Print Edition - 2017-03-20 | Sports
Inter’s Champions League ambition dented: Coach
Mar 20, 2017-
Inter Milan’s bid for a long-awaited return to the Champions League has moved “further” away after a 2-2 draw with Torino that rang “like a defeat” on Saturday, coach Stefano Pioli said.
Inter travelled to the Stadio Olimpico looking for a precious win as they bid to maintain their drive for a return to Europe’s premier club event for the first time since 2012. But in a match that saw England goalkeeper Joe Hart endure a topsy-turvy night, Torino held on to snatch a point and hold Inter to just their fourth draw of the campaign. It left Stefano Pioli’s men in fifth, five points off Napoli in third.
Lamenting the errors that saw Italy international Eder and Croatia midfielder Ivan Perisic, three times, fail to make the most of late chances, Pioli admitted Inter’s European bid is now compromised. “It’s further away, yes, because the teams in front of us are strong and are winning a lot,” Pioli said when asked about their top three chances.
Hart had fans on their seats on more than one occasion, and not always for the right reason. He was to blame for poor control when a shot by French midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia, which he had stopped, somehow slipped under his hand in the 27th minute to give Inter the lead.
Daniele Baselli’s crouching header levelled for Torino just six minutes later, and Torino looked on their way to an upset when Afriyie Acquah beat Samir Handanovic in the Inter net with a superb strike from distance on the hour. Hart then seriously misjudged Cristian Ansaldi’s cross from deep on the left when he came out to try and parry it to safety. As the goalkeeper scrambled to get back into position, Antonio Candreva pounced from the right side of the area to fire inside the far post.
Hart and Handanovic both went on to make a series of crucial saves during six minutes of added-on time as the sides played to a draw which left Torino in 10th place.
Serie A Results
Torino 2-2 Inter
Milan 1-0 Genoa
Published: 20-03-2017 09:08