Final score

10 December 2006 15:00

42' (2nd half) Samuel
33' (2nd half) Ibrahimovic
15' (2nd half) Crespo
Referee: / Linesmen: Strocchia, D'Agostini / Fourth official: Gallione
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Minute Text commentary
45' It's 0-0 after 45 minutes of play at the Stadio Castellani.
40' Materazzi cuts out Marianini's cross from the right and sets up a counter-attack. Ibrahimovic latches on to a Zanetti through ball and has his left-foot shot from the edge of the Empoli area saved by Balli.
39' Lucchini beats Crespo to a Grosso left-wing cross and heads to safety.
38' At the other end, Ibrahimovic swivels on the edge of the area and sends a left-foot shot on target. It's too central, and Balli makes a comfortable save.
37' Raggi finds Saudati with a long-range pass into the Inter area, but the Empoli number 11 fails to control the ball.
35' Stankovic's cross from the free kick is cleared as far Samuel, whose spectacular shot on the turn is a yard wide of the left post.
34' Free kick to Inter for a bad tackle by Saudati on Stankovic.
34' Inter hit Empoli on the break. Cambiasso makes a 50-yard run down the middle before passing wide for Crespo, but Adani makes a headed interception.
33' Burdisso's inswinging cross from the right channel is headed clear by the Empoli defence.
32' Materazzi blocks a Lucchini left-wing cross.
31' Almiron tests Julio Cesar with a swerve shot from distance. Seconds later Marianini fires high and wide from 30 yards.
31' Cambiasso smashes clear as Empoli get into the Inter area with Lucchini.
29' The flag goes up for offside as Ibrahimovic sees a right-foot shot saved by the legs of Balli.
27' Saudati booked for protesting after a confrontation with Materazzi.
27' Raggi's first-time cross from Vannucchi's short pass is headed clear by Nic Burdisso.
22' Burdisso races down the right and looks for Ibrahimovic but the Argentine defender's short pass is intercepted by Adani.
21' Ibrahimovic, Stankovic and Solari look for a way through but Empoli are defending in numbers.
19' Grosso's right-wing cross forces Balli into a punched save. The loose ball falls to Solari who finds the side-netting with a diagonal shot.
18' Free kick to Inter on the right wing for an Adani foul on Stankovic.
17' Nothing comes of the free kick as Raggi is booked for diving after receiving in the area from Almiron. The Empoli number 46 will miss his team's next match.
16' Free kick to Empoli 30 yards out for a Materazzi foul on Saudati.
16' Ibrahimovic receives Stankovic's pass wide, takes on Lucchini and crosses low into the Empoli area. Solari fails to capitalise.
13' Solari dances past an opponent during an Inter attack down the middle before laying off for Ibrahimovic who is caught in possession.
12' Almiron runs with the ball as Empoli come forward on the break. The Argentine midfielder overhits his pass for Saudati and Inter win a goal kick.
11' Ibra intercepts a crossfield pass by Almiron and combines with Cambiasso and Solari but Raggi wins the ball back just inside the Tuscan area.
8' Ibrahimovic booked for diving in the Empoli area.
6' Grosso's curling free kick is on target, but Empoli custodian Balli makes a good save.
5' Free kick to Inter in a central position 25 yards out for a foul by former Inter defender Daniele Adani on Dejan Stankovic.
3' Buscè's first-time cross from Vannucchi's ball wide reaches Saudati on the edge of the Nerazzurri box. The Empoli forward loses control and Samuel plays calmly back to his keeper.
2' Luchini's weak header from Vannucchi's cross is easy prey for Julio Cesar.
1' Welcome to the Stadio Castellani for Empoli v Inter.
1' Empoli win a left-wing free kick for a Materazzi foul on their captain Vannucchi.
1' Empoli kick off. FORZA INTER!!!
1' Inter: 12 Julio Cesar; 16 Burdisso, 23 Materazzi, 25 Samuel, 11 Grosso; 21 Solari, 5 Stankovic, 19 Cambiasso, 4 Zanetti; 8 Ibrahimovic, 18 Crespo.
1' Empoli: 23 Balli; 46 Raggi, 14 Adani, 50 Pratali, 3 Lucchini; 24 Buscè, 4 Almiron, 8 Marianini, 5 Moro; 10 Vannucchi; 11 Saudati.
Minute Text commentary
49' Full time. Goals from Crespo, Ibrahimovic and Samuel give Inter a 3-0 win at Empoli.
45' Four minutes of overtime.
42' That was Samuel's second of the season.
42' GOOOAAALLL!!!!! Samuel scores Inter's third with a diving header from Burdisso's right-wing cross.
41' Inter take the free kick quickly as Recoba feeds Ibrahimovic. The Swedish forward's close-range shot is deflected out for a corner by Balli.
40' Free kick to Inter 30 yards out for an Adani foul on Adriano.
39' Vannucchi's shot from distance is over the Inter crossbar.
38' Gasparetto's shot on the turn from a Buscè cross is wide of the right post.
36' Balli comes out of his area and smashes out for a throw-in to deny Adriano.
35' Empoli make their third switch. On comes Pozzi for Pratali.
33' That was Ibra's seventh of the season (6 in Serie A, 1 in Champions League).
33' GOOOOAAALLL!!!! Zlatan Ibrahimovic gives Inter a 2-0 lead with a shot in off the post after a suicidal back pass by Vannucchi.
32' Tosto's cross from the free kick is punched clear by Julio Cesar. Moro volleys the loose ball over the Inter bar.
31' Materazzi booked for a foul on Vannucchi. Free kick to Empoli 35 yards out on the left wing.
28' Burdisso makes a cracking tackle on the rampant Vannucchi, and concedes a corner.
25' Vannucchi close again. This time the Empoli captain plays a defence-splitting one-two with Saudati before firing narrowly wide of the right post.
24' Vannucchi's venomous right-foot effort from the resulting 25-yard free kick is just over Julio Cesar's crossbar.
23' Stankovic booked for a foul from behind on Vannucchi.
21' Balli smothers the ball to deny Adriano a tap-in from Ibra's right-wing cross.
20' Empoli bring on Gasparetto for Almiron.
18' Inter replace Hernan Crespo with Adriano.
17' Ibra fluffs a chance for a second goal. The Swedish forward's poked shot from Cambiasso's through ball is blocked by Balli.
15' Free kick to Inter on the right wing for a Tosto foul on Alvaro Recoba.
15' GOOOAAAALLLL!!!!!! El Chino's inswinging cross is headed on to the crossbar by Ibrahimovic. Hernan Crespo steals in to slot home the loose ball.
15' That was Crespo's ninth of the season.
14' Crespo brings down a Stankovic ball into the box with his chest but is promptly intercepted by Raggi.
13' At this stadium on 25 January 1998, Recoba scored from inside his own half to give Inter a 1-1 draw against Empoli.
13' Mancini makes his second substitution: Recoba replaces Solari.
11' Solari whips in a cross from the left. Balli jumps to grasp the ball.
10' Solari's cross from the right is goalbound but Pratali gets back to hook behind for an Inter corner.
9' Pratali is surrounded by three Inter players as he looks for space on the left during an Empoli counter-attack.
8' Dejan Stankovic tries a lob shot after receiving from Crespo but it's well wide of the left post.
7' Stankovic combines well with Solari and is through on goal but the Serbian midfielder loses control of the ball.
7' Zanetti is tackled by Raggi after a storming run down the left.
5' Samuel blocks an Almiron shot from just outside the Inter area.
5' Julio Cesar grasps a Marianini cross from the right wing.
4' Fabio Grosso appears to have suffered a muscular injury. The Italian full-back is replaced by Maxwell.
3' Samuel makes a headed clearance from Buscè's right-wing cross.
1' Empoli hit Inter on the break after Ibra loses possession in the Tuscan half. Tosto makes a 40-yard run before feeding Saudati who is beaten to the ball by Julio Cesar.
1' Empoli have brought on Tosto for Lucchini.
1' Inter get the second half under way. FORZA RAGAZZI!!!
Julio Cesar
Average rating 7.48
1 shots on target 9
9 shots off target 3
15 fouls committed 16
2 corners 2
2 offsides 8
31:14 ball possession 34:29
Cagni v Mancini

