Saturday December 7 2019
Inter-Roma understudies disappoint

Inter and Roma were expected to put on a Friday night show at San Siro, but Martin Mork watched a disappointing spectacle without some top stars.

The anticipation and the media build-up before the clash between two of Italy’s giants drew parallels with the greatest pieces from the Italian opera. In the end, the reviews weren’t looking very good for either of the protagonists at La Scala del Calcio.

Inter and Roma seem to have forgotten that they are in the entertainment business and the home side’s faithful even started to jeer their own uninspiring presentation. It was surely not a league leader’s performance. Inter didn’t seem to have the creativity on hand to break down a solid Roma side and kept on banging on the same locked door.

Coach Antonio Conte was angry at his own crowd after slipping up, claiming they need to support the team to get the performances they need. The tactician has been rigid in his formation and doesn’t seem willing to change his style of play, even when he is losing one key member after another.

Nicolò Barella and Stefano Sensi were vital in the team’s early success, they are both out, but Conte is just filling in the gaps with another set of legs – not capable of providing the same end product. The 3-5-2 of Conte has been a huge success in the past, but as much as Inter are struggling with the depth in the squad, they are also lacking a Plan B when nothing seems to be working.

Romelu Lukaku was again the focal point for the Nerazzurri, with Lautaro Martinez running off him. And they were somewhat dangerous also on Friday night, but not convincing. Chris Smalling seemed to be in control of the duel between the former Manchester United duo, neutralizing Lukaku by following the Belgian attacker’s every move.

When the chances presented themselves for the home side, it would more often than not come from sloppy passing or defensive errors from the Roma players, who appeared to have travelled to Milan to bring home a point.

The Giallorossi were dealt a massive blow when Edin Dzeko was ruled out of the first XI because of illness. He did get on late in the game, but was obviously struggling and hardly touching the ball. He also appeared to have visibly lost weight over the last week.

Paulo Fonseca tried to be clever by handing Nicolò Zaniolo a False 9 role, largely because anything is preferable to starting Nikola Kalinic upfront, but Roma’s long strings of passes made precious little impact. They were tightly organised to stop any Inter move, drag the tempo out of the all-important clash and maybe steal the points from a rare chance to get on target.

The atmosphere when the two sides entered the pitch was amazing. And it built up during the initial 15 minutes of the game, starting off with chances at both ends. Zaniolo showed his muscles and skill when he got past the Nerazzurri veteran Diego Godin to fire straight at Samir Handanovic. That was really it for the away side.

Godin didn’t let them get any other possibilities and was probably the most positive sign for the Inter fans after the full 90 minutes. He had the Roma attackers in his pocket and probably played his best match in an Inter shirt so far.

Despite both squads being drastically reduced, Antonio Candreva’s injury on the stroke of half-time made the situation at Inter even worse. The depth in the squad has been an issue over recent months and they are just trying to hang on until the Christmas break.

Ultimately, both teams were missing those key elements at San Siro on Friday night, as Inter only created via Roma gifts and the Giallorossi were toothless in attack.

Have your say...
Inter are the best team in Italy right now. Roma stymied their attackers, but gifted them chances. The fact that Roma did not get owned especially with Dzeko out made this a great tie/effort for them. Zaniolo cannot operate as a false 9 he needs more time on the ball and is pretty selfish with it. Dzeko knows how to hold up play and work others into it and that was missing. Kalinic is not match ready and what's clear is that Roma lack options at fwd. That said, Inter should have won all 3 point
on the 10th December, 2019 at 3:52pm
@Totti, Fair enough about dzeko, but in that case fonseca shouldn’t sub him on. Why get kalinic if u don’t trust him.
Anyway my post earlier was mainly to respond the ridiculous claim from that anonymous roma fan. Inter didn’t play as fluid as they usually do. Given the injury list and upcoming match vs barca, ca’t be helped.
But to say roma controlled the match, played eye catching football is a joke. In fact I’m quite surprised how bad they were because I usually rate zaniolo&pelegrini highly
on the 9th December, 2019 at 9:28am
@ Rian

Dzeko had 39 degrees fever two days before the Inter game.
HE WAS SICK. He lost weight, energy, physical strength...

