Manager Roberto Mancini's side suffered a painful 1-0 defeat at the hands of Torino today, as Torino's Emiliano Moretti tallied a late, gut-wrenching goal in a competition which saw the Nerazzurri control most of the match.
In the first half, it seemed as if it was only a matter of time before Inter bagged their first goal. The side certainly had their chances, but failed to capitalize on any of them.
The team kept possession well in the first half, too, with Kuzmanovic and Guarin looking quite comfortable with providing offensive distribution and defensive cover form their deep-lying midfield positions.
By the second half, however, Torino had grown into the match and were able to take the game at a more comfortable pace. I Granata nearly took the lead in the 72nd minute, when a clever save was needed from Handanovic in order to deny a strong Molinaro effort.
Inter then nearly broke the deadlock in the 83rd minute when Kuzmanovic set up Vidic, but unfortunately the Serbian international couldn't make clean contact and Obi couldn't steer the rebound toward the goal.
At this point in the match, it appeared that both sides would have to settle for a 0-0 draw, as there was no real clean or creative play from either squad.
And then disaster struck in extra time.
Torino's Maxi Lopez was able to flick on a corner from the right side, and a completely unmarked Moretti was easily able to head the ball home from inside the six-yard box.
I don't understand why this team can't string together two consecutive wins. I also don't understand Mancini's personnel decisions over the last 3-4 match span. He seems to be over-thinking things. Why wouldn't Shaqiri be in the starting XI after three full days' rest and a good performance in his last match? Where was Dodo? Now that we have some stronger attacking midfielders, why not try Kovacic in a deeper play-making role?
All the money and effort put into this side during the transfer window will have been a massive waste if this team does not string together a string of very positive results very soon. I'm not sure it's right to completely blame Mancini for the results, because the team mentality has demonstrably changed. But what is a change in mentality if there are no results to accompany that change?
INTER 0-1 TORINO
Scorers: Moretti 90+4'
INTER: Handanovic; D'Ambrosio (Shaqiri 56'), Vidic, Andreolli (Ranocchia 44'), Obi; Guarin, Kuzmanovic; Palacio, Kovacic, Podolski (Donkor 67'); Icardi
Unused Subs: Carrizo, Berni, Dodo, Puscas, Krhin, Hernanes, Bonazzoli
Coach: Roberto Mancini
TORINO: Padelli; Maksimovic (Bovo 81'), Glik, Moretti; Darmian, Benassi, Gazzi, Farnerud (El Kaddouri 67'), Molinaro; Martinez (Lopez 57'), Guagliarella
Unused Subs: Gillet, Castellazzi, Jansson, Vives, Gaston Silva, Amauri, Masiello
Coach: Giampero Ventura