BRIAN SCIARETTA - Monday, October 24, 2011
Michael Bradley went the distance for Chievo Verona, who had their hands full as they dropped one to Serie A underachievers Inter Milan.
Bradley and Chievo had a tall order on Sunday as they travelled to the San Siro - one the most hostile stadiums in all of European soccer. Bradley himself was also up against it drawing marking responsibilities on Inter's superstar midfielder Wesley Sneijder.
The Dutch maestro came close to scoring in the 34th minute, but his well-struck free kick was foiled by an acrobatic effort by Chievo keeper Stefano Sorrentino, who batted the ball away for a corner.
The ensuing corner also delivered the goal. Sneijder connected with Thiago Motta, who lost his marker Bradley and nodded in a glancing header inside the far post.
Sneijder nearly got his second assist of the match in the 37th minute, when he floated in a lovely ball to Giampaolo Pazzini, who did well to bring down and control the ball in one fluid move, but his chip just missed the target.
Inter kept up the pressure in the second half, thoroughly dominating possession and dictating the pace of the game. Brazilian defender Maicon nearly doubled the host's lead in the 74th minute, but his shot with the outside of his right boot could only rattle the woodwork.
Chievo could not mount any sustained attack and fell by a goal.
The loss sends Chievo plummeting down the standings to 13th stuck on nine points from 7 matches. Next week the Mussi Volanti are back at home to take on Bologna in a relegation battle.