#NerazzurriClassics – When A Masterful Mazzola Led Inter To A Win Vs SPAL

#NerazzurriClassics – When A Masterful Mazzola Led Inter To A Win Vs SPAL
October 5, 2018 12:00
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In 1966/67 season, the Nerazzurri were on a mission to defend the league title and got a flying start, winning eight from their first nine matches to start the season. Under the stewardship of Helenio Herrera and led by an in-form Sandro Mazzola, Inter were leading the scudetto race against Juventus by five points by the time they went to Stadio Paolo Mazza to take on SPAL for a round 21 match-up.

After avoiding relegation by one point in the previous season, SPAL were in struggling and found themselves in relegation battle yet again, as Nerazzurri came to town looking to add-on to their lead at the top of the league table. They had gone five matches without a win and their last victory came in round fifteen when they managed to secure three points at home against AS Roma. SPAL had only managed to score one goal in their last five matches, while giving up five goals during that stretch.

Going into the match, the momentum was in favor of the Nerazzurri who were in fine form, winning their last three matches by scoring ten goals combined, while completely shutting down their opposition and maintaining clean sheets throughout. However, SPAL were not going go down without a fight and took an early lead at the ten minutes mark when their striker Ivano Bosdaves put the ball in the back of the net to put the home side on top with a 1-0 lead and ending Inter’s 304 minutes goalless streak!

After conceding the early goal, Inter immediately went on the offensive to score the equalizer. The breakthrough came at twenty-six minutes mark when Inter captain Armando Picchi’s shot from outside the box, struck the cross-bar and the rebound landed in front of goal for Facchetti to head it over the goal keeper into the far post, to bring the teams on level terms at 1-1.

Inter continued to pile the pressure on SPAL to look for the go ahead goal. They didn’t have to wait long, as Sandro Mazzola received the ball at the edge of the box at twenty-nine minute mark and shot a missile into the top left hand corner, leaving no chance for Ernesto Galli to save. The superlative strike gave Inter complete control of the match, as they took a 2-1 lead going into half-time.

SPAL, who were struggling coming into the match, after seeing an early lead disappear and having been dominated by Inter since, looked demoralized. Inter would go on to add a third goal when Mazzola received a pass at the edge of the box from striker, Renato Cappellini and dribbled through SPAL defense, pulling defenders away from center of the box, leaving wide open space for Cappellini to run into and score an easy tap-in. The game ended with a 1-3 score and Mazzola came away as man of the match with a goal and an assist. The win gave Inter crucial 3 points and allowing them, for the time being, to keep pressure on Juventus for the scudetto race.

Bilal Mirza
By Bilal Mirza