Despite a pair of errors from Joe Hart, Inter missed a chance to put pressure on Serie A’s top three as they were held by Torino.
Two calamitous errors from Joe Hart proved costly as Torino and in-form Inter battled-out a thrilling 2-2 draw in Serie A.
In an enthralling contest at Olimpico Grande Torino, it was the visitors who took the lead 27 minutes in, Hart allowing Geoffrey Kondogbia’s tame strike to squirm under his grasp.
Torino fought back through Daniele Baselli, and – after a string of impressive stops from Samir Handanovic – Stefano Pioli’s side found themselves behind midway through the second half when Afriyie Acquah netted in terrific fashion.
However, Inter – who recorded 5-1 and 7-1 wins in their previous two matches – wasted no time in levelling proceedings, Hart again at fault as he flapped at a cross, enabling Antonio Candreva to steer home into an empty net.
Hart did atone for his errors late on, making a wonderful finger-tip save to deny Inter substitute Eder as both sides had to settle for a share of the spoils, leaving Inter still five points outside the Champions League places.
Torino boss Sinisa Mihajlovic did not shy away from praising Inter in the pre-match build up, and it was not difficult to see why as the visitors dominated the opening stages.
Mauro Icardi thought he had broken the deadlock nine minutes in, only for his strike to be cancelled out by a late offside flag.
Inter maintained the pressure, and unconvincing goalkeeping from Hart almost resulted in Danilo D’Ambrosio thumping into an empty net, but the full-back’s strike whistled wide.
But Hart was punished for his next error.
Kondogbia did well to engineer space in Torino’s area, but his resulting shot should have represented a routine save for the England goalkeeper, who instead made a dreadful attempt at parrying the ball clear, allowing it to trickle over the line.
50 – G. Kondogbia has scored his 2nd goal for Inter, in his 50th appearance in all competitions – both goals have come vs Torino. Talisman.
— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) March 18, 2017
For all their dominance, Inter were pegged back 33 minutes in – Baselli capitalising on slack defending to head home unmarked from Adem Ljajic’s corner.
Torino came out strong after the restart, and only a superb save from Handanovic prevented Andrea Belotti’s deflected strike putting Torino ahead.
Inter’s goalkeeper was all at sea for Torino’s next opportunity though, leaving a huge gap between himself and the near post that Cristian Molinaro somehow failed to exploit.
Torino continued to press, and they got what they deserved when Acquah swept home a sublime first-time strike from the edge of the area, giving Handanovic no chance.
Hart looked to have recovered from his earlier blunder when he pulled off an instinctive stop to tip Eder’s effort over, but he was at fault again as Inter swiftly restored parity.
The Manchester City loanee raced out confidently to claim Cristian Ansaldi’s floated cross, only to completely miss his attempted punch – Candreva taking the ball down before unleashing a powerful strike into the left corner.
Torino forward Lucas Boye was introduced as the half wore on, and he could well have made an immediate impact if not for a vital block from Kondogbia.
Inter piled on late pressure, Eder unleashing a venomous strike that looked destined for the top corner, but Hart was on hand to ensure the visitors missed out on the chance to move into the top four.
Key Opta Stats:
– Torino have lost only once at home in Serie A this season (W8 D5).
– Prior to Saturday, Inter had not conceded more than one goal in a Serie A away match since last December (v Napoli).
– Geoffrey Kondogbia has netted his second Serie A goal, both have been scored against Torino at the Olimpico (the first came in November 2015).
– Antonio Candreva has scored 43 goals over the last five Serie A campaigns, more than any other midfielder.
– Juan Iturbe has provided an assist in each of his last three Serie A appearances.
– Torino have scored the joint-most headed goals in Serie A this term, 13.