Rodrigo Palacio’s brace allowed Inter to snatch a 2-0 victory away to Sampdoria in a rescheduled Serie A fixture, as they go joint fifth alongside Lazio.
This Week 29 game was originally scheduled for March 17, but called off after flood warnings in the city. Juan Jesus returned from suspension, though Esteban Cambiasso was banned and the likes of Yuto Nagatomo, Cristian Chivu, Dejan Stankovic, Diego Milito and Joel Obi injured. Eder sat out a ban for Samp with Andrea Costa sidelined. Antonio Cassano returned to face his former club.
In the opening minute a Gianluca Sansone header was straight at Samir Handanovic, then moments later Sergio Romero got his fingertips to the ball when Rodrigo Palacio was clear on goal, taking him wide.
Handanovic was again tested, as he had to palm an Icardi header out from under the bar on Sansone’s corner kick.
Andrea Poli was booked for simulation against his former club and will be suspended for Sampdoria’s next game. Sansone fired a weak effort straight at the Inter goalkeeper and Angelo Palombo held his ground to stop Fredy Guarin on the edge of the box.
Handanovic was easily the busier goalkeeper in the first half and flew to fingertip a fierce Nenad Krsticic strike out of the far top corner on 34 minutes.
Jonathan almost gave away a goal when he slipped over twice inside his own penalty area, but Icardi was unable to make the most of the howler.
Samp were pouring on the pressure, but it was Inter who took the lead just before the break. A cross was whipped in from the left by Alvaro Pereira and Palacio got between the centre-backs for a precise glancing header. Romero got a hand to it, but could not keep the ball out from the far top corner of the net.
The Blucerchiati tried to fight back immediately, as Poli’s shot was charged down and Marcelo Estigarribia’s follow-up dipped just over the bar. At the other end, Palacio’s angled drive flashed across the face of goal.
Palombo’s free kick was off target after the restart and Handanovic got down to palm a Sansone snapshot round the far post. Icardi nodded a Lorenzo De Silvestri cross over and Shkodran Mustafi blocked Palacio’s attempt from a Cassano assist.
Handanovic smothered a Pedro Obiang strike on the volley and De Silvestri left two Inter defenders on the ground when he skipped down the right, but none of his teammates could get on to the end of the pull-back from the by-line.
A powerful Maxi Lopez free kick was plucked out from under the bar by Handanovic, who also smothered another effort from the Argentine.
Guarin should’ve scored Inter’s second in the final minute when Palacio got away from Mustafi and rolled across for the Colombian, who blasted over the bar from an excellent position.
Palacio decided to go for goal himself and it proved a wise plan, as he dribbled past three defenders to slip a delicate angled drive beneath Romero at the near post.
This result ended a run of four consecutive home wins for Samp, who in that period had scored 12 goals and conceded only one.