Inter squeeze past 10-man Cesena


A first-half penalty from Mauro Icardi was enough for Inter Milan to beat 10-man Cesena on Sunday and become the first side to win at the Dino Manuzzi stadium this season. Cesena goalkeeper Nicola Leali was shown a straight red card on the half-hour mark after bringing down Inter striker Rodrigo Palacio in the area, which resulted in the penalty. Despite playing with 10 men, the hosts, who gained promotion to Serie A earlier this year, never gave up and had chances to equalise. Inter held on for their first win in four games in all competitions. The Nerazzurri climbed to eighth in the standings while Cesena dropped to 17th, one place above the relegation zone. Sunday's game was Inter's first following Friday's announcement that former owner Massimo Moratti had decided to leave the club's board after nearly two decades of involvement. Inter coach Walter Mazzarri went into the contest under pressure to deliver after Thursday's goalless draw at home to St Etienne in the Europe League had extended his team's winless run to three matches. The visitors struggled to break Cesena's well-placed defence until the 30th minute when Hernanes sent Palacio through on goal and the Argentinian forward was brought down by Leali. Cesena coach Pierpaolo Bisoli brought in substitute goalkeeper Federico Agliardi in place of midfielder Luca Garritano. Icardi stepped up to take the spot-kick and struck the ball towards the far post and out of Agliardi's reach. The hosts could have pulled level two minutes later but Emmanuel Cascione's effort from the heart of the area went over the bar. Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic was called upon to make a save soon after from Milan Djuric's powerful header from Francesco Renzetti's cross. The visitors had a goal disallowed before half-time after Palacio was adjudged to be offside. Inter twice had opportunities to double their advantage before the hour mark but both Icardi and Hernanes sent their strikes from the heart of the area wide. With 11 minutes remaining, Icardi should have killed the game off. Agliardi kept out Hernanes' bullet strike from the area and Icardi was first to the rebound but sent his effort over the bar. Five minutes from time and Inter thought they had made it 2-0 when Hugo Campagnaro struck the ball past Agliardi but his goal was rightly disallowed for offside. It mattered little in the end though, as Inter held on to their one-goal lead to clinch the three points.