Sunday September 23 2018
Not so epic Inter

Inter's last-gasp victories may be thrilling, but Richard Hall warns they can't keep relying on a moment of late magic.

‘Epic Inter’ may have been the headline from Corriere dello Sport, but their performance on the pitch was anything but. The 94th-minute winner from Marcelo Brozovic may have resulted in his trademark celebration, which he even has tattooed on his hand, but the second late winner in a week simply masked the numerous problems that exist in Luciano Spalletti’s team.

Once again the Nerazzurri were slow, ponderous and lacked urgency, traits that have been synonymous with this team since day one. The Coach by his own admission had been furnished with the tools, but so far seems to be struggling to do the job.

In a bizarre game that saw three goals disallowed by VAR, Inter managed to chaotically win in the last gasp thanks to their Croatian midfielder. Both teams had played in midweek, so the likes of Ivan Perisic, Stefan De Vrij were rested, but the team that took the field was still a strong one. Perhaps Antonio Candreva being deployed on the left raised some eyebrows, but it was no game changer.

What followed was a match that related to any of those previous performances against Sassuolo to Torino, slow laborious and full of misplaced passes. It has become a feature of Inter this term to struggle when supplying Mauro Icardi (in fact it has been a feature for longer than this), but Spalletti had been confident that the likes of Radja Nainggolan would be able to supply their Argentine hitman. This is something that still hasn’t happened, as continually Icardi looks isolated and this was the case again in Genoa last night.

With Matteo Politano and Antonio Candreva offering little from the flanks, the game soon became stagnant. This allowed the opposition to have too much time on the ball. Inter were guilty of not supporting the wide men and the attacks often fizzled out due to lost balls or the wingers running into trouble. Despite his efforts, the Coach is struggling to find a system that allows Inter to play expansive football and look like a threat in the final third.

For all the criticism they may get for the performance, one cannot argue about the character of the team. Following Matias Vecino’s late winner against Tottenham, Brozovic also showed that there is a never say die attitude in the team at the moment. Inter have won again after all that is said and done, but the Croatian’s comments after the game that “this is a turning point” were also the words used by the Uruguayan in midweek.

A tough game against Fiorentina is followed by against Cagliari and then PSV, they have an opportunity to keep this run going, but will have to improve quickly. They will have to up their levels simply for the fact that in October they face Milan, Barcelona, Lazio, Genoa and then Barcelona again.

Spalletti, who was for some reason sent off for shouting into the camera when Inter scored at the end, certainly isn’t without passion himself. Perhaps it is taking risks that may allow Inter to attack with more harmony, as they cannot keep leaving it this late in games. Defensively they do actually seem to be improving, as Kwadwo Asamoah has been an upgrade at left-back and whichever centre-back pairing he uses seem capable and balanced.

Inter have in conclusion won twice in a week, but not played well once. Winning is all that matters, it is true, but a continuation of this level of play will not keep bringing these results. Not every week will Vecino or Brozovic be able to keep saving them and for the Nerazzurri to really progress, Spalletti will have to come up with a system that showcases an obvious style or game plan. Perhaps he was right and they need to take more risks in offensive positions and believe in themselves. Until they do this, they will be far from ‘epic’.

