PARMA – Inter slipped to defeat away to Parma as De Ceglie’s brace proved to be the difference at the Stadio Tardini.
The hosts started on the front foot with the home crowd behind them and broke the deadlock five minutes into the game. Rispoli carried the ball down the right wing before sending over a cross that found De Ceglie in the six-yard box, allowing the full-back to steer past Handanovic.
Five minutes later Parma got forward again. Acquah received the ball in a shooting position following Cassano’s dummy, only to fire over.
That sparked the Nerazzurri into life and at the end of a long move Dodo wriggled his way into space on the left and floated a long delivery towards the far post; Obi met it with a diving header but Lucarelli and Mirante combined to block his effort on the line.
There was another chance for Inter midway through the half when Medel picked out Kuzmanovic’s run but the Serbian could only nod wide weakly.
Lodi’s ball found Cassano in the 31st minute and the ex-Inter man went for the shot: it deflected off Vidic, spinning inches wide of Handanovic’s left-hand upright.
First-half proceedings came to a close with the Nerazzurri on the attack. Palacio got to the byline and hit a lofted delivery towards the far side, Obi rose well and knocked down looking for a team-mate but found no one, allowing the Parma rearguard to clear their lines.
Inter continued their hunt for an equaliser after the break with Kovacic stepping up a gear. The No.10 played a delightful ball into the path of Kuzmanovic, with the Serbian midfielder just beaten to it. The Croat then played in Icardi but the Argentine failed to get any power on his shot.
Kovacic was in no mood for giving up though and soon afterwards he won the ball superbly in midfield and laid off for Hernanes. The Brazilian burst forward with the ball before threading it through for Icardi, who centred for Palacio, but El Trenza was caught off balance and skied his effort.
On 70 minutes Kovacic went for goal himself following a neat exchange with Hernanes: this time it was the post that denied the Nerazzurri a leveller.
Six minutes later Parma landed the knockout blow. Cassano fired goalwards from the edge of the box and it bounced off Medel landing at the feet of De Ceglie, who was free to sidefoot home his second of the night.
The match ended with another chance for De Ceglie (89) and an injury-time effort by Ranocchia from Camara’s cross, the Guinean winger having just come on for his first-team debut. Fellow youngster Bonazzoli also made a lively substitute appearance in what was his first outing of the campaign.
The result sees Inter miss out on the chance to join Napoli in third place but attentions now quickly turn to Thursday’s Europa League trip to Saint-Étienne, when the Nerazzurri could book their spot in the knockout stages.
Parma 2-0 Inter (HT 1-0)
Scorers: De Ceglie 5, 76.
Parma: 83 Mirante; 15 Costa, 19 Felipe (27 Santacroce, 52), 6 Lucarelli; 11 De Ceglie (18 Gobbi, 90), 8 Mauri, 21 Lodi, 30 Acquah, 33 Rispoli; 99 Cassano, 88 Coda (5 Ghezzal, 18).
Subs not used: 22 Iacobucci, 92 Coric, 4 Mendes, 13 Ristovski, 17 Palladino, 31 Mariga, 40 Sarr, 44 Jeraldino, 70 Lucas.
Coach: Roberto Donadoni.
Inter: 1 Handanovic; 23 Ranocchia, 15 Vidic, 5 Juan Jesus; 20 Obi (88 Hernanes, 51), 10 Kovacic, 18 Medel (29 Camara, 89), 17 Kuzmanovic (97 Bonazzoli, 73), 22 Dodo; 8 Palacio, 9 Icardi.
Subs not used: 30 Carrizo, 46 Berni, 6 Andreolli, 25 Mbaye, 27 Gnoukouri, 28 Puscas, 44 Krhin, 54 Donkor.
Coach: Walter Mazzarri.
Referee: Nicola Rizzoli (Bologna).
Booked: Costa 12, Lucarelli 18, Mirante 70, Dodo 85.
Added time: 3+4 minutes.