Wednesday December 12 2018
Inter’s light goes out

Some will say the Nerazzurri blew their chance at Champions League qualification, but Richard Hall sees reason for optimism despite the present gloom.

The night started with 65,000 bright lights welcoming Inter into the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, but the team left the field in darkness. The 1-1 draw with PSV saw the Milanese drop into the Europa League after Tottenham Hotspur matched their result in Spain. Whilst it was a game of regrets, it was a campaign that the Nerazzurri could be relatively proud of and has shown that Luciano Spalletti’s men can compete at this level. The focus will now move to the league and qualifying for the competition again.

No matter what the result in Barcelona, Inter entered the game knowing that they could still make their fans proud if they beat PSV. The Milanese had to simply concentrate on the game in hand and ignore what was going on in Barcelona. Sporting director Piero Ausilio had made this very point to Sky Italia before the game, as he explained that if they could end the game with 10 points, then they could look back on their European campaign with pride. Inter had waited a long time for their return to Europe’s elite competition and their participation had to be looked at in context. They had competed in a tough group and taken it to the wire.

The Nerazzurri started with intent and with a high tempo that they have failed to do in some important games this season. Often they have tried to cope with high pressing teams by trying to absorb the pressure and them implement their strategy later in the game, but not tonight. Luciano Spalletti’s team, perhaps as PSV pressed unconvincingly, bettered the Dutch for intensity and when out of possession they were quick to win it back. Kwadwo Asamoah’s mistake, however, allowed PSV to score out of nothing and cancel out Barcelona’s early lead against Spurs.

Inter threw everything at the visitors in the second half and the Dutch team threw everything they could back at the Milanese. It was a game of missed chances, not enough clear-cut ones for Inter. Mauro Icardi’s goal gave hope but it wasn’t enough as Barcelona only drew. Despite how the game ended, mistakes were many, especially after PSV had originally found the goal. The high tempo and well-worked press turned into a frenetic panic, this allowed the Dutch to take part in an end-to-end game where each team seemed to consistently counter the other. The Nerazzurri needed, but failed, to gain a long period of possession and they continued to make the wrong decisions in the final third. Even at the end of the game when the chances came, they were simply not clinical enough.

Inter can look at the campaign with pride as performances against Tottenham Hotspur and Barcelona had stood out and they certainly did not embarrass themselves. They are still a work in progress and Icardi’s performances proved they have a player who many in Europe will and do fear. The most important thing for the Nerazzurri, will be qualifying for next year’s Champions League and not in such dramatic fashion as seen in Rome in May 2018. They will truly be judged on their ability to continue to qualify repeatedly, every season for this competition as this will signal progression.

Inter now drop into the Europa League as their journey continues and this could also potentially give their fans some more exciting (if hopefully more fruitful) European nights. Spalletti will have learned much about his squad by the end of the season as he has had to fight on two fronts and this will potentially see him look to strengthen in January.

Inter will be frustrated about the nature of the way they have exited the Champions League, as they came so close. PSV proved tough opponents in all but one of their group games and overall Inter can feel that they were unlucky in the end. The flip side, is that in their last two games they had chances to go through. The group will learn from that though, and this season’s experience will be invaluable.

The reaction will initially be that Inter threw this game away, and to some extent they did. They will also look at this however, as the start of a new beginning where they can continually fight to be part of and go far in the Champions League. Yes, they haven’t exited at the group stages since 2003 but put into context they have spent a long time out of the competition. This then puts into perspective what they have achieved in recent years. The lights may have gone out tonight, but it’s only temporary.

Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports.

Have your say...

Yes it would sound dumb if you said that seeing as Barca are in a completely different league to Roma you dimwit. You probably don’t have BT so you prob didn’t see the massive pasting Roma were given by Liverpool. Forget the scoreline, that doesn’t reflect how bad Liverpool walked all over them. Ultimately my point was made and you were forced to accept it and sit down.
on the 19th December, 2018 at 8:08pm
BOSS - I find you funny. Don't worry, definitely not taking you literally.
I enjoy the trolls keep up the good work.
But your point would be better if you didn't have to exaggerate to such incredible lengths. You look too obvious and transparent.