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Have your say...
The advantage time period is arbritary, at the discretion of the ref. You just have to respect the refs authority without complaining or your in danger of getting a yellow card. You don't always have to rebel just accept the refs decision with humble humility, be a water carrier no a maverick.
on the 24th September, 2018 at 1:22pm
@hypocrisy I didn’t see the game and struggling to understand your question as if Nainggolan’s shot was blocked hypothetically and Sampdoria broke away and scored how can anyone be offside as to be offside the ball has to come towards you, no? Unless I am misunderstanding what point you are trying to make.
on the 24th September, 2018 at 12:40pm
This reminds me of the first half of last season when Inter played so badly and won one lucky victory after the other, until January when luck ran out and they didn’t win for a month. I know the table doesn’t lie in the end, but it makes me smile every time they say that they deserve to be back in the champions league. Why not just say it like it is, that they were lucky. Anyway, they do have a fantastic squad this season, so if they could somehow manage to play well, they could be devastating.
on the 24th September, 2018 at 12:01pm
@ Thikko Hippo. You miss my point. It relates to stages of play, and the ambiguity of when an advantage has elapsed.If the ref had played advantage on Samps behalf. How long until the advantage has elapsed?It has to elapse at some stage. You have no legal background do you?
on the 24th September, 2018 at 12:00pm
As we all know Inter,Milan and Roma are already out of it.Napoli are the only hope that what is becoming the most predictable and boring league in Europe will not be another Juve win.
on the 24th September, 2018 at 9:32am
If Samp was awarded a free kick then scored when advantage was played then its a goal, can't be brought back. Advantage can only flow one way not brought back to rescue the team that committed the infringement. No brainer, really clutching at straws there, nothing to debate. Great use of VAR.
on the 24th September, 2018 at 9:27am
On the first disallowed goal, surely play had entered its next phase once the ball was cleared after the free kick? An interesting question was posed on a different site - if Nagg's shot was blocked, Samp broke and Quagrialla scored one of his fantastic goals, would play have been called back to give a free kick for the offside? I Think not. Clarification is needed because this will affect every club eventually.
on the 24th September, 2018 at 6:07am
We are taking our time to settle in to the new season but there's much to be positive about. I'd like to see Valero get a few more starts in place of Vecino and for Martinez to get some minutes to show he can replicate the form that helped him bang in a few goals pre-season. After all, he was signed to help take the goal-scoring burden off Icardi, or at least pull defenders away to create him some space. Let's not have a repeat of the Gabigol disaster...
on the 24th September, 2018 at 1:48am
Mr. Hall is correct that Inter make far too many unforced, errant and predictable passes (Brozovic made at least 4 against Samp). Not sure if this is due to Spalletti's preparation or a skill deficit of individual players, but they must improve their passing game *dramatically* if they hope to compete with the big dogs...
on the 23rd September, 2018 at 5:34pm
@Dr Remo- 5 games isn't the entire season, be patient. Much improved, especially the second half, and Spalletti's subs weren't totally nonsensical for a change. It could be argued also that the first glimpse of an understanding was seen between Icardi and the other new forwards, albeit fleeting. There's every sign that the team will continue to improve as the games come and go, and the top 4 is more than maintainable. FORZA INTER SEMPRE.
on the 23rd September, 2018 at 4:15pm
Still inter need to change their formation, use any formation with a midfield 3 give inter more balance
on the 23rd September, 2018 at 4:01pm
Agreed. I'm an inter fan and, unlike some other posters, can remain impartial.
We completely lack fluency in the final third - Icardi didn't have a clear cut chance all match, in fact even during the Spurs game. Candreva was hopeless until moving to the right flank. Politano wasn't able to create or get on the end of chances. Radja still doesn't look match fit, which is understandable seen as he missed pre season. Big improvements needed. Not overly confident for Tuesday's game.
on the 23rd September, 2018 at 3:44pm
@ Ade, what has this got to do with Juventus??? Seriously, if Inter got bashed by a writer which by my estimation was very unfair to Inter because I watched the whole match. Inter did very well to bring home 3 points from Sampdoria. So please let us stick to what is real here and praise Inter for a job well done. But always resorting to comparing Inter to Juve is getting ridiculous. Leave Juve out of this. This is about Inter playing against Sampdoria!
on the 23rd September, 2018 at 3:38pm
the wheels of Inter bus may either come off or on the opposite start spinning, and the latter hopefully will be the case.

The game was quite depressing to watch with so many goals disallowed, however we completely outplayed and dominated Sampdoria at their home in the second half and a goal at the end was an amazing example of character and well deserved.

FI rarely writes anything positive about Inter, and it was EPIC! quality of play can improve, no discussion there, but have some respect.
on the 23rd September, 2018 at 3:35pm
Perfect analysis. Unfortunately.
on the 23rd September, 2018 at 2:02pm
@ Juan
Inter were not unlucky. The referee failed to follow PROTOCOL and review VAR. Unlucky is Candreva hitting the post, or Icardi missing his header. Lets get this clear. Inter were punished bys multiple referees and the federation not following rules. They were not unlucky in week 1 either. There is a "sudditanza" at work against Inter on the pitch and in the media. no other explanation. We have yet to hear what the reasoning was for last week was.There should be an inquest at the very least
on the 23rd September, 2018 at 2:00pm
I agree with you Richard! We are winning, but this is not the way to get results over the entire season. The midfield is to weak and Vecinos positioning is below average. Enforcement in the midfield and a better gameplan is needed .
Forza Inter per sempre
on the 23rd September, 2018 at 1:04pm
This writer is a "keyboard expert" reckon if he could even kick a ball. Yet he brings his utopian ideology and romanticism to the fore painting his Art with an optimistic puncturing of everything NERRAZZURRI ! What's it with this so called writer of football ignoramuses!. Yet juventus would never be criticized but praised even when bribing and committing all sorts of immoral ethics.
All the same perhaps you watched your own match in an abyss of discomfort and engineering world of football fantasy
on the 23rd September, 2018 at 12:11pm
Don't get carried away. Taking advantage of a Spurs capitulation and beating a below par wasteful Samp is hardly character. Is that the sort of team millions are spent on? Needed Lazio and Spurs to out choke Inter in hardly reassuring.
on the 23rd September, 2018 at 11:39am
I usually like the reviews on this site but this simply looks like a lackluster biased review. The fact that Inter got a winner so late was not for a bad performance, in fact it was quite an improvement over previous rounds. They neutralized Sampdoria at home, no small feat to achieve. It was rather due to lack of luck or therefore, a case of bad luck, as the ball simply wouldn't go in. Countless chances, a post and two disallowed goals later, you can't argue that Inter's win wasn't deserved.
on the 23rd September, 2018 at 11:37am
I do not agree with Mr Hall on the game played yesterday. Inter played a very different game to the one against Tottenham. The team was more unlucky than playing badly. On a good day, those 2 disallowed goals would have stood. The same way against Parma, Inter were simply unlucky not to have that Di Marco goal disallowed and actually reviewing that possible penalty.
Tbh, I was disappointed after 1st 4 games, but if you look at them, losses been 1 goal diff, so we must be patient. Forza Inter!!!
on the 23rd September, 2018 at 11:08am
I have no idea what game you saw Richard Hall. We deserved more then a 1-0 win yesterday, second half was all ours. Played much better then against Spurs. Sure we need to improve, but yesterday's performance does not warrant such a review in my opinion.
on the 23rd September, 2018 at 11:01am

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