Internazionale vs. Olympique Marseille  2 - 1


Zanetti hurting from Marseille blow

14 March 2012 09:51

Inter captain Javier Zanetti concedes his side's Champions League elimination to Marseille is a huge blow for the team.

The San Siro side fell victims to the away goals rule as they won the second leg of their round-of-16 encounter 2-1 in Milan on Tuesday, following a 1-0 loss in France three weeks before.

Zanetti urged Inter to leave the disappointment behind and turn their focus to Serie A now.

"We must focus on the league now and do everything we can to finish near the top. It won't be easy because this is a tough blow to take, but we'll try," Zanetti said.

"It's been a complicated season, difficult right from the beginning, but we'll try to end it as best we can."

"We're duty-bound to try and climb as high as we can and aim for third place. We know we have lots of teams in front of us but we must go for it."

Inter resume their Serie A campaign on Sunday when they host Atalanta.


´Fabulous´ Marseille do Deschamps proud

14 March 2012 05:56

Didier Deschamps hailed his side's "fabulous" qualification as Marseille produced another late show to eliminate Inter from the Champions League.

Brandao netted in the 92nd minute to silence the home faithful with a priceless away goal after Diego Milito had earlier put the hosts ahead on the night and level on aggregate with a scrambled strike.

Drama ensued when Steve Mandanda brought down Giampaolo Pazzini, with referee Pedro Proenca awarding the hosts a penalty, and sending off the Marseille captain.

Pazzini stepped up to slam home the penalty past substitute Gennaro Bracigliano to give Inter a 2-1 lead on the night, but that was not enough as Marseille progressed on away goals.

"We had difficult times, we could not score, (but) I think we had a good game, there were a few opportunities on both sides," Deschamps told TF1.

"(The game) was a bit shy offensively, but it was like the first leg. Being Champions League quarter-finalists, it's fabulous, we thank the (fans) who came. It'll be a bit manic at Marseille, after a difficult period in the league."

"There is an Italian journalist who said I was unbeaten at San Siro, either as a player for five years or as a coach. I am no longer undefeated, but we qualified!"

Goalscorer Brandao also spoke of positively of the encounter which sees his side qualify for the last eight for the first time since winning the inaugural competition in 1993.

"There were difficult moments since my return (to Marseille), but tonight we (showed we are) a group that wins together," he said. "I thank all the supporters who have pushed a lot."

Inter boss Claudio Ranieri was disappointed not to go through, but said his side had done everything in their power to overcome a dogged Marseille outfit.

"Perhaps we played better in the first leg, but I would say that we had the best chances of the tie," Ranieri told Sky Sport Italia.

"Suffering a goal at the end is surely hard to digest. This match was a snapshot of our season. We could not have done more than we did here."

"Overall, I think that our elimination is unfair. I thought that we had turned the tide after the match against Chievo, but I was wrong."

"Tonight the thing we lacked the most was luck."


Champions League: Inter 2 Marseille 1

13 March 2012 23:09

A stoppage-time goal from Brandao put Marseille into the Champions League quarter-finals despite a 2-1 loss to Inter on Tuesday.

Diego Milito had given the hosts the lead, but a long, hopeful ball from Steve Mandanda in the 91st minute was picked up by substitute Brandao, who shot home with seconds remaining to send Claudio Ranieri's side out.

The Marseille goalkeeper would be sent off moments later, but Giampaolo Pazzini’s late penalty was ultimately fruitless, as the 2-2 aggregate scoreline proved enough for Didier Deschamps' jubilant side.

Although it was the visiting side who offered the first effort on goal, Mathieu Valbuena spinning before shooting into the arms of Julio Cesar, it would be the hosts who passed up two golden opportunities in the opening 10 minutes.

Wesley Sneijder was the first culprit, inexplicably allowing his shot to be blocked by the prone Mandanda after an incisive incursion down the right from Javier Zanetti.

The magnitude of waste was matched moments later by Milito, who elected to chest a cross goalwards from four yards when a header would surely have brought the opener.

Mandanda reacted admirably to make the block, but the French goalkeeper should not have stood a chance.

Marseille's best opportunity of the first half came down the right flank, where they enjoyed much joy.

A cross from Cesar Azpilicueta picked out the fit-again Loic Remy, who aimed his header just past the post.

Chances for Inter were infrequent in the second half as Marseille played smartly. Andrea Poli blasted a half chance well over the top and the otherwise impressive Dejan Stankovic was much too high with a free kick.

Julio Cesar was not being overworked at the other end of the field, despite some neat play from the French side, but the goalkeeper did well to get down to a dangerous header from Alou Diarra following a Valbuena free kick.

With 15 minutes remaining, Inter made their breakthrough just as their build-up was at its most stagnant.

A corner was not cleared properly, and after some pinball in the box, Milito scrambled home from close range.

Inter made the more pressing case to get the game’s second goal, with Esteban Cambiasso squandering a great chance, but it was some miserable defending from the hosts that allowed Brandao to score.

The forward drifted in unnoticed to prod the ball past Julio Cesar and into the net, destroying Inter's chances of progression, and sending the visiting bench into raptures.

Pazzini’s 96th minute penalty was ultimately joyless, beating Gennaro Bracigliano who had come on for the dismissed Steve Mandanda, but there was no time even to kick off again as Marseille went through on away goals.


Ranieri welcomes back Ranocchia

13 March 2012 13:23

Inter coach Claudio Ranieri has received positive news ahead of Tuesday's Champions League home tie against Marseille.

Defender Andrea Ranocchia has been given the all-clear to play in the round of 16 second leg tie.

