Friday August 21 2020
How long must we sing this song?

The wait for an Italian club winning European silverware goes on, as Giancarlo Rinaldi saw Inter fall short in the Europa League Final with Sevilla.

In the end, it was a familiar story. After a few minutes, we thought the decade-long wait for an Italian team to win a European competition might come to an end. But the dream, at the final whistle, disappeared quicker than your miserly friend when the bill arrives in an expensive restaurant.

There was a time when Serie A sides were the experts in the competition, but we have long since socially-distanced ourselves from this trophy. Nowadays, nobody does it better than Sevilla. Inter - once a continental giant - find themselves, just like the rest of their league, a step or two short of the level needed for success.

It need not have been that way, in truth. An early lead through Romelu Lukaku ought to have been the building block towards a victory - for a side convinced of its means. Instead, they let their opponents back in so swiftly that they hardly had any time to sweat. Serial winners would have locked the door and left them to rap on it without reply for 85 minutes or so.

The most encouraging element, if we want to seek it, was the way the Nerazzurri got back to level terms after slipping behind. For 45 minutes, they displayed the necessary character to trade blows with a team which considers the Europa League its personal property. But a scrappy second half highlighted shortcomings which cannot be ignored.

It was not that Julen Lopetegui’s side were brilliant, but they showed their expertise in the later stages of this game. Yes, it was cruel that Lukaku missed a chance not long before sticking the ball into his own net, but the great teams find a way of either getting over these things or finding them happen in their favour. After a thrilling first half, it felt like a bit of a limp exit.

Maybe the trophy was just too important for Inter, while Sevilla had the confidence of a club which seems to win it every time they make the final. And perhaps an earlier introduction of Christian Eriksen, when they were struggling to provide much service for their strikers, might have helped to turn things around. Or, more simply, the La Liga outfit may just have been the better side.

Samir Handanovic said at full time that the defeat would provide a bigger lesson than victory and allow the Milanese giants to come back stronger. That is the optimistic interpretation and is not without some grain of truth. The boys in blue and black have improved both domestically and in Europe and, with a few additions and a bit more time together, they can surely improve. That won’t make the Amaretto taste any less bitter for Inter fans tonight.

A demanding dude like Antonio Conte will also have been left downhearted. For him, second place is nothing and having got close to grabbing some silverware will be no consolation whatsoever. Question marks remain about whether his relationship with the club will be a long-lasting one or a love-affair which never quite bloomed. The team has grown, no doubt, but whether he is the man to complete its development remains to be seen. His post-match interview suggested a parting of the ways is still a distinct possibility.

It would look a bit daft, mind you, to rip everything up and start again. Second place in Serie A - although more distant than it appeared in the league table - and a runners-up spot in the Europa League are not to be thrown away. A few sensible additions to this squad would surely make a competitive outfit ready to give a better account of itself in key fixtures. That should throw some consolation in the way of followers of the Nerazzurri.

In a wider view, the Italian league remains a few paces behind the best in Europe. This game showed that even the continent’s second best competition is beyond them for the time being. But Inter’s run should also serve as a lesson to any club from Serie A which plays in it. For too long, they have snubbed this event, but this season one side appeared to take it seriously. For that, at least, Inter deserve a dash of credit and - who knows - maybe more will follow their lead in years to come.

Have your say...
a solution from FIGC: Send everyone to Serie B
on the 25th August, 2020 at 4:32am
@Rosario, there is only one word to perfectly describe you : PATHETIC!

For a decade Milan is TRASH, get used to it!
on the 24th August, 2020 at 8:46am
Well, at least Lukaku got the winner!!
on the 24th August, 2020 at 7:10am
A dead even match unfortuately decided by a lucky bounce. Even a penalty shootout would have been more worthy ending. InterPlus: surprisingly had more posession; reacted well to going down. InterMinus: Lautaro did nothing; poor defending on 2nd goal; sloppy passing; gave up after 3rd goal. SevillaPlus: gritty degerminatiin; never panicked; clutch defending; SevillaMinus: disgraceful simulation, theatrics & time-wasting . BOTTOM LINE: As Einstein said "chance favors the prepared mind".
on the 24th August, 2020 at 3:02am

see doesnt matter ...still an EX-SERIE A CLUB PLAYER comes up big but when they/He (Coman) played in italy they werent used as much and went loaned out to different big european club.
yea i dint know Icardi was out, mighta been more viewable.

point is they all traded up pretty much.
on the 24th August, 2020 at 12:15am

Haha reality just gave you an L.

