Richard Hall – Nerazzurri Classics: Ibra – Ibra
Every week SempreInter.com editorialist, Richard Hall, takes a look back at the glorious history of Inter by highlighting a certain match, hero or any other event in Inter’s history worthy of being labelled Nerazzurri Classic’s. Ahead of tomorrow’s away fixture against Parma, Richard looks back at a fixture between the two teams where Swedish talismanci striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic won the Scudetto for Inter on the very last day of the season.
Many who made their way to the Stadio Ennio Tardini knew it would be an unavoidably nervous match, and not a particularly nice one to watch. The very heavy rain created a very slippery pitch but more importantly Inter needed to win to clinch the Scudetto. Parma also needed three points to fight off relegation. The initial minutes were somewhat cautious as expected. The home team came out very energetic, lively, and probably in better physically. Stefano Morrone in particular was playing his heart out, well aware of the magnitude of the game. As a result there were not many opportunities and few chances for either side.
The most exciting event came and went early on. In the eighth minute, news of Mirko Vucinic’s opener for Roma against Catania reached the Stadio Ennio Tardini. Roma were also playing for the title on the final day, it was a worry for Inter. ln the grand scheme of thing this goal meant that Roma were virtually Serie A champions. In the 12th minute, a Morrone cross from the right wing was deflected by Julio Cesar for a corner, whilst at the opposing end, a beautiful delivery by Mario Balotelli was narrowly missed by Julio Cruz, allowing goalkeeper Nicola Pavarini to smother.
Local fans cheered referee Stefano Rocchi’s half-time whistle as they were satisfied knowing their team’s efforts meant they were closer to staying in the division. Even if the score at the time meant relegation for Parma, there was still a great deal to be positive about in terms of the game. In contrast, Nerazzurri fans in the stadium seemed understandably worried about the status of the Scudetto. They rapidly regained their nerve however, at the sight of Zlatan Ibrahimovic who was now warming up on the touchline. The Swede embodied all Inter’s hope on what was a very grey day so far.
The Inter fans got their wish on the 51st minute when Zlatan was ordered on. The Swede quickly showed his skills and effectively changed the pace of the match. Inter were now obviously stronger in the attack whilst Parma relied more and more on counters. Things started to wrong for Parma, when (already shaken by news of the Empoli lead that would send them down), they witnessed Ibrahimovic’s opening goal. Andrea Gasbarroni lost the ball, allowing Inter to regain possession. The ball was played in to the Swede who executed a precise strike into Pavarini’s bottom-left corner.
The tide was now turning and Inter were now virtually Serie A champions. They were piling on the pressure but the Parma players certainly weren’t giving up. It soon was apparent however, that all their counterattacks fell short and only ended up allowing Inter to capitalize. A cross from Maicon on the right wing found Zlatan who was completely unmarked on the opposite post. The Swede confidently released a superb instep volley leaving Pavarini no chance. Inter were 0-2 up and the Scudetto was theirs.
To make things even sweeter and even more complete for the Nerazzurri Roma surrendered after Catania’s equalized. This guaranteed Inter’s victory and chants of “Ibra-Ibra” and “vinceremo il tricolor” rang out.
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