Lucio 70, Balotelli 89
Both teams stated the game rather cautiously, knowing what the result of this game would mean. Juventus were hoping that this game could spur a revival and put them back on track and Inter were just looking to increase their domination on the Italian game. After about five minutes of sizing each other up, Inter had the first shot on goal as Wesley Sneijder had the first opportunity to open the scoring for the Nerazzurri. Luck, however, was on Juve’s side as after 10 minutes Diego scored the opener with a little help from the Inter goalkeeper. Francesco Toldo made a complete howler by letting the ball go straight through his hands into the back of the net. Diego shot was straight at the Inter goalkeeper and had it been Julio Cesar, Inter’s first choice goalkeeper, the ball would not have gone in. After the goal Juve had grown in confidence and started taking pot-shots at the goal whenever they could, hoping that one would get through.
As the game progressed Juve were beginning to lose possession in midfield, thanks to Momo Sissoko. The midfielder didn’t seem like he had fully recovered from his previous injuries and was just thrown into this game due to all the injuries that The Old Lady has suffered of late. The Bianconeri are currently without Mauro Camoranesi, David Trezeguet, Hasan Salihamiszic, Alessandro Del Piero, Claudio Marchisio and Vincenzo Ianquinta. The latter hasn’t played a game since October of last year. A rational person would look at this as a severe handicap for any team, but especially more if coming up against a team with the strength in depth as Inter. Against a Nerazzurri side that boasts the talents of Sneijder, Diego Milito, Mario Balotelli, Davide Santon and Esteban Cambiasso, there was realistically only going to be one result.
Whatever Jose Mourinho said in the changing rooms at half time had increased the intensity of the match and it was visible that Inter were not going to lose this game, as the inevitable goals from Inter came. The Nerazzurri did what came naturally to them – they remained organised and kept pressing Juventus until they made a mistake. The equalising goal came in the form of a free-kick, which was taken by Sneijder and tapped in by Lucio at the far post after a deflection off the wall, and the second came right at the death from an unmarked Balotelli in the 89th minute, after Buffon could only parry away Thiago Motta’s shot from the edge of the box. This had destroyed any hopes of a Juve comeback and had failed to revive them because it seems as the Bianconeri are still spiralling further and further off track.