The Serie A lost the first leg 1-0 in the south of France .

The centre-back has spent the past few weeks on the sidelines due to a thigh injury, but is ready to make his comeback after returning to the training ground.

Ranocchia featured in Monday's training without any noteworthy problems, and has been included in the match squad for the game against Marseille at the Giuseppe Meazza.

The Italy international is likely to start the game from the bench as Maicon, Lucio, Walter Samuel and Yuto Nagatomo are expected to form the Nerazzurri's defence.


Allegri on Inter´s side against Marseille

13 March 2012 09:03

AC Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri says he will support Inter in their Champions League contest against Marseille on Tuesday.

The Nerazzurri must overturn a one-goal deficit to avoid crashing out of the competition after a 1-0 defeat at the Velodrome in the first leg of their round-of-16 tie.

Despite the rivalry between the two clubs based in the city of Milan, Allegri stated that he will cheer for Inter during the match as Claudio Ranieri's side are representing Italy overseas.

"Inter have a great chance of going through and everyone in Italy should cheer for them," Allegri told Sky Sport Italia.

"In European competitions, we need to root for the Italian teams and that is what I will do tomorrow."

Milan are already through to the quarter-finals of the competition after a 4-3 aggregate victory against Arsenal.

Meanwhile, Allegri has indicated he will move overseas once his time at Milan is over.

"It's important for me to stay in Milan for a long time, but I know that it's impossible to stay here forever," he said.

"After managing Milan, most clubs would be a step down in anyone's career."

"However, I've been learning English for a year now. After Milan I want to work abroad. England would be my first choice, then Spain."

"For me it is important before getting to the end of my career to have experiences in different countries."


Deschamps: We have nothing to lose

13 March 2012 02:58

Marseille coach Didier Deschamps says his side have 'nothing to lose' in their Champions League last 16 second-leg clash with Inter Milan.

The Ligue 1 outfit head into Tuesday night's game at San Siro with a 1-0 advantage from last month's first-leg meeting at the Stade Velodrome.

But Deschamps believes Inter remain clear favourites to progress to the quarter-finals, and feels all of the pressure is on their hosts.

"Our first leg success certainly gave us a little advantage but Inter are the favourites," Deschamps said.

"We have nothing to lose. Inter are a great team and they will do anything to get through."

"Tactically, it will be very important to defend but also to score and perform well. This is our aim."

"Inter can only win but we can also draw. Our aim was to reach the knockout phase but we will do our best to keep going as far possible."

Marseille go into the game on the back of four successive defeats in Ligue 1, but goalkeeper Steve Mandanda does not believe their domestic form will affect their performance in Milan.

"It's clear that we just lost four straight games, so we do not arrive here in the best shape," he said.

"But this is a different competition. We know there is a place in the quarter-finals at stake at the end of this match."

"It will be difficult, against a good team. But I think we're in the right frame of mind because the first leg went well for us."


Champions League preview: Inter Milan v Marseille

12 March 2012 10:28

Inter Milan broke their poor run of form just in time for their Champions League round-of-16 second-leg against Marseille on Tuesday.

Claudio Ranieri's men were winless in nine matches in all competitions before recording a 2-0 victory at Chievo in Serie A on Friday.

The win eased the pressure on the under-fire Ranieri, although failure to overturn a 1-0 deficit against Marseille could spell the end for the Italian manager.

Inter Milan president Massimo Moratti again threw his support behind Ranieri after goals from Walter Samuel and Diego Milito gave the Serie A giants a much-needed win against Chievo.

"It's not easy for a coach to read in the papers every day that there's a new coach coming in to replace him," Moratti told Sky Sport Italia.

"Ranieri is professional, he's getting on with his job and he has my complete support in this difficult time that he's experiencing and that we're trying to get through."

With the likes of Wesley Sneijder, Diego Forlan and Milito in his side, Ranieri would expect his team to overcome Marseille in the second leg.

Since the 1-0 win over Inter on February 22, Marseille have lost four straight Ligue 1 matches to slip to eighth on the table.

Didier Deschamps' men have failed to score in all four of those outings, although star forward Loic Remy returned from injury to play 45 minutes in the loss to Ajaccio on Friday.

Remy, who has been linked with a move to Tottenham, will provide the spark Marseille have been missing in recent league outings.

Marseille have been unable to advance to the last eight of the Champions League since winning the competition in 1993.

An early goal at the San Siro would be a huge advantage for Marseille, but their recent struggles in attack suggest they will find it difficult to break through.

Ranieri will be desperate to see his side progress to the quarter-finals to ease the pressure on his position.


Buoyant Milito eyes Inter win

12 March 2012 09:51

Inter stiker Diego Milito is confident his team-mates can turn around the 1-0 Champions League deficit against Marseille on Tuesday.

The Serie A giants were narrowly beaten by Marseille following Andre Ayew's stoppage time goal, but Milito believes that Inter have the quality to progress to the quarter-finals.

"We're convinced we can overturn the result. We played very well in the first leg and didn't deserve to lose. We're sure that we can win with the help of our fans," Milito told Sky.

"We're sure we can still do well in the Champions League. Of course it is a different sort of competition. If we get through this round we'll be among the top eight teams in Europe."

"Tuesday's match is massive and we're desperate to do well. And after that we'll have everything to play for – this team have already shown they're capable of going all the way."

Serie A table

# Team MP D P
2 29 +44 73
3 29 +26 59
4 28 +26 55
5 29 +30 54
6 28 +9 50

Ligue 1 table

# Team MP D P
1 31 +74 83
2 30 +42 66
3 30 +24 59
4 30 +26 57
5 30 +3 45
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