New Inter Milan coach vows to get the team back to their best following disastrous start under Gian Piero Gasperini.
|Inter Milan defender Lucio celebrates after scoring the third goal against Bologna [EPA]|
Claudio Ranieri’s Inter Milan reign began with a victory after two goals in the last 10 minutes secured a 3-1 victory at Bologna on Saturday.
It was the 2010 Champions League winners’ first success this season having lost four out of five games, and drawn the other, before previous coach Gian Piero Gasperini was fired in midweek.
Neighbours AC Milan also secured three points as veteran midfielder Clarence Seedorf scored the only goal in a 1-0 win at home to rock-bottom Cesena who are still without a point.
Giampaolo Pazzini gave Inter a first-half lead before Alessandro Diamanti equalised from the spot.
The winner came from a somewhat generous penalty award in which Bologna’s Archimede Morleo was dismissed after the slightest of contact with Diego Milito in the box.
Milito converted the 81st-minute spot-kick before Brazil centre-back Lucio added a third, three minutes from time.
“It was important to start off on the right foot, the lads need to rediscover the path to victory and their self-confidence”
Inter coach Claudio Ranieri
“It was important to start off on the right foot, the lads need to rediscover the path to victory and their self-confidence,” said Ranieri.
“The first half was good, we used the ball well and played some good football in certain situations with Coutinho.
“In the second half they (Bologna) started to push forward and I tried to tighten things up (by withdrawing Coutinho).
“They’re a good group, wholesome, they’re winners and those that have known sweet things cannot get used to bitter ones.”
The difference in Inter under Ranieri was immediately apparent as they showed more verve and energy and went about attacking their hosts with considerable gusto.
They should have been in front on eight minutes as Daniele Portanova fluffed a clearance but from eight yards out Walter Samuel shot straight at Jean Francois Gillet, who saved with his feet.
Moments later Cristian Chivu played Bologna captain Marco Di Vaio onside but from the inside left channel the striker fired wildly beyond the far post and crossbar.
In a frenetic opening Inter’s Diego Forlan then hit a fine strike from distance that clipped the outside of the post while Brazilian playmaker Coutinho, in for the injured Wesley Sneijder, fired just past the post from the edge of the area.
Diamanti tried to surprise Julio Cesar with a low free-kick from out wide but the Brazilian stopper saved easily at his near post.
Inter went in front on 39 minutes but largely due to a clanger from Gillet.
Forlan set up Pazzini whose shot from 22 yards didn’t lack power but was close to Gillet, who got a hand on it but somehow let it in at his near post.
|Ranieri replaced Gasperini as Inter coach this week and will be expected to deliver the goods [GETTY]|
Inter were on the attack again after the break as Coutinho embarked on a mazy dribble before his shot was blocked and Esteban Cambiasso inadvertently chipped the follow-up onto the bar.
Bologna started to come back into the game and Cesar had to make a smart stop to deny Di Vaio’s header.
Samuel then manhandled Portanova to the ground in the box at a corner and the referee pointed to the spot.
Cesar dived the right way and got a touch on Diamanti’s spot-kick but the ball still sneaked into the corner on 66 minutes.
Diamanti almost scored with a devil of an inswinging free-kick that needed only the slightest of touches to divert it in, instead sailing just past the far post.
Gillet was forced off with an injured shoulder after a clash with Ghana midfielder Sulley Muntari to be replaced by Federico Agliardi, who was soon picking the ball out of the net.
Morleo tangled with substitute Milito as he ran onto Pazzini’s backheel, the Argentine crumbling to the ground.
Morleo was dismissed, presumably for a professional foul, and Milito dispatched the spot-kick.
Lucio then headed home a Muntari free-kick three minutes from time against the 10 men.