Richard Hall’s Nerazzurri Classics: Helenio Herrera’s Inter decimate poor Palermo in 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 the match against Palermo, Richard looks back to the 1962/1963 season where Inter beat Palermo 4-0.
In the 1962/63 season Inter were all powerful under President Angelo Moratti and legendary coach Heleno Herrera. This was a season that would see Inter conquer Serie A and not many teams could match them on the pitch. Palermo were certainly not up to the task as they were subjected to a humiliation as the Nerazzurri put on a show.
Inter had finished second the year before and were in the process of building a squad that would dominate the era. Sandro Mazzola, Jair da Costa, Luis Saurez, Giacinto Facchetti and Armando Picchi were just some of the names that this great team boasted. By the time the played Palermo in February 1963 they were in fine form, winning seven and drawing three, of their last ten games. This run had seen victories over Roma, Juventus and a good Bologna team and they were ready for the Sicilians.
Palermo list of players was not shambolic and the Brazilian duo of Fernando, Faustino with Swede Rune Bjoresson were at times exciting. Swedish forward Lennart Skoglund, formerly of Inter, was also on the opposing side. These players were however could not combine to keep the side in Serie A and by the end of it they had been relegated. They did however; enter the game with the knowledge that they had held this Inter side in Sicily 1-1 after Faustino cancelled out a Gerry Hitchens goal.
From the moment the game kicked off it was all Inter. Only 11 minutes were on the clock when Jair scored the first. Mazzola gathered the ball in the midfield and slotted a pin point ball through to the leggy Brazilian. He strolled through the Palermo defence and slotted calmly under the body of Claudio Bandoni in the Sicilian goal.
Inter’s second came soon after and had a lot in common with the first. Once again Mazzola picked up the ball too easily in the midfield. Once again Jair set off on a leggy run that outwitted the Palermo defence. This time Mazzola played the ball over the top with a delectable chip, Bandoni ran out again but this time the Brazilian Jair dinked the ball over the goalkeeper and the stadium erupted.
Palermo were fortunate to go into the break having only conceded two. They were resilient after the break but on 70 minutes some delightful footwork from Saurez bamboozled a Palermo defender and the Spaniards pass allowed Jair to cross the ball to Mazzola and return the favour. Mazzola made no mistake and smashed the ball home from 12 yards.
Six minutes later and Inter completed the rout, as Mazzola, Jair and Humberto Maschio were all involved in a fine passing move that left Mario Corso with nothing else to but tap home from close range.
It was an electric game that demonstrated Inter’s philosophy at the time. Stern and determined at the back with free flowing and liberated attacking options up front. It was a team of legends that is embodies what it is to be Inter.