Gigi Cagni and Roberto Mancini have met on two previous occasions.


2002/03 Serie A Piacenza-Lazio ---- 1-2
2005/06 Serie A Empoli-Inter 1-0 ----

Cagni v Inter

Empoli boss Cagni has won 2, drawn 1 and lost 3 of his 6 previous encounters with the Nerazzurri. His teams have never drawn at home to Inter, with 2 Cagni victories and 1 defeat.


1995/96 Serie A Piacenza-Inter 1-0 0-0
1996/97 Serie A Verona-Inter 0-1 1-2
2002/03 Serie A Piacenza-Inter ---- 1-3
2005/06 Serie A Empoli-Inter 1-0 ----

Mancini v Empoli

Roberto Mancini has collected 6 victories, 1 draw and 1 defeat from his 8 meetings with Tuscan outfit Empoli.


2002/03 Coppa Italia Lazio-Empoli 2-0 2-1
2002/03 Serie A Lazio-Empoli 4-1 2-1
2003/04 Serie A Lazio-Empoli 3-0 2-2
2005/06 Serie A Inter-Empoli 4-1 0-1

Inter's sprint starts

Inter are the most prolific 2006/07 Serie A team in the opening periods of matches. The Nerazzurri have scored no less than 8 of their 29 goals (27.6% of the total) in the first fifteen minutes of games, without conceding a single goal.

Crespo decisive for Inter

Hernan Crespo, along with Eugenio Corini of Palermo, is the most decisive player in the 2006/07 Serie A after 14 rounds of matches. Both players have won 12 points for their respective teams.

No red card against Inter's opponents so far

Inter are one of two 2006/07 Serie A teams yet to have had an opponent sent off this season. The other team is Atalanta.

No red card against Inter's opponents so far

Inter are one of two 2006/07 Serie A teams yet to have had an opponent sent off this season. The other team is Atalanta.

