STRAMA OVERRUNS

Sneijder kicks things off.  Inter unleashed in Euro debut.

The Nerazzurri control the match well in a hostile environment in Split: Hajduk have no escape.

Goals from Wes, Nagatomo and the icing on the cake by Coutinho.

Split – Milan Rapajc was right.  He was the prince in Perugia and here, in Split, he is the undisputed king.  He knows that Hajduk are life, death and miracles.  “Inter are too strong, they’ll win two or three to zero,” he told the Gazzetta dello Sport on Wednesday night.  He had no doubt about it despite the fact that Inter had to play a decisive game already in August 2 with the legs that were not ready for it and in one of the most hostile stadiums in Europe.  There aren’t many stadiums that would be that lively when the score was at 0-3 where the fans lighted up the flares and waited until the end to salute their team as if they just won the game of their life.

What fans! Just fantastic.  Last night we finally understood why Hajduk asked to play at home first.  The Croatian club started the game with more speed, more aggressive and more unpredictable.  But the Nerazzurri were able to cool down the home side by playing its game with a 4-3-2-1 that has proven to be more suitable to realize the goal and not to complicate life unnecessarily.  With the flashes of Sneijder and the accelerations of Palacio who was free to go wide so that Inter can remove the points of reference.  Inter never gave Hajduk the opportunity to raise its head once they were down.  The undeniable gap in quality and techniques was there which ultimately made the difference.

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Lucky Nagatomo Stramaccioni designed Inter – in red perhaps in homage to the fresh partnership with the Chinese – by giving Zanetti the advantage over Mudingayi in the midfield with Jonathan as the right back.  And on that side is where Hajduk were making Inter a bit anxious with the movement of Jozinovic and Ozobic.  And this is where the inexperience with technical limitations of Hajduk comes in.  It is known that they have little up front and it was understood clearly when Maglica missed the chance for the 1-3 twice (the first one was just incredible).  From behind, the young Milovic all of a sudden found himself face to face with Milito who then found Sneijder one on one with the goalkeeper before putting the ball back in the net for the 1-0.  Hajduk felt like they must have lost the game at that point and Inter were rightfully better: and they are.  The Nerazzurri certainly did not need a lucky goal by Nagatomo from a deflection off of Maloca.

Coutinho lighting At that point, although Krsticevic tried to invent something with Milic and Maglica, the game, which was an unequal struggle, began to agonize.  Cambiasso could not kill the game but the came the flash of class by Coutinho who came on the field to rest Wesley Sneijder.

Source: Gazzetta dello Sport

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