Thursday August 23 2012
Inter victorious over Vaslui

Esteban Cambiasso and Rodrigo Palacio gave Inter a precious away victory in their Europa League play-off first leg versus Vaslui.

Sporting their eye catching new red away strip Andrea Stramaccioni's side took to the field at the Stadionul Ceahlaul in a 4-3-2-1 formation, with Maicon a surprise starter at right back.

The Nerazzurri suffered a setback when Gabi Mudingayi had to be replaced by Yuto Nagatomo in the 21st minute, but took the lead shortly after. A corner was cleared to the edge of the box, where Esteban Cambiasso was waiting to slam a left foot volley into the bottom corner.

Wesley Sneijder went close on the half hour but there was a fright for the visitors when stand-in keeper Luca Castellazzi was forced into a flying save from Ousmane N'Doye's fierce drive.

Rodrigo Palacio was agonisingly close to doubling Inter's advantage in stoppages, flicking a shot onto the post.

After a dreary start to the second half the game burst back into life again, Fredy Guarin running into the box from a Sneijder pass but shooting straight into 'keeper Danut Coman's hands.

Elias Charalambous was inches away from an equaliser for Vaslui in the 70th minute, his volley skimming the bar after Andrea Ranocchia had sliced an incoming free kick into the air.

And Inter made the most of that good fortune by immediately scoring a second. The influential Sneijder led a break away and skidded a pass into the path of Palacio, who managed to net from an tight angle on the right.

The ponytailed Argentine has been in sparkling form throughout pre-season but this was his first competitive Inter goal.

The danger wasn't over yet though as Vaslui - who came second in the Romanian League last year and were only narrowly beaten by Fenerbahce in the Champions League qualifiers - continued to press.

Substitute Sabrin Sburlea drew an awkward stretching save from Castellazzi with a bouncing header.

A healthy lead for Inter to take into the second leg, but not one that entitles them to be complacent given their near collapse with a similar advantage against Hadjuk Split in the third round.

Vaslui 0 Inter 2

Scorers: Cambiasso 23 (I) Palacio 73 (I)

Vaslui: Coman; Milanov, Celeban, Charalambou, Salagean; Antal, Varela, Sanmartean, N'Doye; Stanciu (Vargu 45); Niculae (Sburlea 60)

Inter: Castellazzi; Maicon, Silvestre, Ranocchia, Zanetti; Cambiasso, Guarin, Mudingayi (Nagatomo 21); Sneijder (Juan Jesus 83), Palacio; Milito (Coutinho 72)

Ref: Bas Nijhuis (Ned)