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2014/2015 Italian Serie A
  • Mohamed Salah (55')

Internazionale lose ground in loss to high-flying Fiorentina

Fiorentina beat lacklustre Inter Milan 1-0 to remain clear of Sampdoria in Serie A's final European place.

The in-form Mohamed Salah, on as a first-half substitute, scored the only goal 10 minutes after the break -- although injuries left his side to hang on with nine men for the closing stages.

Inter forwards Mauro Icardi and Lukas Podolski were out of sorts and the influential Xherdan Shaqiri was introduced too late to turn the game as Roberto Mancini's side lost ground on the leading group.

Jasmin Kurtic's shot was blocked and Samir Handanovic saved Alessandro Diamanti's free-kick as Fiorentina started the better.

Khouma Babacar failed to connect meaningfully with Manuel Pasqual's low cross from the left and Handanovic again got down to save.

Inter finally created something as Fredy Guarin turned Kurtic and beat Pasqual before pulling the ball back, but it was cut out by Nenad Tomovic and Icardi could not control. Fiorentina broke but Nemanja Vidic ran Babacar off the ball.

Tomovic bamboozled Davide Santon to create a chance which Kurtic fired high and wide.

Guarin almost produced something from nothing as he won the ball, shielded it from three defenders and went close to replicating his superb midweek Europa League winner against Celtic. This time, his rising drive crashed to safety off the left-hand post.

Babacar limped off before half-time, replaced by recent signing Salah, and the interval arrived with no score.

Fiorentina made the decisive breakthrough in the 55th minute when Pasqual's cross was fumbled poorly by Handanovic and Salah followed up to sidefoot home.

Gary Medel, quiet to that point, lofted a long ball into Icardi's path but he dawdled and appealed in vain for a penalty, wasting an excellent chance.

Icardi was even more wasteful in the 72nd minute after some delightful build-up play. A series of sharp passes ended with Guarin and substitute Shaqiri teeing up the striker, who leant back and sidefooted high and wide.

Fiorentina produced a move to match that but again the finish was lacking, Kurtic slicing wide.

Vidic headed Shaqiri's free-kick straight at Neto and the same player's corner wide, while at the other end Handanovic denied Josip Ilicic.

Fiorentina made their final substitution only for Tomovic to immediately go down feeling the effects of a head injury caused moments before, when he slipped and was caught by Rodrigo Palacio's shin.

Palacio shot low and easily within reach of Neto with an unmarked Icardi screaming for the ball.

Stefan Savic, like Tomovic, left on a stretcher as Fiorentina went into six added minutes two men short.

But Neto tipped Palacio's header over and when Guarin's late cross was stabbed away, Inter's last chance had gone.