After a great win in the Coppa Italia Inter returned to Serie A to take on Carpi. Mancini's side had been struggling in the league, only picking up one win in the previous four matches. A win was seen as vital in order to return Inter to form and keep them in a good position in the race for the Champions League spots.
Despite Jovetic being the hero in the last match against Carpi and scoring in the match against Napoli, the Montenegrin attacker did not start the match. The back line was comprised of Montoya, Murillo, Juan Jesus, and Telles. Melo and Brozovic made up the supporting midfield two with Perisic, Palacio, and Ljajic behind Icardi.
Carpi had the ball in the back of the net in the 3rd minute but play was puled back because of a foul that was called. Inter quickly took control of the match in terms of possession with the away side more than happy with siting back and trying to hit Inter on the counterattack. The Nerazzurri were able to create a couple of chances but not as many as one would expect of a side with over 70% possession. In the 39th minute Inter were able to take the lead; a counterattack saw the ball land at the feet of Perisic who's blocked shot fell right in front of Palacio and he slotted home. Perisic had a shot later that struck the outside of the post and the first half ended with the scoreline that is now typical of Mancini's side this season, 1-0.
Mancini made a halftime substitution replacing Telles with Miranda to switch the formation to a 352. Though Inter forced Belec to make a couple of saves through Perisic and Melo efforts, Carpi began to take more of a foothold in the match. The away side was having more possession and was probing at Inter with considerably more confidence than they had in the first half. Mancini seemed to realize that his new formation was not working and took off Montoya for Nagatomo to switch back to a back four with JJ playing at left-back. This move allowed for Inter to attack a little more with JJ providing an extra attacking option. In the 82nd minute Belec had to make a double save from both Melo and Palacio. Things seemed to get a little easier for the home side a minute later when Pasciuti received a second yellow for a late challenge on Miranda. It looked like Inter would secure a 10th 1-0 victory, but in the 92nd minute Lasanga scored on the counter to level the match.
There was absolutely no reason for Inter to draw this match, yet at the same time there was every reason for Inter to draw this match. Inter dominated possession in the first half, yet they were unable to create suitable opportunities (again). In the second half they got a couple of scoring chances, but were unable to kill off the match (again). The defense did well for a majority of the match, but they made a mistake late on (again). Mancini has been relying on 1-0 victories for a majority of this season, but now he needs to realize that this will not work anymore. The defense is still solid but he can no longer rely on them stopping absolutely everything that is thrown at them. The attack needs to start scoring multiple goals in order to secure wins rather than just relying on a lot of luck and defending.
This was Mancini's 200th match as coach of Inter. He needs to learn from what happened today and change the mentality of his players. Inter is currently in second with four points separating them and Napoli though Juventus can knock Inter down to third with a win or draw against Roma. The Nerazzurri are still in the hunt for Champions League places though things have to change if they want to stay there. One win in five matches is unsustainable. Trying to hold 1-0 leads in every match is unsustainable. Up next is the first leg of the Coppa Italia semifinal away at Juventus; a performance like the one today will result in a final score that no Inter fan will want to see.