Inter barely got away with a 2-1 win at the Bentegodi, as Chievo had several chances and almost snatched an equaliser in stoppages.
The Nerazzurri needed a victory to stay in the fight for a Champions League spot and brought in Borja Valero for injured Roberto Gagliardini, again dropping Antonio Candreva in favour of Yann Karamoh. Chievo were still hovering just above the drop zone and had to grab every point they could find, having already stalled Roma and Napoli at the Bentegodi this season.
The hosts had a very bright start and thumped the upright with a Manuel Pucciarelli half-volley after just 12 minutes from a poor clearance.
Samir Handanovic then flew to fingertip an Emanuele Giaccherini scorcher out from under the crossbar, while at the other end Yann Karamoh’s scuffed finish skimmed the upright.
Handanovic was called into action again on a ferocious Fabrizio Cacciatore strike, then had his gloves stung by a Manuel Pucciarelli counter-attack. Inter kept more possession, but it was Chievo who continued to rack up the scoring opportunities.
Yet, the Nerazzurri took the lead after the restart in slightly chaotic fashion. Stefano Sorrentino parried a Marcelo Brozovic strike from distance and Danilo D’Ambrosio rolled it across for Mauro Icardi to tap in. At first, the offside flag was up to disallow the goal, but VAR showed that Joao Miranda was offside, not D’Ambrosio, so the goal was allowed to stand.
There was no debate over the second goal, a sensational example of one-touch football. Karamoh got down the right, rolled across for Rafinha, whose delightful cushioned lay-off set up Perisic to stroke home with the inside of the boot from eight yards.
Chievo shook off the shock of going 2-0 down and started to pin Inter back, but Nicola Rigoni’s volley from the D was deflected wide. Rafinha almost added a third on the counter, sprinting upfield to meet a Perisic lay-off, but was denied by Sorrentino’s knee.
Inter perhaps took their foot off the gas too early and allowed Chievo back into it, as Matias Vecino gave the ball away cheaply and Mariusz Stepinski nutmegged Handanovic to set up a very tense finale.
It was all Chievo in stoppages and with the last kick of the game, they came inches away from a point. Inglese’s glancing header found Nenad Tomovic sliding in at the far post, unable to steer it on target from point-blank range.
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