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Numbers Corner: from hell to heaven

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Inter Milan was in search of redemption after the last second, heartbreaking loss against Napoli on Wednesday and a solid 3-0 win against Palermo was everything our team needed to boost confidence and to earn some important points to climb spots in the Serie A table.

Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images

Napoli 1-0 Inter - Coppa Italia

The best way possible Inter had to qualify for an European competition next year is now gone and in the worst way we could think. What Inter did wrong in that game? Let's see it with the help of numbers.

Clearly we lost the game only for one mistake and it was all Ranocchia's fault in that case, but many things Inter could have done better. Inter committed 16 fouls, a reasonable number if they hadn't attempted only 31 tackles (that makes 1 foul every 2 tackles) while Napoli committed only 7 fouls and attempted 47 tackles (1 foul every 7 tackles)and this is why Mancini was so angry with his team, calling his players "soft".

Inter showed a very good teamwork making 576 passes, and of them 512 were short passes, but the defensive emergency because of the injuries forced Mancini to start Santon, who arrived only a few days before so he hadn't the needed time to bond with his teammates, and in particular with his right-wing-partner for the game Shaqiri; because of this the team leaned more on the left side, were they played for the 44% of the time of possession, while they developed their game only 29% of the time on the opposite side.

Another thing to mention is that Inter played the ball too much with their defender: Juan Jesus touched the ball a team best 94 times while our two most offensive players, Icardi and Puscas, combined to touch it only 81 times; it's obvious that if we want to score more goals than the opponents the ball needs to get more often in the offensive half otherwise our possession is just unproductive.

Inter 3-0 Palermo - Serie A

Thank God we won. And we did with a convincing 3 goals differential, that lacked since last September when we absolutely crushed Sassuolo with 7 goals. This will be the beginning of a long streak of good results, or will it be only a one-hit win? Let's analyze the good thing our team did yesterday in order to end a 3 game losing streak.

Lots of passes in the attacking third
Since Roberto Mancini returned tot he Inter bench, Inter showed how good they are at keeping the possession of the ball and find the right teammate to pass the ball to, but they often kept the ball to much in the defending half of the field so it was hard to create good goal chances. It wasn't the case for this game. Against Palermo Inter possessed the ball for the 52.2% of the time and made 505 passes and 146 of them (30%) were in the offensive third, and they completed 101 of them (70%); this made creating scoring chances a lot more easier for Inter attackers and they should try to do it every time from now on.

Brave plays, solid defence
Mancini's words after Wednesday's game had the right effect on the team as they were extremely pro positive yesterday, trying 19 take-on and completing 12 of them, showing that the individual skills are there, they only need to have the courage to use them fearlessly. This bravery could be seen even when it came to the defensive end: Inter players attempted 40 tackles and won 24 of them (60%), making it really hard for Palermo to try to score some goals. Ranocchia played a solid game too, without any big mistake and everybody hopes that our captain he will be this type of player until the end of the season.

Shaqiri and Brozovic: young and talented
There were high hopes on both players since the announce of their arrive at Inter (especially on the first) and in this game they showed why our management chose them in the winter transfer market. The Swiss made the assist from a corner kick for Guarin's goal and he created 3 other goal chances from set plays and displayed already a good understanding with Brozovic: the Croatian completed 49 passes on the 59 he attempted and 15 of them were directed to Shaqiri.

We as fans have all sort of reasons to be pleased by this game, a part from Icardi's frictions with the Curva Nord supporters, and the hopes are that the team will be able to repeat this type of performance more often in the future.

Thanks to whoscored.com and fourfourtwo.com for the stats.