After the loss to Torino, Inter needed a reaction today against Frosinone. A win was the only result that would be acceptable against the side currently in 19th place, and Mancini's men were able to secure a victory, though not as easily as we might have expected. It took 74 minute for Inter to get on the score sheet, mainly due to an inability to convert a number of chances that had been created. To make things even more nerve wracking, Frosinone had multiple shots that hit the frame of the goal and could walk away feeling pretty unlucky that they came away from the match with nothing. But for what has seemed like the first time in a while, lady luck was smiling on the nerazzurri and they picked up all three points.
Mancini changed things up for this match and went with a 442 formation. Given the suspensions impacting his defense, Telles and D'Ambrosio were the fullback with Murillo and Juan Jesus playing in the heart of the back 4. The midfield two were made up of Melo and Brozovic while Perisic and Biabiany were stationed on the flanks. Up top Icardi was partnered with Jovetic who started for the first time since January.
Jovetic and Perisic started brightly, creating a couple of chances in the first half that were not taken. The Croatian winger has been playing extremely well lately, prompting some links to Chelsea, so it was not a surprise to see him getting involved in the match. Jovetic clearly was eager to impress Mancini after spending so much time away from the pitch, and while he sometimes looked a little rusty, his link-up play was pretty good and he showed an understanding with Icardi that really hasn't been seen all that much this season.
The second half saw more action. Murillo headed over the bar from a Brozovic free kick, then the Inter woodwork sprang into action (figuratively of course). First, Paganini's diving header deflected off the post then a Pavlovic smashed a free-kick off Handanovic’s crossbar. Perisic tried to respond with a shot that went wide before he turned provider for the only goal of the match. Jovetic played the ball to him out wide and he sent in a cross that Icardi flicked into the far corner. After the goal there was a sending off, and for what seems like the first time in forever it wasn't an Inter player that left for an early shower. Blanchard was shown a second yellow for clipping Jovetic and though Ciofani had a shot that clipped the post Inter were able to hold on to their lead and win.
I can only really see two positives from this match. The first is the simple fact that the team won, and points are much appreciated at this point in the fight for 4th place (and maybe 3rd but that's a bit of wishful thinking). The second positive is that Icardi scored his 50th goal in 100 appearances today. That's an incredible strike-rate for a 23 year old that has often had to depend on pretty poor service. I can't wait to see what he can do when he is consistently provided with service and surrounded by high-quality midfielders and wingers. I just hope he gets that opportunity while he is still at Inter.