SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 31 - 8 Apr 2018 (11.30 UK)
Torino 1 - 0 Inter
Ljajic 36 (T)
Stadio Grande Torino

Adem Ljajic and Walter Mazzarri punished their former club as Torino got their first home win over unlucky Inter in 24 years.

Mazzarri faced his former club for the first time since he was fired in November 2014 and wasn’t the only familiar face, as Adem Ljajic, Nicolas Burdisso, Cristian Ansaldi and Joel Obi are also ex-Inter men. Tomas Rincon was suspended with M’Baye Niang injured, while the Nerazzurri missed Matias Vecino and rested Rafinha in favour of Borja Valero.

Inter had been unbeaten in 21 of their last 23 meetings with Torino across all competitions, and the Granata hadn’t defeated the Nerazzurri at home since February 1994.

It was a bright start from the hosts, as Iago Falque was just unable to meet a smart chipped Ljajic ball to the back post, but Salvatore Sirigu got away with a flap on a cross because Ivan Perisic fired straight at him.

Sirigu did much better moments later, flying to fingertip a Mauro Icardi volley out from under the bar, and parried from Candreva on a Maurito assist.

Ivan Perisic rose above Emiliano Moretti to reach a corner, only to see his looping header bounce off the top of the crossbar.

Candreva’s volley tested Sirigu again from a set play and Belotti at full stretch couldn’t keep the long Nicolas Andre Burdisso assist on target.

Torino took the lead against the run of play, as Perisic’s attempt to stop a Belotti counter-attack in turn accidentally sent Lorenzo De Silvestri down the right, and the roll across found Ljajic to tap in at the back post. The Serbian former Inter player refused to celebrate.

Icardi scuffed a promising Joao Cancelo cross with the inside of the boot and Toro had the ball in the back of the net again before half-time, but Iago Falque had wandered marginally offside.

De Silvestri’s header was over from a Ljajic free kick, but the wing-back almost scored a wild goal from another set play. He managed to volley with his toe with his back to goal and it was looping in under the bar, but Samir Handanovic flew for an extraordinary fingertip save.

Moments later, Cristian Ansaldi surged forward and set up Ljajic, whose shot flashed across the face of goal to scrape a coat of paint off the far post.

Sirigu was also called into action by a Milan Skriniar header and when he was beaten by Joao Miranda on a corner, Nicolas N’Koulou acrobatically cleared off the line on 64 minutes.

It did not seem to be the Nerazzurri’s day, as Perisic’s first touch on a smart dinked Marcelo Brozovic pass over the top was heavy, allowing Sirigu to smother.

Substitute Rafinha couldn’t believe his control and volley from a corner hadn’t gone in when it beat Sirigu only to smack against the base of the far post.

Yann Karamoh’s scorcher was fingertipped over the bar and Luciano Spalletti even threw Andrea Ranocchia on to play as an extra centre-forward in the final minutes, but the siege didn’t break through Granata defences.

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Torino: Sirigu; N'Koulou, Burdisso, Moretti; De Silvestri, Baselli (Acquah 79), Obi (Valdifiori 88), Ansaldi; Ljajic; Iago Falque (Edera 72), Belotti
Inter: Handanovic; Cancelo, Skriniar, Miranda, D'Ambrosio (Ranocchia 88); Gagliardini, Brozovic; Candreva (Rafinha 58), Borja Valero (Karamoh 68), Perisic; Icardi
Ref: Tagliavento