Adriano, Samuel on fire in December

Adriano, without a goal for Inter since the Champions League home match against Villarreal last 29 March, and goalless in the championship since Inter-Sampdoria on 11 March, counts December as his most prolific time of the year, with 14 of his 68 Serie A goals in the twelfth calendar month. The same goes for Walter Samuel who has scored 3 of his 12 Italian league goals in December matches.

Mancini & points in December

According to the statistics, teams coached by Roberto Mancini win more points in December than any other month. The Inter coach has a points per match average of 2.15 in December thanks to 13 victories, 4 draws and 3 defeats from 20 matches.

Inter unbeaten in 16 games

Inter are unbeaten in 16 competitive matches (13 wins, 3 draws), a run which includes 10 consecutive victories (a new record for the club under the administration of Massimo Moratti). The Nerazzurri's last defeat was the 2-0 home loss to Bayern Munich in the Champions League on 27 September 2006. In the championship Inter have won their last seven games. A win against Empoli at the Stadio Castellani will see Mancini's side equal the club record of eight consecutive Serie A victories set in 1939/40, 1964/65 and 1988/89.

No Empoli subs on target

Empoli are one of four 2006/07 teams yet to score with substitutes this season. The other three teams are Palermo, Reggina and Udinese.

Empoli's 343-minute invincibility at home

Goran Pandev's 17th-minute goal in Empoli 1-1 Lazio on 5 November was the last time the Tuscan outfit conceded at home. Including the remaining 73 minutes of that game plus the entire matches against Genoa (Coppa Italia), AC Milan (Serie A) and Cagliari (Serie A), Gigi Cagni's team haven't let in a goal for 343 competitive minutes.

wins(11) draws(3) defeats(2)
EMPOLI - Hernan Crespo, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Walter Samuel scored second-half goals as Inter beat Empoli 3-0 at the Stadio Castellani to open up a seven-point lead at the top of the Serie A table ahead of tonight's Rome derby.

The victory sees Mancini's side equal the club record of eight consecutive top-flight victories set in 1939/40, 1964/65 and 1988/89.

Fabio Grosso forced Empoli custodian Balli into saves from free kicks early on as first-half scoring opportunities were few and far between.

Empoli midfielder Almiron tested Julio Cesar with a swerve shot from distance before Zlatan Ibrahimovic had two left-foot strikes stopped by Balli.

Inter's edged in front fifteen minutes after the restart - two minutes after Alvaro Recoba came on for Santiago Solari. El Chino's inswinging cross from the right was headed on to the angle between crossbar and post by Ibrahimovic. Hernan Crespo stole in to slot home the loose ball for his ninth of the season.

Ibrahimovic had a gilt-edged chance to double Inter's lead two minutes later but saw his near-range shot from Cambiasso's through ball parried by Balli.

Empoli gave a valiant reaction, with Vannucchi twice going close to a reply. The Tuscan captain sent a venomous right-foot free kick just over the crossbar before firing narrowly wide after a defence-splitting one-two with Saudati.

Ibrahimovic killed off the game with twelve minutes remaining, collecting a suicidal back pass by Vannucchi to fire in off the post. The Swedish forward then had another chance saved before Walter Samuel made extra sure of the points on 87 minutes with a diving header from Burdisso's right-wing cross to extend Inter's unbeaten run to seventeen games.

EMPOLI 0-3 INTER (HT: 0-0)

Scorers: Crespo 60, Ibrahimovic 78, Samuel 87.

EMPOLI: 23 Balli; 46 Raggi, 14 Adani, 50 Pratali (9 Pozzi 80), 3 Lucchini (6 Tosto 46); 24 Buscè, 4 Almiron (99 Gasparetto 65), 8 Marianini, 5 Moro; 10 Vannucchi; 11 Saudati.
Subs not used: 1 Bassi, 16 Marzoratti, 15 Vanigli, 27 Ficini.
Coach: Luigi Cagni.

INTER: 12 Julio Cesar; 16 Burdisso, 23 Materazzi, 25 Samuel, 11 Grosso (6 Maxwell 49); 21 Solari (20 Recoba 58), 5 Stankovic, 19 Cambiasso, 4 Zanetti; 8 Ibrahimovic, 18 Crespo (10 Adriano 63).
Subs not used: 1 Toldo, 77 Andreolli, 57 Filkor, 91 Mariano Gonzalez.
Coach: Roberto Mancini.

Referee: Nicola Ayroldi (Molfetta)

Booked: Ibrahimovic 8, Raggi 17, Saudati 27, Stankovic 68, Materazzi 76.

starting lineups

Balli 12 Julio Cesar
Raggi 16 Burdisso
Adani 23 Materazzi
Pratali 25 Samuel
Lucchini 11 Grosso
Buscé 21 Solari
Almiron 5 Stankovic
Marianini 19 Cambiasso
Moro 4 Zanetti
Vannucchi 8 Ibrahimovic
Saudati 18 Crespo


Bassi 1 Toldo
Marzoratti 6 Maxwell
Vanigli 77 Andreolli
Ficini 57 Filkor
Pozzi 91 Gonzalez
Tosto 10 Adriano
Gasparetto 20 Recoba