Inter Milan succumb to Andrea Stramaccioni's Udinese


Former Inter Milan coach Andrea Stramaccioni returned to San Siro to lead his Udinese side to a 2-1 victory. After being sacked in May 2013, the young tactician took a year out before landing the Bianconeri job and his one-time employers will wonder what might have been after watching Udinese dominate proceedings in Milan. Mauro Icardi gave Inter the lead just before half-time but a sumptuous solo goal from Bruno Fernandes drew Udinese level before substitute Cyril Thereau capitalised on a defensive blunder to steer home the winner. Stramaccioni's men climb to eighth in Serie A after snapping a five-match winless streak while Roberto Mancini's Inter are marooned in the bottom half of the table on the back of their fifth defeat of the campaign. The Nerazzurri were nearly gifted the opener inside the opening minutes as Thomas Heurtaux went close to putting the ball past his own goalkeeper, Orestis Karnezis, with a careless backpass. The French defender tried to make amends by trying his luck at the other end but his header sailed over the bar. Inter responded by clattering Karnezis' beam through Croatian midfielder Mateo Kovacic, who connected well with Fredy Guarin's cross and just needed a bit more luck. Udinese finally threatened in the 35th minute when Antonio Di Natale cut in from the left before skipping past Andrea Ranocchia and blasting the ball a little wide of the target. Just when it looked like the stalemate would survive going into the break, Icardi fired Inter into the lead. Released by a clever through-ball from Guarin, the Argentinian could do nothing else but score from a one-on-one with Karnezis. Inter looked keen to double up when play resumed but Udinese were careful to keep their hosts at arm's length until the hour mark. Di Natale forced a fine save out of Inter keeper Samir Handanovic in the 58th minute and, moments later, the Bianconeri equalised in stylish fashion. As Fernandes streaked towards the box he flicked up the incoming ball with his first touch before volleying it beyond Handanovic with his second. Udinese sensed blood in the water and turned the game on its head in the 71st minute. Rodrigo Palacio was to blame as his weak backpass to Handanovic was easily collected by Thereau, who rounded the Slovenian to slot home from a tight angle. Another defensive error allowed Thereau to test Handanovic shortly after the restart and for a while it looked as if Udinese would find the third goal they needed to kill the game off. In the end Inter ran out of time to change the result and ended the evening in 12th place, nine points shy of the final Champions League spot they need to reach to fulfil the minimum target set at the start of the season.