#NerazzurriClassics – When Sandro Mazzola & Mario Corso Led Inter To A Win Away Against Venezia
April 16th, 1967 – After a successful league campaign in the previous season where the Nerazzurri narrowly beat Bologna for the Scudetto by four points, the reigning champions had very ambitious plans to start the 1966-67 Serie A campaign.
The club tried to sign BOTH Franz Beckenbauer from Bayern Munich and Eusebio from Benfica after both players had a remarkable FIFA World Cup in 1966.
However due to the Azzurri’s poor performance in the same world cup, losing out to newcomers in North Korea, the Italian Federation had extended the ruling to ban foreign players in the league till 1980 in order to promote the development of Italian players.
Helenio Herrera’s side instead looked within the Serie A to strengthen the squad. This was also the season when the club changed its name from Football Club Internazionale to Football Club Internazionale Milano.
As round twenty-eight came around, Nerazzurri were gearing up for an encounter against Venezia at Stadio Pier Luigi Penzo.
As the reigning champions were coming to town, the home side Venezia were in the middle of an absolutely horrible season from every perspective. They managed to win their first game of the season in round fifteen against Lecco.
However, the team was going into the round twenty-eight match with their hopes held high as they were coming off an impressive 3-0 win against Brescia in round twenty-seven.
Sstarting for Inter were Giuliano Sarti in goal, with Aristide Guarneri, Giacinto Facchetti, Tarcisio Burgnich, Armando Picchi in defense.
Midfielders were Gianfranco Bedin, Mauro Bicicli, Luis Suarez and attacking trio of Mario Corso, Sandro Mazzola and Renato Cappellini.
For Venezia, starting eleven were Giovanni Bubacco, Francesco Cappelli, Eraldo Mancin, Beniamino Cancian, Gianni Grossi, Giulio Cesare Spagni, Candido Beretta, Angelo Pochissimo, Lucio Bertogna, Pedro Waldemar Manfredini and Silvano Mencacci.
The Nerazzurri got off to the perfect start, scoring the first goal of the match in two minutes. Facchetti’s pass forward to Mazzola was intercepted by Venezia defenders who took too long to play the pass and Mazzola stole the ball from the defender’s feet
Then he dribbled past the onrushing goalkeeper to tuck it away in the bottom right corner to give Inter an early lead.
However, the lead didn’t last long as Venezia tied it up at 1-1 at six minutes mark, when Manfredini headed home a cross from the right-wing comfortably to get the home side back into the match.
Inter methodically built-up attack through the middle with Sandro Mazzola as the focal point, consistently feeding the lone striker.
However, it was through a brilliant set-piece halfway through the first half from Mario Corso, from the right-wing almost at the corner post to curl in a shot over the wall and well-placed at the near post to give Inter a 2-1 lead.
With the league leaders hoping to go into the half-time up by a one-goal margin, the home side leveled the score at 2-2 when Lucio Bertogna scored his first goal of the season with a sensational overhead kick beating two Nerazzurri defenders in the process.
In the second half, Helenio Herrera made defensive adjustments which Venezia were unable to break while on the offensive end, Inter came close to opening the floodgates but kept hitting the woodwork.
The winning goal came at the sixty-third-minute mark when Mauro Bicicli scored his second of the season and Inter’s third and game-winning goal.
Nerazzurri led the league for thirty-three straight rounds, however, due to horrible form down the stretch where the team failed to win a single game in the last six matches allowed Juventus to win the league on matchday thirty-four.