For example, if I said "Roma whooped Barca 10-0 in the Olimpico".
Sounds kinda dumb don't it.
on the 14th December, 2018 at 2:14am
Boss. The truth is all our arguments about epl over serie a means nothing if spain takes the cl again lol
on the 13th December, 2018 at 10:07pm
Thinking about that one time so long ago when you actually won something and celebrating it forever. The mark of a truely inferior, little fan. Deluded and constantly living in the past and talking about events that happened 8 yrs ago lol. Its very weird and you need to stop it right now have what? Just over 30 trophies hahahah your lame. I guess napoli is the best serie a team ever because they won one title back whenever. By your losers logic this means you are the best forever lolol
on the 13th December, 2018 at 10:01pm

I exaggerated the scoreline for effect. Don’t take everything literally. With that said, if you watched the two legs, you’ll know the scoreline didn’t reflect what happened on the pitch with Liverpool literally mauling the Romans into submission whilst the Romans cowered in their locker room at half time, desperately trying to barricade themselves in for fear of going out in the second half and getting taught a lesson in intensity, a word that is forbidden in Italy.
on the 13th December, 2018 at 6:04pm
I think maybe it is time for Guardiola to try coaching an italian team. He even knows italian from his spell at Brescia. That should be Marottas first task.
on the 13th December, 2018 at 3:54pm
50 yrs from now. We won the treble hahahahhaha you are irrelevant in the world of football.
on the 13th December, 2018 at 1:54pm
Lol BOSS you're funny.
Liverpool 10-0 Roma ?
It was Liverpool 5-4 Roma
on the 13th December, 2018 at 3:22am
We are clowns. So what??? WE WON THE TREBLE! That's enough for me.
on the 13th December, 2018 at 12:05am
Granted inter had a tough group but to manage to get the results in first couple of games which would allow inter to progress then to chuck it away against the bottom team in the group just shows the complete lack of mental strength in this team. Inter used to have a team of leaders zanetti being the model captain but you could people like milito or materazzi or cesar or maicon or samuel who would push the team only 1 maybe 2 of these inter players have that kind of leadership ability now.
on the 12th December, 2018 at 8:49pm
As for inter, what a trash team. Spend all that money, yet continue to lose. Inter,s best hope is that Man U sack mourinho and he goes back to inter. Otherwise it’s top 8 battles in Serie A for the next century.

Nobody find it suspicious with two Chinese takeovers in Italy’s financial hub, two same teams and all they were interested in was the real estate around the stadium? AC and Inter are so dumb they sell shirts for 120 euros and right outside are fakes for 20. Couldn’t write it. Absurd.
on the 12th December, 2018 at 8:09pm
Once again Juve have to fly the flag. Roma are trash and should just not turn up for the knock out fixture. Highly likely both Italian teams will draw the English or Spanish teams. Juve were beaten by Man U so I really don’t fancy their chances against any English team. Barca and real usually take it in turns to pistol whip juve so I don’t fancy that. As for Roma, wasn’t it like 10-0 they got thrashed by Liverpool last season. Roma should stay at home and wax tottis legs.
on the 12th December, 2018 at 8:05pm
As for Napoli, I don’t care that they played well in the other CL games. It’s inexcusable to go to Anfield and just wet your pants because you’re scared. These are professional athletes. How the hell are they scared by a bunch of drunken losers in the crowd. Every 50/50 Liverpool dominated them. Ruiz literally falling to the ground off a shoulder tackle hoping for a free kick on salah. Idiot, this isn’t sissy Serie A where they all wax their legs and straighten their hair. Serie a needs to manup
on the 12th December, 2018 at 8:00pm
No surprise last night watching English teams once again not just beat an Italian team but absolutely dominate them both physically and metaphorically. Inter are just trash and always have been bar 2010 when, let’s face it, Jose mourinho single handedly sorted that garbage club out and won them the CL. Both before and after mourinho they were rubbish. Idiots on here thought inter would progress as though it were a foreigner conclusion, but not me as I saw how PSV dominated inter in the first leg.
on the 12th December, 2018 at 7:56pm
This is what i like to call “Pulling an Inter”! When your club is in pole position to qualify, plays in front of their own fans at their own stadium against the weakest opponent in the group and somehow you still fail to quality for the next round is now called “Pulling an Inter” and for Napoli they did better than expected in the group of death but it is disappointing that even though they had it all in their own hands and failed to at least get a draw very disappointed!
on the 12th December, 2018 at 7:14pm
To Sorin. Barca and Real have old, but great stadium which they own and plan on modernizing. It generates more spectators and thereby income.
on the 12th December, 2018 at 7:14pm
If Insigne is given more credit than he deserves is precisely because the system wants him to stay at Napoli, they know that a Napoli without Insigne would win plenty of trophies, that is why they praise him. He is Mr untouchable because he is a "scugnizzo", maybe, but he is no good at football,he has been proving it day in day out since he joined, but he is UNTOUCHABLE, and has to play no matter what, surely because some godfather from Quartire Spagnolo said so?
on the 12th December, 2018 at 6:01pm
Napoli and Inter were in in the 'groups of death' and in the end, both finished 3rd because that's where they deserved to finish... end of story! Inter had some good results in the CL but their performances weren't good enough, if we faced Man City, PSG, Real or Liverpool, we'd be trounced badly... Spaletti was poor, especially after the equalizer, and the midfield needs an significant upgrade... the players were taught a valuable lesson last night.
on the 12th December, 2018 at 5:53pm
Inter play clueless offensive football. Cross cross cross cross cross, no offensive gameplan whatsoever.

