Inter set up Spurs clash
Guarin brace seals Inter success in Romania
Last Updated: February 21, 2013 8:14pm
Fredy Guarin: At the double for Inter
Inter Milan eased the pressure on under-fire coach Andrea Stramaccioni as Colombian midfielder Fredy Guarin scored twice to see off Romanian side Cluj in the last 32 of the Europa League.
Stramaccioni's position had come under increased scrutiny after a 4-1 defeat to Fiorentina on Sunday had left Inter with just one win in five Serie A games.
But Guarin netted twice and Marco Benassi scored a late third as Cluj were forced to play the final 10 minutes with 10 men following the sending off of Mario Camora.
The home side carved out the first opening in the fifth minute but Rui Pedro shot wide left of the goal.
But with nine minutes gone Cluj were forced into a change when the injured Gabriel Muresan was replaced by Ioan Hora.
Antonio Cassano hit a shot over the bar as Inter came more into the game.
Cluj's Roberto Maah was off target as the home side continued to look for a way back into the tie.
The game became a battle of the midfield with both teams winning free-kicks but unable to turn possession into chances.
Inter went further ahead in the tie when Guarin opened the scoring on the night with a finish from close range after Rodrigo Palacio had set up the chance in the 22nd minute.
Palacio had a shot saved by Cluj goalkeeper Jorge Mario Felgueiras as Inter attempted to press home their advantage.
Inter keeper Samir Handanovic was forced into his first save as half-time approached as he blocked an effort from Hora.
Laszlo Sepsi then shot wide as Cluj tried to put Handanovic's goal under more pressure.
Guarin netted his second in first half injury time with a shot from close range from a pass by Ricardo Alvarez.
Inter were forced into a change at the break with the injured Palacio replaced by Benassi.
Cluj's Rui Pedro tried his luck from distance but shot over from the edge of the area.
Sepsi drilled a free-kick into the wall before Hora went close for Cluj when his shot from close range was kept out by a fine Handanovic save.
Guilherme Juan blocked a shot by Pantelis Kapetanos and then Hora's effort was kept out by Alvaro Pereira as Cluj tried to find a way through.
Handanovic pulled off another fine save as Camora saw his shot kept out.
With 10 minutes to go Cluj were reduced to 10 men when Camora was sent off for a professional foul on Benassi.
Handanovic kept out another shot by Kapetanos as the home side again failed to find a way through the Inter defences.
The Italian side wrapped up the tie and a last 16 meeting with Tottenham when Benassi netted with two minutes to go.
There was still time for Hora to hit the bar with a shot in a failed bid for a late consolation goal.
Thu 21st Feb - Round of 32
Rubin0 - 1A Madrid
Cluj0 - 3Inter
Metalist0 - 1Newcastle
Lazio2 - 0M'gladbach
Lyon1 - 1Tottenham
Dnipro1 - 1Basel
Genk0 - 2Stuttgart
Fenerbahce1 - 0BATE Borisov
Olympiakos0 - 1Levante
Liverpool3 - 1Zenit
Bordeaux1 - 0Dynamo Kiev
Benfica2 - 1Leverkusen
S Bucuresti2 - 0Ajax
Hannover1 - 1A Mak'kala
Plzen2 - 0Napoli
Chelsea1 - 1Sp Prague
Europa League Group A
|3||BSC Young Boys Bern||6||10|
Europa League Group B
|1||FC Viktoria Plzen||6||13|
Europa League Group C
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|1||FC Steaua Bucuresti||6||11|
Europa League Group F
Europa League Group G
|3||Videoton FC Fehervar||6||6|
Europa League Group H
Europa League Group I
|4||Hapoel Kiryat Shmona||6||2|
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