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Inter Milan 1-2 Torino: Now a fight for fourth

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A second-half implosion saw Inter concede two goals, go down to nine men, and all but cede 3rd place to Roma.

Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

Today was an opportunity. It was an opportunity to keep up the chase on Roma. It was an opportunity to overtake Fiorentina and secure 4th place. It was an opportunity to extend the lead over AC Milan enough to forget about them for the remainder of the season. It was an opportunity to win 5 home matches in a row for the first time since May 2011. It was an opportunity that was wasted in what has become typical Inter fashion.

Mancini continued with his 4231 formation. Handanovic was in goal "protected" by Santon, Miranda, Jesus, and Nagatomo. Medel and Brozovic sat behind Perisic, Palacio and Ljajic while Icardi played up top. While there was some surprise that JJ was in the starting lineup, ironically he was the only member of the backline that was still on the pitch at the end of the match.

The first few minutes of the game progressed slowly, with neither side really creating any chances though Inter had a majority of possession. The first real chance of the game occurred in the 16th minute when Brozovic took a shot that hit Moretti's arm while he was sliding. The referee surprisingly called it as a penalty and booked the Torino player. It was a harsh call but Icardi had no problem rifling home his 13th goal of the season to give Inter the lead. Inter dominated possession for the rest of the half as Torino dropped very deep but were successful at stifling the home side and allowed the Torino keeper to not have to make a save before the ref called for halftime.

Inter came out in the second half expecting to continue to dominate possession over a lifeless Torino side and pass the ball around until they scored a second goal but the away side had other ideas. Inter's first warning occured in the 52nd minute when a pass cut through Inter and allowed Belotti to be one-on-one with Handanovic, luckily the Slovenian was able to make the save. Just three minutes later though the away side was level. Maxi Lopez held up the ball well and laid it off for Molinaro to score. Less than two minutes later Mancini's night got even worse when Miranda went through the back of Belotti and received his second yellow card of the match (the first one was for a strange handball that seemed to come off his shoulder).

Boosted by the last few minutes the away side pushed forward for the go-ahead goal while the home side kept trying to score despite their numerical disadvantage, resulting in a frantic end-to-end 15 minutes. That ended with Nagatomo tripping Belotti in the area which resulted in a penalty for the away side and the Japanese international receiving a straight red card. Belotti scored and condemned 9 man Inter to defeat.

3rd place is all but gone at this point, so now focus must be put on ending the season above Fiorentina in 4th place and avoiding Europa League qualifying matches during the summer.