Bari showed Inter that even though they lacked the stars they can still put on a decent fight. They almost succeeded, but the game instead ended with Inter sharing the spoils. Instead it was a moral victory for the newly promoted side and they should leave knowing that they have deprived Inter of walking away with all three points, for the second time.
The first shot on goal was in the first 20 seconds by Wesley Sneijder, a shot that just shaved the post. This was a real opportunity for the Nerazzurri to show everyone who is in charge. However, the Biancorossi were not going to make it easy for the leaders. By the fourth minute Bari had settled into the game, even giving Inter an early scare when Edgar Alvares and Paulo Barreto had an opportunity to put the home side ahead, but were stopped by Ivan Cordoba.
Bari had another great opportunity in the thirteenth minute when there looked to be a foul by an Inter player. Bari showed great spirit going forward but lacked the quality to put in the final touch. They did however have another chance in the 28th minute. Edgar Alvares forced Julio Cesar to make a fine reflex save to deny Bari the much deserved opening goal. To the annoyance of the away supporters, Cesar was the busier of the two keepers and five minutes after Alvares’s shot Bari had another shot, but again it was denied by Cesar who pushed it behind for a corner.
The opening 45 minutes had given the Galletti more confidence and they started the second half the same as the first, running at Inter and forcing them to make a mistake. Inter finally made a mistake by giving away a penalty in the 60th minute which was converted by Barreto, and Inter showed their frustrations when just minutes later Lucio tackled Alessandro Parisi from behind, resulting in another penalty being awarded, which was again converted by Barreto for the second goal.
The Nerazzurri finally reacted shortly after when in the 69th minute a Mario Balotelli shot ricochetted kindly for Goran Pandev to pass into the back of the net for his first Inter goal. Inter were than awarded a penalty of their own five minutes later and Diego Milito stepped up to make it 2-2.
Giampiero Ventura: “It’s a shame, but I hope that Serie A can pay attention to these lads who want to make their mark and have everything it takes to do so.”
Jose Mourinho: “Obviously I’m satisfied with the fightback from 2-0 down away from home against a quality side. Obviously I’m not satisfied going 2-0 down.”
Inter once again showed that they may not be pretty to watch but they can still grind out a result. Most of all they showed that the game is never done and dusted and it’s never over till the final whistle. The reigning champions showed their ability to recover from set-backs, coming back from behind to salvage the game in consecutive fixtures. It is perhaps a worrying trend though that Inter are allowing the opposition to get the goal before they decide to react, as this may cost them later in the campaign.
However the Nerazzurri never did look impressive in attack with the likes of Milito remaining largely anonymous. They were even lazy in defence allowing Bari the opportunities to get goal bound. Luckily for Inter this was a side that lacked experience in Serie A, but Inter should seriously consider re-working their midfield. They were not tracking back and were allowing Bari to get passed them. A more experienced side like Milan would do well to make a note of this.
This could be contributed to the fact that many of their regulars, such as Dejan Stankovic, Samuel Eto’o, Thiago Motta, Cristian Chivu, and Marco Materazzi, were unavailable. Esteban Cambiasso was also missing for the entire first half and was brought on in the second half to replace Mario Balotelli in the 79th minute, much to Balotelli’s irritation. Balotelli was visibly not playing well in the team and the game felt that it would’ve gone a lot better if they had Eto’o. Balotelli had a disruptive nature about him and his reaction to being substituted in the second half just showed his immaturity.
The Biancorossi also had many key players out, most notably most of their back-line. This included: Mario Donda, Vitalii Kutuzov, Souleymane Diamoutene, Andrea Ranocchia and Sergio Almiron. But even with these players out, they were able to pressure Inter into making the first mistake.
They did however have one last opportunity to win the game, when in the death Barreto sent Alvares towards the sight of goal, but a poor first touch from the Honduran took the ball too close to Cesar, who averted the danger and helped the Nerazzurri save themselves from embarrassment.
Bari did well in attack and outran Inter in midfield to be able to put pressure on the Nerazzurri, but what they did lack was the quality and the star names to make it count in the final third. With Bari running at Inter, it did leave gaps in the defence and allowed Inter to counter-attack. Yet to the relief of the Biancorossi, Inter couldn’t make the most of it until it seemed that they might lose the game.
Bari should feel proud in their performance with Inter only marginally better. The final score further underlines it, that with all the players at their disposal, Inter was almost undone by Bari – a team with a minuscule budget. Ultimately Bari will have a boosted sense of confidence knowing that they made the reigning champions nervous.
Bari 2-2 Inter– Barreto 60 (p) 63 (p)- Pandev 69, Milito 74 (p)
Bari (4-4-2): Gillet-Bonucci, Masiello, Parisi, Delmonte- Donati, Gazzi, Koman,( Rivas 77) Alvarez( Kamata 89)- Berreto, Meggiorini
Inter (4-2-3-1): Cesar- Cordaba, Lucio, Samuel( Santon 64), Maicon- Zanetti, Muntari ( Quaresma 64)- Pandev, Sneilder, Balotelli ( Cambiasso 79)- Milito
7- Corners – 4
16 (6) – Shots ( on target) – 15 (4)
16 – Fouls – 15
3 (0) – Yellow cards ( Red) – 2 (0)
2 – Offside – 1