Flying Donkeys Leave Rafael Benitez Dangling

Chievo scored for the first time in four matches to earn a shock 2-1 win over Serie A champions Internazionale at the Stadio Marc Antonio Bentegodi.

A towering first-half header from Sergio Pellissier and late tap-in from substitute Davide Moscardelli settled the fiery encounter in Verona, with Samuel Eto'o's stoppage time goal coming too late for an uncharacteristically sloppy Inter to mount a comeback. Rafael Benitez's side had a host of injuries, including Diego Milito, Maicon, Walter Samuel, Thiago Motta, and Christian Chivu, so Javier Zanetti slotted in at left-back while Esteban Cambiasso returned to the midfield. Meanwhile, veteran midfielder Luciano was the only notable absence for coach Stefano Pioli as four points separated these two sides at the start of play.

Inter came closest to opening the scoring after a tentative opening 10 minutes, with Eto'o pulling the strings in the visitors' front line. Rafa Benitez's men bossed possession throughout the opening half, but failed to create any more clear-cut chances, and were made to pay for a rare moment of slack defending when Chievo stole an unlikely lead in the 29th-minute through Pellissier. The half could easily have got much worse for Inter when Eto'o appeared to head butt Botjan Cesar five minutes before the interval. The referee and his assistants failed to see the former Barcelona forward drive his forehead into Cesar's chest off the ball, sparing him a blatant red card, and keeping Inter in touching distance as they headed back to the dressing room a goal down, but with a full complement of players to contest the second half.

Inter came close to beating Sorrentino in the opening moments of the second half, but soon fell back into the same pattern as the first, with Inter enjoying a sizeable proportion of the possession and doing very little with it. However, with the clock ticking ever closer to 90 minutes, Inter were undone for the second-time when Moscardelli tap-in sealed an unassailable 2-0 lead. Eto'o responded with a fine solo goal in stoppage time, but it proved to be too little too late for Benitez's side. The defeat signalled a fifth straight match without a win for Inter, who now trail league leaders and bitter city rivals AC Milan by nine points.

Related Articles:
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Benitez And His Poisoned Chalice At Inter
Rafael Benitez Out To Sustain Inter's Success

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