Ex Juve player Coman, signed for 20 million, scored the goal for Bayern, and now he has a CL, while Bonucci, Chiellini and Buffon have 0.

And btw Icardi sat on the bench for 90 minutes.
on the 23rd August, 2020 at 9:59pm
It just wasn't Inters night 10 minutes into second half I said to myself 'next goal winner' thats when conte should of taken Lautaro off Moses/ Erikssen on. A gamble yes but could of paid off...75 mins too late game already lost seville players falling down as if hit by a juggernaut.
I hope inter can learn from this and grow same goes for the rest of Calcio...we got some catching up to do..
From now on have the courage to play attacking football
on the 23rd August, 2020 at 8:20pm
...just thought throw my worthless lil fact point of irony of how Conte got rid of toxic players like Icardi and Perisic for the good of club, only for each of them players with a chance to win in CL final...while Inter fail to win anything / eurpoa final.
on the 23rd August, 2020 at 5:01pm
Nice youre following italian teams in Europe when Milan again is not there.
Do you know Milans last result in Europe?
I will give you 3 options.
A/ Dudelange-Milan 0-1
B/ Milan-Betis 1-2
C/ Olympiakos-Milan 3-1

Enjoy reliving your glory, watching old youtubeclips of van Basten lol. Now you have Frank Kessie and celebrate ending 6th, 16 points behind Inter.

Its over dude. Your club is like Fiorentina now.
on the 23rd August, 2020 at 5:16am

You seem to be missing the point.

Milan are no longer any relevance in European football. At all.

There are 20 year-old people who have no memory of Milan being any good in Europe.

Hopefully they can do something in the 2nd-tier Europa next year, but don't bet on it. Out at the group stage last time, embarrassing Serie A like no other club has recently.

I asked you how many of their last 16 CL knockout games have Milan won since 2007.

So, how many?
on the 23rd August, 2020 at 12:09am
@Jeremy. Yes, fella I'm great. Last night was brilliant. I mean Gobbi being royally stuffed by Lyon was great, but we then got Inter to laugh at as well. Brilliant summer of football.
on the 22nd August, 2020 at 5:58pm
it is a point worth mentioning when parma won the europa league the league was made up of 70% italian player parma being 66% italian. now serie a italian representation is around the 40% mark. this is kind of ironic considering the drastic improvement in the younger generation of italian players over the last 5 years. only a season ago it was around the 50% mark.

