Frank De Boer first match in charge of Inter and the club’s final friendly took place today against Celtic. The Dutch tactician sent out a very strong and attacking starting lineup for this International Champions Cup game that featured Icardi, Banega, Perisic, and Eder in a 4231 formation. Brendan Rogers sent out a second string side since his team plays a Champions League qualifying match on Wednesday.
Inter started on the front foot in this match. Celtic keeper Leonardo Fasan had to be alert to keep out shots from Ever Banega and Ivan Perišić within the first 15 minutes, and in the 24th minute Ranocchia sent in a glancing header from a corner that had to be cleared off the line. Banega was a constant presence in this half, popping up everywhere to pick up the ball and shoot off a pass.
Banega and Perisic were the best two players of the half but Mauro Icardi and Eder were pretty quiet for a majority of the first 45 minutes. The Inter captain did have one chance but he wasted too much time trying to cut inside to shoot with his right foot. While Eder was quiet for the first 45 minutes he snatched up the opportunity that came to him in extra time. Perisic flicked a header to the back post and the Italian striker was there to head the ball home.
De Boer made one change at halftime, withdrawing Gary Medel to be replaced by Stevan Jovetić. This change meant that Banega dropped into a deeper midfield role and I feel like he wasn’t as influential in the second half versus the first half. Celtic had a few more chances in the second half and their best one occured in the 59th minute when some quick interplay allowed Ciftci to hit a volley that bounced off the crossbar.
In the 61st minute Eder was removed for Antonio Candreva and Inter fans were presented with their first look at their newest winger. It didn’t take him long to find the back of the net and his chipped goal in the 71st minute was one that fans will savor. The rest of the match saw Inter kind of sit back a little and allow Celtic to come at them. Miranda and Andrea Ranocchia were able to repel any attacks though and the match ended 2-0.
There were quite a few positives I took from this match. As I said before Banega, Perisic, and Candreva all impressed and the strikers should not be lacking service this season. There were moments where De Boer’s pressing system could be seen and while it still needs some work it is encouraging that the players are already picking up on his tactical instructions.
With the conclusion of this match playtime is over. The next time game for FDB and his players is on August 21st when they take on Chievo Verona to start their Serie A campaign. There are still questions about this side but in eight days we will start to have those answers.