It has been a fantastic January transfer window for the Serie A. While AC Milan signed the two Dutchmen (Mark van Bommel and Emanuelson), Inter Milan went out and did some business of their own.
Leonardo got three big presents from the president Massimo Moratti: Andrea Ranocchia, Houssine Kharja, and Giampaolo Pazzini. All three were important in Inter Milan's 3-2 comeback win over Palermo—especially Pazzini, who scored a double on his debut.
I admit, I was skeptical about Pazzini and Kharja. I thought that maybe they didn't have the ability to step into a treble-winning team and manage to perform. I was completely wrong though, with Pazzini scoring in just 11 minutes after substituting Davide Santon at halftime.
But Inter Milan had allowed a brilliant Palermo side to dominate the first half, with Julio Cesar (returning from injury) picking the ball out of the back of his net twice in the first half. It would've been three, but only the post stopped Pastore's powerful shot, which the Argentine thundered from close range.
Two goals down, Leonardo decided to bring on Pazzini and Kharja, playing in a scintillating manner with three forwards.
The first goal was created by the two substitutes, Kharja played a piercing ball for Pazzini with his back to goal, and Pazzini swiveled around quickly and slotted the ball in the far bottom corner. Pazzini then equalized with a trademark goal of his: anticipating everyone during a free kick, and heading a beautiful cross by Maicon into the back of Sirigu's net.
In the middle of Pazzini's two goals, Palermo had a golden chance to score a third goal at the San Siro. Javier Pastore stepped up to take a penalty which Kasami earned after being brought down by Thiago Motta. While the penalty was excellently struck towards the bottom right corner, Julio Cesar pulled off an excellent save, keeping his team in the match.
Pazzini fought for the winning goal and was pulled back in the penalty box, earning Inter a penalty. Samuel Eto'o stepped up to take the penalty, and while Sirigu came close to the Cameroonian's shot, he was unable to stop it from entering his goal. It was the final goal of a fantastic comeback, inspired and created by Giampaolo Pazzini.
It was a fantastic debut for Pazzini, proving me completely wrong about the player's immense talent. He will prove to be useful for Leonardo, who is having trouble inspring Diego Milito. While Inter have a fairly simple fixture away against last placed Bari next week, the following weeks will be a test for this motivated side.
After travelling to Bari, Inter will host Roma before having to travel to Juventus. If Leonardo can win all three matches, his race towards the scudetto will be a lot easier.
What do you think about Pazzini? Will he be able to continue performing so excellently? Can Inter come back and win the Scudetto? Share your comments below!