there is a hangover for the best part of decade mediocre player development. italian players are becoming too expensive
on the 22nd August, 2020 at 5:17pm
Sevilla looked more aggressive from the start, able to attack in numbers. Could always see 7-8 players in Inter's box when they did attack. Inter seemed to be thinking more then just playing. They improved in the league but I agree he is not a Cup coach. Imo this was more a psychological loss so the blame lies with preparation and coach. Whether the stress just overwhelms him i'm not sure but it would be a huge problem that Inter may have spotted hence Conte knows his future remains uncertain.
on the 22nd August, 2020 at 4:39pm
How odd, an even match turns on a extended foot for an own goal after the same player misses an almost sure goal on a breakaway and great save. Oh the foibles of football where the gods hold the fate of men and teams through chance and luck.
It was a great match and the best team won but Inter can surely be proud of the game they played, the tournament and the league year.
On any given gameday anything can happen, enjoy the ride
Serie A rises as Italy recovers and hopefully new talent blooms.
on the 22nd August, 2020 at 4:28pm
Are you feeling alright?
on the 22nd August, 2020 at 3:59pm
It shouldn't be a shock at all. I really struggle to see how people were ever expecting anything else.
Serie A is dead. There is no youth development. Every year more and more sub standard players are brought in from everywhere which has effected the quality of Serie A and the national side.
What has changed in the last 10 years that made anyone believe things were going to be different. Italian football has been in decline since 2006, very year has got worse and worse so there is nothing new
on the 22nd August, 2020 at 3:51pm
@David. Milan had the guts, desire, fight and believe to come back two seasons later and beat Liverpool. In between those two finals, we reached a semi final only to lose thanks to poor refereeing in Camp Nou when disallowing the Sheva goal. David? Or is it Davide? or is this another armchair fanatic talking?
on the 22nd August, 2020 at 2:10pm
Ahhh it's so cute seeing so many armchair fanatics getting upset. 7 Champions league titles! 7. When you Gobbi, Inter or whoever it is you 'support' get anywhere near to that 7, then come back and talk. Pinturicchio? haha. Wait Do these years mean anything to do? 1973, 1983, 1997, 1998, 2003, 2015 & 2017.
on the 22nd August, 2020 at 2:08pm
2. I could of course be wrong and Allegri continues with the 3-5-2/3-4-1-2 but personally I feel Pochettino who is still without a club would be a better fit. He's played with 3 at the back at times with Spurs, he knows how to get the best out of Eriksen and his style of play is entertaining to watch. Hakimi would also flourish under Poch who places a lot of emphasis on the full-backs getting forward.
on the 22nd August, 2020 at 1:48pm
1. Conte seems to have suggested he's going to walk which would be a shame as despite this loss clear signs of progress have been made this season at Inter. I'm not sure if Allegri is the right man to take over, he favours a 4-2-3-1/4-3-3 which doesn't suit the players Inter have in the squad. They have no wingers and Hakimi may go from being a real force as a RWB to struggling as a RB. Plus with only 1 striker one of Martinez/Lukaku won't be in the team which would be a shame.
on the 22nd August, 2020 at 1:46pm
Italian teams just don't take risks in finals. While the score remains equal they don't push the initiative and rely mostly on breakaways. Conte played this way,he was not willing to change and only brought on subs after Sevilla scored their third goal. Reactive not proactive coaching is the problem. You lose more finals than you win playing this way.
on the 22nd August, 2020 at 1:36pm
stop being so dramatic. It was one moment in the game that changed everything; the breakaway miss to then go and score an own goal. This is a good season in every way for Internazionale and Atalanta. Same cannot be said for Roma, Juve and Lazio. Hopefully, Serie A can continue its upward trend.
on the 22nd August, 2020 at 1:12pm

Wow, im surpised to hear from a milanista, I didnt think u guys existed anymore.

You forgot about the biggest chokeperformance of all time tho.
Istanbul 2005. Up 3-0 at halftime. Loses on penalties.

Are you sure you will not be banned from playing in Europ league again next season?
on the 22nd August, 2020 at 10:27am
@Rosario how could ur team have won it, if they had refused to participate, in the first place? ur team curdled in the corner, while other italian teams were carrying the Italian Flag for over a decade
on the 22nd August, 2020 at 7:48am

This isn't FM or FIFA/PES, go back to your pathetic sim-life in the basement you dwell in whilst yelling at your Mommy for not buying you your favourite types of chips from the supermarket.

Let football be analysed by football pundits and aficionados who actually know a thing or two about what has happened beyond Farsopoli and the cancer which plagued Calcio, known collectively as Berlusconi and Moratti.
on the 22nd August, 2020 at 7:09am
Feel so happy for traitors like De Vrij and Candreva that left Lazio to win things...ha ha. They could have just been honest and said I'm leaving cos I'm getting 3 times the salary, sorry lads.
on the 22nd August, 2020 at 7:07am
Finera la stagione con ZERO TITULI...
on the 22nd August, 2020 at 7:05am
diego carlos should have had been sent off for that foul on lukaku

still it is no excuse inter having to depend on a player to be sent off to beat sevilla, inter were just not good enough to beat sevilla.

as for what it says about about the league i think 20 years without winning the trophy damn the lack of strength and depth for serie a sides. saying that sevilla are a freak they are a team full of has been and rejects and beat teams like utd who spent close to a billion on new players.
on the 22nd August, 2020 at 7:02am
@Rosario i hope you not a milan fan because they have been irrelevant across europe for almost the last 15 years. even worse than inter. they keep living in the past european glory and keep saying when 'we come back' for the last 10 years. fact is w door whether it be semis, quarters, finals,in the last 10-15 years. while the other 2 milan clubs have been irrelevant these are the facts. show some respect. but i dont expect that when juve get far in the c.league keep rooting for the opposition
on the 22nd August, 2020 at 5:18am
can always count on inter being inter
on the 22nd August, 2020 at 3:47am

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