surprising the visitors. Sneijder had his free kick saved in the 54th minute. One minute later Eto'o was booked for diving after a non-existent foul by Luciano Zauri. Mourinho decided to laugh sarcastically at referee Paolo Tagliavento for his decision(s) which in turn sparked the Inter faithful to waive white hankerchiefs in protest. The match provided another twist in the 73rd minute as Pazzini was guilty of a second bookable offense which meant he would be joining Samuel and Cordoba on the red card list. Sampdoria had a half chance through Pozzi's header in the 77th minute, but the best chance fell to Eto'o in the 79th, however Storari pulled off a great save to deny Inter maximum points.

The match would end in a 0-0 draw and Sampdoria were clearly the happier team in the end, but questions should be asked of both teams. For Sampdoria, one can only imagine why they did not attempt to exploit the two man advantage they possessed for 52 minutes. As for Inter, obtaining a draw with nine men is quite respectable, however the attitude of everyone involved from the coach, to the players, and even the fans was anything but respectable.

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