x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Pizarro snatches draw for Werder at Inter

Claudio Pizarro returned to haunt his former coach Jose Mourinho by grabbing Werder Bremen's equaliser in a 1-1 draw at Inter Milan.

Werder Bremen's Claudio Pizarro, left, celebrates his equaliser against Inter Milan.
Werder Bremen's Claudio Pizarro, left, celebrates his equaliser against Inter Milan.

MILAN // Claudio Pizarro returned to haunt his former coach Jose Mourinho by grabbing Werder Bremen's equaliser in a 1-1 draw at Inter Milan in Champions League Group B last night. The Peruvian striker, who played under the Inter coach at English Premier League side Chelsea, slid home Mesut Ozil's cross from close range at the far post on 62 minutes with the inter goalkeeper Julio Cesar looking slightly at fault.

"If one of their players had to score I am happy it is him," Mourinho said after the game. Inter, who now have four points from two games, had taken the lead on 13 minutes when the Brazilian right back Maicon chipped goalkeeper Tim Wiese after running on to a loose ball following some sloppy Werder defending. The Italian champions lost their local derby to neighbours AC Milan 1-0 on Sunday and again lacked invention against Werder, who have amassed two points from their opening two group matches having drawn 0-0 at home with Anorthosis Famagusta.

Mourinho, whose three-pronged attack had been under scrutiny before the game last night, left out wingers Ricardo Quaresma and Mancini following their lacklustre showing against Milan and although the Nerazzurri forwards Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Adriano and Mario Balotelli combined well at times, the side lacked shape. "I think the team that should have won was us but football isn't like that and we have to accept the result," Mourinho, whose side won 2-0 at Panathinaikos in their group opener, added.

Ibrahimovic and Adriano acrobatically shot over in the first half after being superbly fed by each other while Balotelli forced a good save out of Wiese just before half-time. Pizarro's equaliser came out of the blue and it took some time for Inter to react with Ibrahimovic flashing an inviting ball across the box and Maicon striking the post with a fierce shot. Werder, who won their last two Bundesliga games 5-2 and 5-4, almost triumphed in stoppage time when Pizarro fired wide after Julio Cesar had pushed away Naldo's free kick.

"At the start of the second half we began to be more attacking and show more conviction," said the Werder coach Thomas Schaaf. "We must do better as with draws we cannot progress." *Reuters