There is not one proper brain in this Inter team in regards to offense and playmaking.

Inter only have 2 great players in Icardi and Skriniar. Then we have players like SDV, Politano and brozovic who realistically would be subs in a scudetto team.

The rest of Inters squad simply isnt good enough and big changes need to happen if they want to pursue bigger things than top 4 serie a.
on the 12th December, 2018 at 5:53pm
This site is just a Jventus propaganda machine, therefore Napoli the 2ed on the table is non existant for them, they love repeating what Gazzette says. As for Napoli, unfortunately they pay for their stupidity of playing always wit 9 men, INSIGNE is a always a present to the opponents, and when Hamsik covers for him, he is as unwatchable as him.
I have been saying for years that INSIGNE is Napoli's BIGGEST problem, and yesterday's game proved it
on the 12th December, 2018 at 5:49pm
Welcome to Real Madrid, Mauro Icardi. Don't stay at poor club. You are deserved to stand among champions, not clowns.
on the 12th December, 2018 at 5:21pm
Bad day for Serie A. Especially Napoli who played quite poor. Both Inter and Napoli need reinforcements before they can really expect to reach the next level. Hopefully they both take Europa League seriously as both can challenge there and since Serie A is essentially already out of reach for both.
on the 12th December, 2018 at 4:29pm
Spalletti, the lover of both Perisic and Nainggolan, is just a non-sense, 2nd tier coach.

How do you bench Vrsaljko if you really want to win? Either he and D'ambrosio are full backs on both flanks.

A worse defender can be a ordinary defensive midfielder, that's how he used Asamoah in pre-season; Skriniar also a CDM for his country (just let Miranda partner with de Vrij) due to Brozovic and Borja are lack of speed and stamina at the moment.

Perisic? **** off! Keita should start.

Will 2 forwards cost Spalletti's own life? why not starts Argentine partner if you really want to win, if not the compensation from his dismissal.
on the 12th December, 2018 at 3:58pm
Why do people keep saying that having new stadiums is the key to success? Do Spanish teams have new stadiums? No, and they still are bossing Europe (not only Barca and Real). The key is changing the actual football in Serie A, with its slow, predictable rhythm to a more aggressive, athletic, fast type of game. Team budgets (I don't count here the giant clubs) are similar in Germany, Spain and Italy so this isn't a financial issue. Also, I think that Napoli had a decent game last night
on the 12th December, 2018 at 3:08pm
Inter were awful granted. Slating Napoli is a bit harsh, they didnt deserve to go out but were just unlucky to draw two fo the favourites for the cup in the groups, one of which made the final last year and the other has an unlimited budget.
on the 12th December, 2018 at 2:41pm
Inter's light hasn't gone out; Inter never turned the light on.
on the 12th December, 2018 at 2:09pm
Inter need to get rid of spellatti if need want to reach another level to many bad decisions from the coach
on the 12th December, 2018 at 1:34pm
@ John Smith - we are very very very far from losing a 4th champions league spot France is 16.650 behind
on the 12th December, 2018 at 1:27pm
I recall when conte was at juve all this juve bring shame as they exit the champions league early, well our 2nd and 3rd best teams had easy enough tasks, napoli just score, inter win against a weak team, and both choked big time. Inter fans claimed they would show everybody how it is done??? Yet 2 english teams go through at the expense of italy and yet again, italian teams let us down. Hopefully they actually go and try to win the europa league.
on the 12th December, 2018 at 12:22pm
Napoli, Inter, Lazio and Milan must win games in EL to gain coefficient points. Otherwise they risk loosing the 4th spot.
Don't fill a b-team.
on the 12th December, 2018 at 11:18am

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