It’s 1991 and reigning European Footballer of the year Lothar Matthaus along with his FIFA World Cup winning teammates from Germany, Jurgen Klinsmann and Andreas Brehme are all in Inter’s squad. Expectations to win the Scudetto are sky high and Inter were in a tight Scudetto race against rivals AC Milan and a surprising Sampdoria side led by capocannoniere Gianluca Vialli, Roberto Mancini and Gianluca Pagliuca.
On matchday fifteen, Genoa traveled to Milano to face Inter at San Siro. Leading up to the match, Inter were living up to their Pazza Inter moniker. After defeating Parma, Milan and Napoli in a three game stretch, not only had Inter dropped points by tying against midtable sides Bari and Fiorentina, but also lost a crucial match against Scudetto contenders Sampdoria. Against Genoa, Inter were looking to get back to their winning ways and keep their title winning hopes alive.
On the other hand, Genoa were having a typical midtable season thus far. Winning only three games in first half of the season and tying seven. Even though Genoa defense was averaging one goal a game in their previous five matches leading up to the clash at San Siro, they were the more confident side as they managed to not only hand Sampdoria their only defeat of the season thus far, but also beat Parma, tied against Lazio and thrashed relegation fighting Cesena by a three-goal margin.
Inter started the game with a 3-4-3 formation with Walter Zenga in goal and defense of captain Giuseppe Bergomi, Andreas Brehme and Antonio Paganin. Midfield quartet led by Lothar Matthaus, Sergio Battistini, Fausto Pizzi, Nicola Berti and attacking trident of Jurgen Klinsmann, Aldo Serena and Alessandro Bianchi. To counter the Nerazzurri lineup, Genoa started out in a 4-4-2 formation with Simone Braglia and defensive line of Brazilian left-back Branco, Nicola Caricola, Gianluca Signorini, Vincenzo Torrente. Mario Bortolazzi, Stefano Eranio, Roberto Onorati and Gennaro Ruotolo making up the midfield and Carlos Aguilera and Tomas Skuhravy as the attacking duo.
Inter took the early advantage in the match as Lothar Matthaus converted a penalty at sixteen minute mark after a lobbed pass from Bergomi resulted in Braglia taking out Matthaus inside the box. Despite the early lead for Inter, Genoa came out attacking Inter on the counter and came close to score the tying goal when Aguilera’s cross to far left post found Branco unmarked for an easy tap-in. However, the goal was called off as the Genoa left-back was called offside. Genoa continued to create number of chances to find the tying goal, however the Bergomi, Paganin and Zenga stood strong and managed to keep a clean sheet in first half.
After a strong first half performance by Genoa, Trapattoni surely had to make few adjustments at half-time to secure the two points as it was then at home. As play resumed, Inter started applying pressure on Genoa higher up the pitch to try and win the ball back. This paid off early when Klinsmann intercepted a pass from Genoa center-back to goal-keeper Braglia and dribbled around the on-rushing keeper to score Inter’s second of the match and his seventh goal of the season, in an empty net. Inter continued to apply pressure on Genoa despite the two-point lead and created a number of chances with Klinsmann as the target man in attack, however Braglia managed to parry them away. Despite Inter’s second half dominance, Genoa managed to pull one back as Stefano Eranio chipped the ball over an on-rushing Walter Zenga with eighteen minutes left in the game.
The game ended 2-1 in favor of Nerazzurri as Inter secure three crucial points over Genoa and catapult the team into second spot ahead of rivals AC Milan in race for the Scudetto. Genoa went on to finish the season strong and finished in fourth place and surprised everyone by qualifying for UEFA Cup in 1991-92 season.