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2014/2015 Italian Serie A
  • Rodrigo Palacio (48')
  • Gregoire Defrel (30')

Inter Milan's European hopes dealt blow in 1-1 draw

Inter Milan's hopes of qualifying for Europe next season were dealt a blow as they were held to a 1-1 draw at home to struggling Cesena.

Gregoire Defrel gave the visitors the lead after half-an-hour, with Rodrigo Palacio earning Inter a point just after the break.

Both sides had chances to win an entertaining clash at the San Siro, but they had to settle for a point which does little to help either in their respective bids for Europe and survival.

Draws for Cagliari and Atlanta this weekend meant this was an opportunity for second-bottom Cesena to boost their survival hopes.

They seemed keen on taking it too as they took the game to their hosts, going in front with an excellent goal.

Carlos Carbonero lifted a delightful ball over the top of the Inter defence into the path of Defrel, who with just one touch lifted it over the onrushing Samir Handanovic.

Boos rang around the San Siro at the half-time whistle.

There was a distinct improvement in the Nerazzurri in the second half and Mauro Icardi saw his spectacular overhead kick ruled out for offside.

Less than a minute later Palacio brought them level, turning in Icardi's cross at the near post.

Cesena nearly regained the lead within a few minutes when Defrel had only Handanovic to beat, but the Inter goalkeeper managed to prevent him from dribbling past.

Lukas Podolski hit a post from nearly 30 yards as Inter searched for a winner, but Cesena were always a threat on the break and they might have had a penalty when Andrea Ranocchia, who had already been booked, appeared to bring down Carbonero.

The referee waved away Cesena's protests, although they had a very strong appeal for a penalty.

The game continued to swing from end to end, with Icardi sending a shot across the face of goal and Podolski recovering it on the right and testing Nicola Leali with a curling left-foot effort.

But there were no more goals as the spoils were shared.