During the 1960’s, the Nerazzurri enjoyed a golden era under the management of Helenio Herrera. The club won three Scudetti and the famous European Cup title in the 1964-65 season.
After Herrera left the post, the Nerazzurri came close multiple times to clinch the Scudetto, however came short by few points each time between 1966 and 1970.
In the 1970-71 season, Inter finally regained the Serie A title under the management of Giovanni Ivernizzi, who was promoted to first-team manager on a temporary basis, after the club parted ways with Heriberto Herrera following a 0-3 derby loss in the fifth round.
Under the management of Ivernizzi, the Nerazzurri went on an unbelievable run, winning twenty-one out of possible twenty-four points to finish the season.
During that unbeaten stretch of twenty-two games, Inter managed to surpass rivals AC Milan who had led the league majority of the season with a seemingly insurmountable lead. Roberto Boninsegna won the Capocannoniere title during that season with twenty-four league goals (in a 30 game season).
After losing the title to a surprise Cagliari side in 1969-70 season by four points, Heriberto Herrera’s side started the 1970-71 campaign by traveling to Hellas Verona for their round-one match up.
After the shock departure of Luis Suarez to Sampdoria in the summer transfer window, the Nerazzurri started the season looking for a new offensive identity.
Starting line-up for the home side consistent off Pierluigi Pizzaballa, Luigi Mascalaito, Paolo Sirena, Sergio Ferrari, Alberto Batistoni, Emiliano Mascetti, Vito D’Amato, Giambattista Moschino, Sergio Clerici, Lucio Muiesan and Angelo Orazi.
For the visitors starting eleven were, Lido Vieri, Tarcisio Brugnich, Giacinto Facchetti, Bernardino Fabbian, Mario Giubertoni, Gian Carlo Cella, Sergio Pellizzaro, Sandro Mazzola, Roberto Boninsegna, Mario Frustalupi and Mario Corso.
The first half of the match was uneventful and rather predictable. Inter more dominant of the two sides in terms of possession, maneuvered the ball around the Hellas Verona low-block.
Sandro Mazzola was the architect of the Inter midfield, dictating the flow of the match and finding cutting runs into the penalty box to create scoring opportunities.
However, both goalkeepers managed to keep a clean-sheet at the end of the first half. Once the second half got underway, Inter struck first, getting the go-ahead goal at the fifty-two-minute mark from a Roberto Boninsegna free-kick from the edge of the box.
Sandro Mazzola’s fake run-up threw off the defense and was followed up by a powerfully struck shot past Pierluigi Pizzabella in goal.
With the goal advantage in their favor, Inter forced Hellas Verona to start breaking away from the low-block tactics and look for the game-tying goal. In doing so, the Nerazzurri side had more space to play on the counterattack and managed to trouble Pizzabella in goal on a number of occasions.
With the intent of tying the game up again, Hellas Verona side retained more possession of the ball, and pressed higher up the pitch, keeping pressure on Inter to create scoring opportunities.
At seventy-two minutes mark Paolo Sirena tied the game up at 1-1 from a corner kick, however, the scoreline did not hold for long as Boninsegna’s brilliant movement inside the penalty box, led to an easy tap in at the far right post giving Inter back the lead at 2-1.
Inter managed to defend the onslaught of Hellas Verona side at the end of the game and walked away with three crucial points to start their new campaign. Roberto Boninsegna was the man of the match after scoring a brace.