Inter thought they had their first win in two months, but Alberto Paloschi earned a last-gasp SPAL equaliser after Francesco Vicari’s own goal.
The Nerazzurri were without a win in six rounds and had fallen three points adrift of third-placed Lazio, so were in dire need of a boost. Luciano Spalletti had no injury concerns, plus January buys Rafinha and Lisandro Lopez on the bench. The Spallini missed Marco Borriello, Eros Schiavon and Pa Konate and had two points from the last four games, but gave 20-year-old goalkeeper Alex Meret his first start of the season after a serious injury.
The shot-stopper made his first save on 13 minutes, using his legs to parry an Antonio Candreva angled drive at the near post. Ivan Perisic’s volley flashed across the face of goal, then completely missed the ball when a corner was punched into his path.
Mauro Icardi swung his boot at a cross from 10 yards, but Vicari bravely flung himself in the way, doing just enough to put the striker off.
On the stroke of half-time, it was Milan Skriniar’s turn to take a fresh-air shot from a promising position.
Eder replaced Candreva, but it was SPAL who gifted the opener to Inter when Francesco Vicari was at full stretch to prod a seemingly harmless Joao Cancelo cross into his own net.
Inter almost returned the favour, a Federico Viviani effort deflected up into the air and just off target. Meret flew to palm Matias Vecino’s strike over after a smart Perisic pull-back, while Cancelo curled wide.
SPAL threatened an equaliser during a chaotic set play situation, as Joao Miranda was able to clear with his knee in the six-yard box and Vicari’s follow-up was charged down.
Marcelo Brozovic and Jasmin Kurtic had efforts from distance, but Kurtic should’ve equalised on 75 minutes when left totally unmarked on a cross only to blast over from 12 yards.
Alberto Paloschi also wasted a golden opportunity, nodding over after Handanovic missed the cross. SPAL kept pushing, Inter continued to sit back on their lead and were eventually punished, as Antenucci’s cross-shot was met by a diving Paloschi header from six yards.
Rafinha made his Inter debut just days after completing the transfer from Barcelona, on loan with option to buy, but if anyone looked likely to win, it was SPAL, as in stoppages Alberto Grassi volleyed over the bar from a corner.
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