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Numbers Corner: The stats that mattered in Inter's loss to Fiorentina

After a streak of good results, Inter Milan fell to Fiorentina in a balanced match between two teams in good form.

Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images

This was a game Inter should have won to prove to themselves and their supporters that they belong in the upper half of the standings and that they could really be competitive in the Europa League. Even if Fiorentina came away with three points, we should analyze this loss through the positive angles, which are many, and remain hopeful for the next fixtures since it seems the style of play Mancini wanted to give to this team has been fully absorbed by the players and the squad has also some steps forward made defensively.

Accurate passing, as usual
Even though Inter have had a busy schedule lately, they keep doing all the little things right in order to keep control of the match. It's important for a team that has his game founded on the ball possession to be accurate and to waste as little as possible while sharing the ball and the Nerazzurri are doing just that. A loss is a loss, but when you have a passing accuracy of 85% you know that you tried your best not to let the opposition take advantage of your mistakes, reducing them at the minimum, while keeping the ball 60% of the time. While Inter passed the ball a bit less than in their recent matches, maybe because our midfielders were either a bit tired (Medel) or out of focus (Brozovic) with Guarin really being the only midfielder participating both physically and mentally.

Few tackles, but on point
Obviously, when you have the ball most of the time, it's hard to be the team with more tackles. What you can achieve, though, is being precise when you make them and certainly it was the case yesterday. Inter lost the tackles battle with Fiorentina 13 to 30, but the Milanese team were effective 62% of the times they challenged the opponents, being dribbled only 5 times the whole match.

I said I wanted to focus on the bright sides of this loss, but surely I can't fool you and make you think it was only a matter of luck that Fiorentina won the game. So here are some things Inter can improve upon going forward.

Too many attacking third passes allowed
While Inter did a good job keeping the ball, letting Fiorentina manage it only 40% of the time, there Nerazzurri allowed the Viola play too much in our defensive side. The Viola made few passes, but they made sure they were the more dangerous possible while sharing the sphere, with 108 of 376 (30%) passes made in Inter's defensive third. This allowed them to be threatening most of the time and, ultimately, their continuous pressure led Handanovic to commit a mistake which would prove to cost Inter the match.

Dribbling ineffectiveness
Inter surely has lots of quality players in their roster who could be very dangerous in one on one situations, but yesterday they were far from excellent in that field. 26 times a black and blue (or white and gold) player tried to run past a Fiorentina one, but only 13 times it was a success (50%). Passing the ball to an open teammate is without doubts less tiring than challenge the opposition by oneself, so what Mancini should work on for the upcoming fixtures is teaching his players that their number one option while playing is finding a free teammate and their second one should be to attempt dribbling, which is after all a great way to advance into the attacking third, especially against weaker sides.