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Richard Hall – Nerazzurri Classics: Sosa and Schillaci sink Lazio at San Siro
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 todays match against Lazio Richard looks back to the 1992/93 season fixture against Lazio.
The 1992/93 season was a successful one for the Nerazzurri. Second in Serie A and a Coppa Italia quarter final exit were considerable gains, when taking into account Andreas Brehme, Lothar Matthäus and Jürgen Klinsmann had all departed in the summer.
This left Inter with the problem of restructuring the squad whilst juggling with a tough season, a job Osvaldo Bagnoli did with considerable style. In came Uruguayan Ruben Sosa, Russian playmaker Igor Shalimov, German midfielder Matthias Sammer, promising Yugoslav Darko Pancev and a certain Salvatore Schillaci, who had left so many people with so many fantastic memories after Italia 90.
By the time Inter welcomed Lazio, there was only five games left in the season and the Nerazzurri still had real ambitions of catching city rivals AC Milan. Lazio themselves were also having a prosperous season under Dino Zoff and were still in contention for the European places. Having won the earlier game in the Stadio Olimpico in Rome 3-1, Lazio were confident that they could cause Inter problems again. Their squad was filled with talent as they boasted players like Diego Fuser, Paul Gascoigne, Aron Winter, Karl-Heinz Riedle and of course, the deadly Giuseppe Signori.
The match itself took an early twist, as after only two minutes Inter won a free kick about 25 yards out. Ruben Sosa presided over the ball will a look of determination. On his approach Roberto Bacci broke ranks in the Lazio wall and charged the ball down. The ball struck him and proceeded to loop over stranded goalkeeper Valerio Fiori. It went down as an own goal and in truth was perhaps just deserts for the illegal charge.
The game after this saw both sides create chances. Sosa stung the hands of Fiori moments later with a thunderous drive from out on the right. Signori responded for Lazio but his free kick had none of the luck nor the power of Sosa’s earlier effort and was easily collected by Inter goalkeeper Walter Zenga. Inter nearly grabbed a second when a clever ball forward by Nicola Berti found Sosa in an onside position with nobody to beat but the goalkeeper. Lazio keeper Fiori won the race however as he came charging out of his area and cleared the ball. This only went as far as Schillaci but his first touch let him down and out came Fiori again to clear the danger.
The game was wrapped up in the 86th minute when a fine flowing move saw Berti slide a ball into Sosa at the perfect time. He broke down the left to deliver a pin point pass into Schillaci who tapped in from close range. There was a hint of offside but the sight of Sosa dropping to his knees in celebration in front of the Curva Nord dismissed any doubt.
This result did not act as the springboard that they as hoped and in the following matches saw them draw at Genoa and at home to Foggia before losing to Parma. This effectively ended the Nerazzurri’s title challenge.