Inter's traumatic season continued with a comprehensive defeat away to Napoli on Friday night, which makes it 10 losses from 20 official matches in the 2016-17 campaign. Maurizio Sarri's team started quicker than Stefano Pioli's and within five minutes the match was practically over, enabling them to keep pace with the Champions League-chasing teams above and all but ending our own hopes of a miraculous recovery in Serie A. It was a match that laid bare all the psychological and physical problems we are facing at the moment, and leaves me with very little hope indeed for the remainder of our campaign. Baraka's match recap is here, while below you can find our player ratings. Neither make for particularly positive reading...
Samir Handanovic - 5.5
He didn't convince me on Zielinski's first goal, but we can't place too much blame at his door like we could on Monday. Had it not been for his saves on Gabbiadini, Hamsik and others we could have been looking at double figures for Napoli here. He's not in great form but the real problems are ahead of him.
Danilo D'Ambrosio - 4.5
The last time we played Napoli D'Ambrosio put in one of his best performances in an Inter shirt (an accolade for which there's not an enormous amount of competition, granted, but still), keeping first Insigne and then Mertens in his pocket and offering a great contribution to our 2-0 victory. This was one of his worst. He's been winning me over in recent weeks and I still think he's the best of a bad bunch in the full-back zones, but you can't defend the indefensible and in this game he was a nightmare. The third goal in particular was an embarrassing lack of concentration on his part.
Andrea Ranocchia - 5.5
After years of match-losing performances Froggy was probably the least culpable of the back four in this match, although that's not to say he played well. A couple of good clearances kept Napoli from piling on the pain even more, but he was heavily conditioned by his early yellow card and didn't understand much of the home side's attacking play either. The fact that he has overtaken Murillo (rightly) in Pioli's defensive hierarchies after Medel's injury says a lot more about Murillo than it does himself. Second goal really should have been prevented between him and D'Ambrosio.
Miranda - 4.5
Last year, we had a creaky defence but with at least the calming influence of Miranda to make it look slightly presentable. Now we just have a creaky defence. This guy's form has completely fallen off a cliff during the last few months and there are very few signs that the old Miranda will ever return; he's lost his grit, he's lost his determination and he's lost his leadership qualities (if indeed he ever had any - Daniele Adani said something interesting in commentary for Sky about how he will never be the leader Medel is), which confirms what we've all known for a while: it's very, very, very difficult to play well at Inter. The confusion is such at this club that even the best of players can lose themselves in this shameful mess, and Miranda has demonstrated some serious psychological deficiencies in dealing with all that of late.
Cristian Ansaldi - 5
I keep waiting for Ansaldi to come good but it's not happening, so if this form continues for much longer then some humble pie will be in order. He offers more than the other fullbacks going forward but I can't recall him having a single good performance on a defensive level, and Callejon was running riot on his side in this game.
Marcelo Brozovic - 6
The only player who deserves a vote of sufficiency for this game. His defensive play was practically nonexistent, so let's not go over the top with this performance, but he's our most in-form midfielder at the moment and we could see that again on Friday. He made mistakes, perhaps with too many touches of the ball, but the only flashes of football Inter produced came through him.
Geoffrey Kondogbia - 4
Nope. Let's just move on.
Antonio Candreva - 5.5
The next best performer after Brozovic if you ask me, but Antonio's best efforts were not enough to get us back into the game. He skipped past his man on a couple of occasions and managed to prove some crosses into the box, but his teammates were never alert to them and eventually his influence disappeared too. Looked again like the soloist I used to get annoyed with watching at Lazio.
Ever Banega - 5
He was forced to come off at halftime due to a knee problem, but he hadn't exactly set the world alight before that either. A couple of skilful touches of the ball which reminded us why we were so excited to sign him in the summer, but nothing substantial and from a man of his talent we are obliged to expect so much more. Another example of an elite player coming to Inter and losing himself in the utter chaos that is this team and this club.
Ivan Perisic - 5.5
Perisic is a good microcosm of what this team is as a whole: a player of 'giocate' (moments of skill) and not 'gioco' (an overarching, more continuous style of play), as they often say in Italy. He's capable of eye-catching accelerations and sudden flashes of brilliance, but incapable of exerting a controlling influence over a game and thus liable to become invisible for large periods. A player of moments in a team of moments. After the positive display against Fiorentina this was a real backwards step, both individually and collectively.
Mauro Icardi - 5
This was billed as the night where Maurito would show Napoli just why they wanted to sign him so much during the summer, but if that was the case then for once he fluffed his lines. The chances we had to get back into the match were all his, but he couldn't put any of them away; partially for Reina's competence and partially for his own incompetence. He made some good movements and got into dangerous positions in the first half, but if you laud him as a world class player one week then you have to judge him by those high standards the following week - ergo, this wasn't sufficient.
Joao Mario - 5.5
He came on for a destroyed Kondogbia after 55 minutes and failed to have an impact on the game, although you can only blame him for that up to a certain point. It isn't a good sign however that Pioli decided to leave a €40m signing on the bench in one of our most decisive games of the season so far.
Eder - 5
Didn't have any impact whatsoever in the second half after he replaced Banega. Not entirely his fault, but it's difficult to foresee a long and prosperous future at Inter for Eder.
Rodrigo Palacio - 5
Not a lot. Only got 15 minutes to show what he was about and had very little opportunity to do even that.
Stefano Pioli - 5
This was a big backwards step for the team after their magnificent first-half display against Fiorentina on Monday, but it was also a backwards step for Pioli in my view. The team clearly didn't start the game with the appropriate level of concentration and determination and within five minutes any chance of a win had vanished, and when you don't approach games correctly the coach must take responsibility at least in part for that. Everything was decided there and then. But I still expected us to do more in the 85 minutes that remained to try and recover the deficit; unfortunately this team has an incredible mental fragility as well as an incredible tactical fragility, and bar a couple of chances in the first half for Icardi they never gave the impression of a side that really believed they could respond to Napoli's blistering start. Pioli can't be blamed for the psychological defects because we're used to that, but the numbers are clear and they tell us that we've conceded 10 goals in the four games he's overseen from the bench. He keeps repeating time and time again that he's looking to give this team a modicum of equilibrium, and I appreciate that he is doing that because we desperately need it, but performances like this one suggest he's still a long, long way away from finding that equilibrium. His substitutes meanwhile had very little impact on a game which was already long-since lost by the time they came on. Is Champions League qualification still possible, as he told journalists in his post-match press conference? I sure as hell don't think so.