It's not fair bringing his name here, as the guy is a WARRIOR and tried despite everything.
He'll need a week or two to get back to ANY fitness levels!
Be thankful he wasn't fit to play ;)

In the end, you got a point against Roma and Juve didn't get anything against Lazio.
--Great scenario for you guys!
on the 8th December, 2019 at 2:53pm
If it wasn't for Roma's mistakes, this game would have been the most boring match ever!
Inter defended with all their men.
Roma had periods where they looked like a home team, attacking Conte's parked bus.
Too bad Zaniolo selfishly wanted to single handedly sink Inter instead of passing it to Perotti...

But Inter also had periods where they tried something. Mistakes are part of the game and in the end Roma is very lucky to have gotten a point. It could have been 3-0 easily for Black-Blue-Boys.
on the 8th December, 2019 at 2:42pm
@ Inter
Exactly! We are clearly lacking depth and if it wasn't for poor finishing, we would have won comfortably. Unfortunately Brozovic can't even finish a roast dinner! Tsk...
on the 8th December, 2019 at 1:19am
Hahaha Roma played for a draw. The commentators even said that inter were letting Lazio hold possession in the non dangerous areas passing around between CBs. Inter had no midfield with Valero completely finished and vecino average. Bringing on Asamoah as a mid days it all. Lautaro missed a sitter at the end that he would score 9 times out of 10, Roma got very lucky. Won’t even mention the couple of chances in the first half that we would score every other day.
on the 7th December, 2019 at 9:54pm
OMG so just because Roma has more possessions doesn’t mean they controlled the game. In fact the last two matches Conte was more than happy to let opponents control possession and hit them on the counter in which Lautaro and Lukaku are pretty much unstoppable in that sense. So Roma as their coach admited they had more possession with no intentions of attacking only to take away that counter attacking abilities with Lautaro and Lukaku upfront but still they concede a lot of goal scoring chances.
on the 7th December, 2019 at 8:47pm
@Anonymous... Then I don't understand what you watched? Saying that Roma controlled the game is laughable. Did Roma controlled the game to create only one noticeable and gifted chance against Inter? In big part of the game Handanovic was snoring, on the other side Mirante motm! Having said that, Fonseca is doing a good job.
on the 7th December, 2019 at 7:20pm
Learn to look at the statistic before you even open your mouth.
Roma won possesion, roma played more eye catching football and the shot on goal different is not too far.
Open statistic then you can talk.
on the 7th December, 2019 at 7:06pm
How delusional some of these roma fans can be.
Only 1 shot on goal from zaniolo, even that was a weak central effort and kinda gifted due to our mistake, and they talk big just because they had more possession. One of the most pathetic attacking performance from roma that I’ve ever seen, all that possession for nothing. Dzeko was anonymous when came on. mirante is motm, that’s enough said.
Lazio gave inter a lot more of a challenge even though they lost back then. Hope they can do better vs juve
on the 7th December, 2019 at 3:32pm
nobody cares about inter
on the 7th December, 2019 at 1:28pm
Roma played like home team and I think they will just get better when they learn from their mistakes. Zaniolo doesn’t know yet how to pass and he needs to take to many touch on the ball ⚽️ I don’t get it how he keep making the same mistake. He should learn from Mancini, watch his own videos and see what he is doing.
on the 7th December, 2019 at 1:18pm
I didn't understand which match did Martin watched, but Roma clearly control the matched. Roma defensive error let 2 chanches that inter created but easily stopped by Mirante. The way Roma played the ball is pleasing to see, while Inter played boring match, Laudiver falls easily all the time. That's it.
on the 7th December, 2019 at 11:51am

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