Inter hammered by Udinese
Last Updated: 19/05/13 10:52pm
Antonio Di Natale celebrates his goal against Inter
Udinese made no mistake in tying down the final automatic Europa League place by condemning Inter Milan to one last defeat at the end of a miserable Serie A season at San Siro.
There was no prospect of continental competition for the Azzurri, who limped over the line to finish ninth, but Udinese knew victory would bar Lazio from snatching fifth place.
Quickfire goals from Giampiero Pinzi and Maurizio Domizzi proved the visitors' intent with Antonio Di Natale, Gabriel Silva and Luis Muriel later rendering efforts from Juan Jesus and Tommaso Rocchi mere consolations.
The coming days promise to reveal more about Inter boss Andrea Stramaccioni's future as president Massimo Moratti plots significant renovations before next season.
After navigating his way unsteadily through a troubled first full season as a Serie A coach, Stramaccioni was simply eager to drag his injury-plagued squad over the line with some dignity.
The opening 10 minutes did nothing to support his claim to the Inter hotseat, however, as ambitious Udinese struck twice to leave their hosts stunned.
In fact it took Pinzi just 42 seconds to burst onto Allan's pass before shrugging off the attentions of Jesus to beat former team-mate Samir Handanovic to his right.
Esteban Cambiasso hoped to have dissuaded Udinese from dealing further damage when he cleared Di Natale's header off the line, but he was wrong.
The veteran Bianconeri striker decided to prove his worth from outside the box and his curled free-kick found its mark as Domizzi rose to head home at the far post.
Inter did bite back in the 12th minute as Jesus capitalised on a miskick from Ricky Alvarez to beat goalkeeper Zeljko Brkic to the ball and slot it home.
Brkic had better luck with a Fredy Guarin daisy-cutter before Di Natale came close to scoring Udinese's third, only for Handanovic to get fingers to his angled drive.
There were further opportunities for Rocchi and Alvaro Pereira to level the tie before Di Natale reopened a two-goal lead in sensational style four minutes before the break.
It appeared the ball had a mind of its own as it somehow changed direction mid-flight to nestle inside the far post following Di Natale's perfect connection.
The punishment continued after the break but Di Natale did not play much of a role when Udinese pulled three goals clear.
This time Silva was the man on the end of a Bianconeri counter-attack and, with only Handanovic to beat, he slipped the ball into the net with a deft finish.
Inter finally showed some defiance and after he had rattled a post, Rocchi fired Guarin's low cross home from distance.
It was a false dawn, though, as Udinese found their fifth goal in the 65th minute.
Muriel looked offside when he seized on Allan's through-ball but, thanks to calamitous defending from Yuto Nagatomo and Handanovic, his finish was a simple one.
There was no more Inter could do to stem the tide and as Udinese's players started making plans for another season in Europe, Stramaccioni led his players down the tunnel for what could be the last time.
Italian Serie A
Italian Serie A