I see Inter Milan as a two headed monster lately. The nice head is the one that allows the team to play amazing football, with short and accurate passes, which often lead them to score at will; the ugly one consists on sloppiness and lack of focus defensively, and it shows frequently just after the team score a goal. It happened against Atalanta, but Benalouane's ejection made thing easier for us. Same thing against Celtic, after two goals scored, a 2 minutes black out by Inter allowed them to level the game and then, after the Nerazzurri regained the lead, the Scottish team found an opening in our defense to ultimately tie the game. Tonight's game followed the same script, but at least it had a happy ending.
We pushed hard to see Guarin, who is playing great lately, wearing wearing the captain's armband and finally it happened, because of Ranocchia's absence, due to a mix of poor performances and tiredness. Inter came into this game with two consecutive league wins and, mindful of the ugly loss Cagliari inflicted them in the home game, with the desire to take revenge on them.
The first half was absolutely dominated by the away team, which had the possession for most of the time. They created good scoring opportunities, but failed to convert them into goals. Podolski was the most threatening of the Nerazzurri but in the 20th minute he lost a great opportunity refusing to shoot in a one on one situation against Brkic, then, 4 minutes later, he wasted a good cross by Santon with an imprecise header.
Brkic was great tonight, saving a close-range attempt by Brozovic in the 29th minute (and then Icardi tried to score on the rebound, but Capuano was in the way of the shot) and being alert on a slow header by Icardi 4 minutes from half time.
Podolski wasted another opportunity, just after the half time whistle, sending high an easy header after a good individual play by Guarin, who crossed the ball into the box for the German.
Finally Inter Milan found the way to goal two minutes into the second half, with Kovacic who was ready to take advantage of a scramble in the Cagliari area and putting the ball at Brkic's high left side with a powerful finish. The Croatian then celebrated the goal with his index finger on his lips, as you can see in the above image.
After the goal is when Inter's ugly head came out, with five minutes of absolute nightmare, in which Cagliari failed to score at least three times, not taking advantage of a series of mistakes by the opposite defense, but it has to be said that Carrizo was always ready on their attempts and even a bit lucky when M'Poku in the 58th minute made way for himself into Inter's box but his shot hit the Argentinian keeper's legs making it an easy save for him.
We had to wait the 68th minute to see Icardi showing his incredible talent scoring a beautiful goal from the right corner of the Cagliari box and putting the ball under the crossbar in the opposite side of the goal. With this one he is now at the top of the Serie A scoring list for the season, tied with Tevez, with 14 league goals.
Despite the two goals lead, the game is not completely closed and in the 74th minute, Longo (on loan from Inter) with a shot from distance caused an unlucky own goal by Carrizo, who saw the ball bouncing off his body after hitting the post.
After the goal Cagliari didn't slacken off and went really close to the tie, but in the 77th minute M'Poku (who played splendidly) shot the ball just a bit out of the right post and one minute later Longo put a good ball into Inter's box but no one of his teammates was in the right position to take advantage of that and beat Carrizo for the second time.
Hernanes, put into the game in the 83th minute, caused the last emotion of the game just after the final whistle of a really exciting match hitting the crossbar from far away, with the ball that bounced just two inches out of the goal line.
Three points hard-won by Inter, which never won three games in a row since 2012, and that give them the sixth place, waiting to see what happens tomorrow in the Derby della Lanterna between Genoa and Sampdoria.
Cagliari 1 - Inter 2
Goals: Kovacic (47), Icardi (68), Carrizo og (74)
Cagliari: Brkic, Dessena, Rossettini, Capuano, Avelar, Donsah, Conti (C), Crisetig (Ceppitelli 72), M'Poku, Cossu (Joao Pedro 67), Cop (Longo 56)
Inter: Carrizo, Campagnaro, Vidic, Juan Jesus, Santon, Medel, Guarin (C), Brozovic (Hernanes 83), Kovacic (Kuzmanovic 93), Podolski (Dodò 81), Icardi