Before we get into the specifics of this match I want you imagine something for a moment. Think about how well Jovetic has been playing so far and that he already has 3 goal in the first two matches. Now imagine him linking up with Icardi who scored 22 Serie A goals last season and was the league's joint top scorer. Are you salivating right now? Good, let's move on.
Inter came into this match after snatching a last minute victory against Atalanta last week and everybody knew that this was a game the team was expected to win. A friendly match over the summer between the two sides ended in a 4-2 win in favor of the Nerazzurri, so nothing less than another win would cut it.
Perhaps in light of the loss suffered earlier, Carpi's manager Castori opted to switch from the 4 man defense that he had stuck with so far in his time at the club and change to a 352 formation in this match. Mancini stuck with the 4312 from the Atalanta fixture, replacing the injured Mauro Icardi with last week's hero Stephan Jovetic, while also switching Gnoukouri with Guarin (who was given the captain's armband).
Carpi actually started fairly well, they pressed aggressively and tried to take the game to Inter. Whenever they really tried to attack though M&M were there to clean up and if they did chance a shot, Handanovic was on his toes to take care of it. After an initial push by the home side Inter settled into the match and began to dominate possession, but Capri were well organized and Inter were unable to break through them.
Things changed in the 31st minute though. Guarin sent in a cross that found Jovetic whose shot was met by the Carpi goalkeeper and fell back to the Montenegrin striker who simply touched it into the net. After taking the lead Inter spent the rest of the half passing the ball around but not really pressuring Carpi, content with going into the break with the 1-0 advantage.
The second half began with more of the same. but eventually Carpi realized that Inter wasn't really pushing for a crucial second goal. This encouraged them to start pressuring the Inter players on the ball and attacking more frequently on the counter. Eventually this new-found confidence paid off. A low cross wasn't dealt with immediately by the defense and Di Gaudio was able to put the ball in the back of the net.
While the home fans were ecstatic and hoping that their side would be taking their first ever Serie A point, Inter decided to finally start playing again and push for another goal. In the 88th minute Guarin was fouled in the box and won his side a penalty. JoJo stepped up and never looked like he was going to miss. Just like that Inter had the lead back and was able to hold on for the victory and a perfect start to the season (in terms of points, not performances).
The original back four: All of the starting back-line played very well. M&M continued their impressive display from last match, while Santon put in a solid shift before risking a second yellow and was removed for Nagatomo. Also I was surprisingly impressed by JJ's display today at left-back. He was composed at the back and also got forward reasonably well. From what was said in some of the post-match comments it seems like he might just be playing there until Montoya gets used to his new surroundings, but if he puts in more shifts like he did in this game, the former Barcelona player might have his work cut out for him.
Guarin: No he didn't play perfectly but he came up big today. The captain served up the cross that Jovetic scored from, and he also won the penalty that our new #10 converted. Consistent performances like this might make it worth keeping him around this season.
JoJo: Well if last week's performance didn't make Inter fans fall in love with their new striker, this week's double has surely gone a long way towards doing the job. He was sharp in front of goal and also dropped deep and helped contribute to the passing play well. Jovetic has started his career with Inter in the best way possible, and all we can do is hope that it can continue for as long as possible.
Brozovic: The biggest problem I had with Brozovic is that he reminded me of Kuzmanovic today (in that he was kinda just there...). He didn't do anything all that bad so I'm hoping this was just a one-off/him still getting used to different positioning. I think I placed him in this category less for his performance today and more of an irrational, Kuz-induced fear that this might become a trend.
Kondogbia: He started off well but after going down with a knock in the first half, he seemed strangely subdued. He still tried to push forward but was not as dominant as one would have expected. It's still early going for the young Frenchman though so I'm not worried.
Palacio: The Argentinian striker was pretty anonymous for most of the match, though I think this was largely due to the fact that Jovetic was basically playing in Palacio's role this game as the second striker who drops deep and swings out wide. Their similarity in playing style might not allow them to be a very effective strike partnership, but barring more Icardi injuries we shouldn't see this particular arraignment very often.
The team's attitude between scoring their first goal and conceding: It was just poor and unnecessary. The team just decided to pass the ball around without any purpose or drive and it allowed Carpi to grow back into the game. This was the type of display that has been seen numerous times under previous coaching regimes but given Mancini's ambition for the team this season it cannot be accepted. An abject display like this will be punished in the future and Mancini would do well to spend the next two weeks stamping out this kind of mentality.
Even though it wasn't pretty, it was another win. 6 points out of a potential 6 so far this season. Now that Perisic has officially joined the club and the transfer window is about to end Mancini will soon have his official squad for the season. There are two weeks before the Derby Della Madonnina; two weeks for Mancini to prepare with his team and make sure that when we watch Inter step out on the San Siro pitch against Milan, they are in the best possible position both tactically and mentally to make it 9 points out of 9.