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Italian Serie A

Stadio Giuseppe Meazza (ATT 42,797) 25th August 2013 - Kick off 17:00 Ref: M Guida

Inter Inter Milan vs Genoa Genoa

Inter 2

Y Nagatomo (75)
R Palacio (90+2)


Genoa 0

Inter labour to victory

Last Updated: 25/08/13 7:21pm

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Yuto Nagatomo celebrates his goal for Inter Milan

Yuto Nagatomo celebrates his goal for Inter Milan

Walter Mazzarri claimed victory in his first Serie A game as Inter Milan coach but the manner of an uninspiring 2-0 win over Genoa left the new boss with plenty to think about.

Inter, who finished a dismal ninth last season, toiled without reward for 75 minutes against Genoa until Yuto Nagatomo's fortuitous finish sparked a late rally.

Rodrigo Palacio's goal in second-half stoppage time flattered Inter as Genoa, who narrowly avoided relegation in May, had looked a much-improved side across 90 minutes.

Mazzarri's switch to a 3-5-1-1 formation allowed Inter to dominate possession but lone striker Palacio often cut an isolated figure.

Andrea Bertolacci skipped past a Nerazzurro shirt in the early exchanges, Hugo Campagnaro shutting him down, but there was no one watching Alberto Gilardino when he missed with a free header.

Fredy Guarin then fed Palacio with a sublime through-ball but Thomas Manfredini cleared before he could pull the trigger.

Andrea Ranocchia came closer for Inter when nodding Ricky Alvarez's cross wide and, in the 26th minute, Guarin pulled up just short of Jonathan's low cross to the far post.

Genoa broke forward just before half-time and Juraj Kucka glanced Francesco Lodi's cross wide before the referee blew his whistle.

Samir Handanovic needed to snatch the ball from Bertolacci's feet after he pounced on Gilardino's lay-off following the restart.

Mazzarri introduced former Sampdoria striker Mauro Icardi on 53 minutes and the move almost paid immediate dividends with the tricky Argentinian producing the first shot on target.

His free header from a Campagnaro pass was easily stopped by Mattia Perin, but the chance sparked much needed urgency in both teams.

Kucka bamboozled Jonathan to drive the ball into the Inter box, Ranocchia clearing, and Guarin soon raced up the other end to feed Palacio, who was a yard shy of tucking home.

The near miss boosted the hosts' confidence and, after Perin had blocked a snapshot from Guarin, Inter finally found a way through.

It was not immediately clear who had scored as Jonathan's cross bounced off Luca Antonelli and a surprised Perin, before clattering off a grateful Nagatomo on the goal-line.

Inter wanted a second goal to kill the game off and Icardi soon hit the crossbar with a header before Perin denied Ranocchia with a fingertip save.

The late siege would wear down Genoa's resolve and a splendid assist from Guarin three minutes into time added on allowed Palacio free rein to clip home over Perin's shoulders.

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Italian Serie A

Italian Serie A
Pos Team P Pts
1 Juventus 28 67
2 Roma 28 53
3 Lazio 28 52
4 Sampdoria 28 48
5 Napoli 28 47
6 Fiorentina 28 46
7 Torino 28 39
8 AC Milan 28 38
9 Genoa 27 37
10 Inter Milan 28 37
11 Palermo 28 35
12 Udinese 27 33
13 Empoli 28 33
14 Sassuolo 28 32
15 Chievo 28 32
16 Verona 28 32
17 Atalanta 28 26
18 Cagliari 28 21
19 Cesena 28 21
20 Parma 26 9