Catania vs. Inter Milan, Final Score 2-3: Inter snatch victory from the jaws of defeat

Claudio Villa

Inter went in at the break 2-0 down and looking doomed, but a stirring second half comeback secured three points and maybe Andrea Stramaccioni's job for the immediate future.

Rolando Maran made three changes to his Catania side from the team that beat Parma 2-1 last week, with Marco Biaganti, Alexis Rolin and Pablo Alvarez coming in for Keko and the suspended pair of Giuseppe Bellusci and Nicola Legrottaglie. Andrea Stramaccioni made five changes from his derby side, Alvaro Pereira replacing the injured Yuto Nagatomo, Cristian Chivu coming in for the suspended Andrea Ranocchia, Zdravko Kuzmanovic coming into midfield with Ezequiel Schelotto and Tommaso Rocchi coming into the attack.

Catania took the early initiative in the match, attacking right from the off with pace and purpose and rather catching Inter by surprise. Their good start was cemented when they took the lead after just seven minutes. A harmless-looking ball was pumped into the Inter box and all Juan Jesus had to do was guide it out of play for a goal kick. He was hassled by Gonzalo Bergessio and the Argentine managed to muscle the Brazilian defender off the ball, coolly finishing past Samir Handanovic to give the Elefanti an early lead.

Inter were still unable to haul themselves into the match and Catania continued to dominate possession and look dangerous every time they went forward and they deservedly doubled their lead after 19 minutes. Francesco Lodi lofted a free kick from just inside the half way line into the box and an unmarked Giovanni Marchese rose to head into the far corner.

The two goal cushion meant that Catania could allow Inter more time and space on the ball and look to pick them off on the break, but even this didn't allow Inter into the match, their midfield and final ball continually letting them down. Zdravko Kuzmanovic and Ricky Alvarez fired wide and over from distance, the only meaningful first half opportunity for the Nerazzuri coming when Alvaro Pereira's left-wing cross was prodded over by the outside of Tommaso Rocchi's boot from a good position.

Andrea Stramaccioni rang in the changes at half time, introducing Dejan Stankovic for Zdravko Kuzmanovic and Rodrigo Palacio for Tommaso Rocchi, the latter change with the intention of bringing some kind of movement and mobility to the Inter attack.

Despite the changes, it was Catania who created the first opportunity of the second half, breaking quickly after an Inter corner, Gonzalo Bergessio shooting straight at Handanovic from point blank range.

The addition of Palacio was causing the Elefanti backline more problems with his movement, and this told just seven minutes after the break. Palacio was able to make some space for himself down the right hand side and his cross from the byeline was met by an undetected Ricky Alvarez, who headed home to give Inter a foothold in the match.

After Catania totally dominated the first half, the second was much more of a contest with both sides attacking however it was Inter who were beginning to take control and push the home side further back, limiting them to counter attacking. After 70 minutes, this pressure told as Inter were level. Alvaro Pereira floated over a delightful ball from the left hand side and Palacio rose, completely unmarked, to meet it and head in.

The Nerazzuri now had the confidence of coming from two goals down and they had the chance to win it with five minutes to go, great interplay between Palacio, Schelotto and substitute Esteban Cambiasso allowed Cambiasso to shoot inches wide from inside the area.

Inter did get the winner they had been pushing for in the most dramatic of circumstances. Two minutes into added time, Esteban Cambiasso was fed in down the left hand side and strolled around Alexis Rolin. His pull-back from the bye line was met by Palacio who's side footed effort wriggled under Mariano Andujar to give Inter a sensational win that looked all but impossible at half time.

Catania: Andujar; Alvarez, Rolin, Spolli, Marchese; Lodi, Biagianti (Almiron 77); Castro, Gomez, Izco; Bergessio

Inter: Handanovic; Zanetti, Chivu, Juan Jesus, Pereira; Gargano, Kuzmanovic (Stankovic 46); Schelotto, Guarin (Cambiasso 75), Alvarez; Rocchi (Palacio 46)

Goals: Bergessio 7 (C), Marchese 19 (C), Alvarez 49 (I), Palacio 70 (I), Palacio 90+2 (I)

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