Inter's 2016-17 season received the shot in the arm it badly needed on Sunday evening, coming from behind to defeat Juventus 2-1 in a thrilling Derby d'Italia. The Nerazzurri had not overturned a deficit to beat the Old Lady at San Siro in Serie A since April 1979, when Giuseppe Baresi and Evaristo Beccalossi cancelled out Antonio Cuccureddu's early goal to seal victory with the same scoreline (of course, we did it in Turin only four years ago in our last league success), but goals from Mauro Icardi and Ivan Perisic ended that long drought after Stephan Lichtsteiner - who could have joined Inter at the end of the summer transfer window - had momentarily put Juve in front during the second half. The win moves Inter from 11th to 6th in the Serie A table, just two points behind the nasty Gobbi and level with Roma and Lazio heading into the first midweek round of the season. Below are the player (and manager) ratings for Sunday's triumphant performance (Baraka's general recap of the match can be read here).
Handanovic - 6.5
Compared to the Pescara match Samir really didn't have a lot to do on this occasion, which is a testament to how well the team worked out of possession to blunt Juve's attacking play. No mistakes but no big saves either - for once we didn't need him to bail us out, and that is certainly good news for the future. Khedira tried to kill him at the end but failed. Also good news for the future.
D'Ambrosio - 5
Non ci siamo. Another largely insufficient performance at right-back from Danilo, who struggled to make a mark in attack (will he ever learn to cross?) and was seriously caught out twice in defense - the second of which led to Lichtsteiner's opener, with both Asamoah and Alex Sandro out-muscling him with apparent ease. He also got lucky just before we took the lead when a miskick fell straight to Handanovic. Get well soon, Cristian Ansaldi. Please.
Miranda - 7.5
An example for every budding central defender around the world. Miranda comprehensively won the physical and aerial duel with Mario Mandzukic in the first half, before making two prodigious interceptions in the second on Dybala (at the start) and Higuain (at the end). The defining image of his game was perhaps his booming headed clearance in the 95th minute though, as Juve laid siege to the Inter penalty box in stoppage time. As if to say: nothing and no one is getting past me today. Nigh-on faultless.
Murillo - 7
It looks like the Jeison Murillo of late 2015 is finally back. He still suffers from occasional rushes of blood to the head that put everyone else out of joint at the back, but someone with his style of play will probably always succumb to those temptations. It helps him a lot to have Miranda alongside, but he put in a very strong performance in his own right as well. Dybala didn't win a single aerial duel against him.
Santon - 5.5
When you're played on your wrong foot as a full-back, usually the compromise is that you don't offer much going forward but guarantee solidity at the back in exchange. Cesar Azpilicueta at Chelsea is the first example that springs immediately to mind. Santon doesn't, though. He hates using his left foot when he crosses the halfway line but he is also prone to falling asleep when it comes to defensive diagonals (see Cristante's glaring chance last week, and Lichtsteiner's goal this week), which makes him a left-back that doesn't like going forward and isn't reliable in defense. It doesn't sound like the perfect identikit for a Champions League-chasing team to me. He gets half a point more than D'Ambrosio because he had the good grace to ask for a substitution when he got injured in the second half, making way for Miangue who already seems to give more guarantees than he does.
Joao Mario - 7
A super display from our new €40m man, who I'm absolutely delighted to have on board. He and Banega divided play-making duties between them exceptionally throughout the match, taking it in turns to come deep and move forward so that Medel didn't have to worry about adding creativity himself. He isn't flashy like some but everything he does is useful, always playing with purpose and making himself available for team-mates to pass him the ball. The perfect modern midfielder - a 'tuttocampista', as he's been dubbed in the Italian press. And he's all ours. To think that at one stage we'd begun to open talks with Moussa Sissoko as an alternative to him...
Medel - 7
A very good Gary Medel-style performance, and that's all we can ever ask of our Pitbull. He'll never add fluidity to our offensive play but it would be cruel to ask him to, which is why Joao Mario and Banega spent most of the 90 minutes alternating their positions between deep-lying play-maker and no. 10. Medel is, I think, fundamental in guaranteeing us a degree of balance with all our attack-minded players, and did an excellent job in particular on Dybala yesterday, limiting the amount of passes Juve could send to him as well as teaming up with others to inhibit Pjanic's influence on proceedings. Would we miss him if he weren't there? It's a yes from me.
Candreva - 6.5
Not the most spectacular display of his career (let's just brush over his long-range free-kick attempt in the 30th minute), but he put so much hard work into the defensive side of his game and that can't be overlooked. He and Eder both came back very deep inside their own half when it was necessary to keep the team compact, and to great effect, while it was his pressing on Asamoah that forced the Ghanaian into his terrible mistake for our second goal. Not entirely at ease in his new team yet, but getting there.
Banega - 7.5
What did we do before this guy arrived? I dare not even think about it. Banega is the man that switches this team's light-bulb on whenever it's in need of a creative solution, allowing his quality to ooze over the rest of his teammates no matter where he finds himself on the pitch (and he does end up everywhere). Another assist for the Argentine genius in this match with the corner that led to Icardi's equalizing goal, with several other super bits of skill to boot - it's very impressive how calm he is whenever he's in a tight spot. Such a strong personality to play the ball. The only problem with his match was the red card that will render him unavailable for Wednesday's match with Empoli, but the standing ovation he received as he walked off said it all. Magnificent.
Eder - 7.5
Quite possibly his best performance in an Inter shirt to date. Tireless defensive work on the left wing until he was subbed off and also a lot of attacking enterprise, showing no fear in taking on the Juve back line and causing their midfield several problems with his outside-to-inside runs during the first half. Played in a narrow position close to Icardi and demonstrated that the two have a pretty good understanding. It's no mean feat to make sure Ivan Perisic is not missed, but he basically did that. Shoes well and truly filled.
Icardi - 9
What is there left for us to say? Simply stratospheric. He ran, he fought, he led and he played like the captain we've all been waiting for him to become, marking a truly monstrous performance with the two decisive and most impressive pieces of skill in the match. First came the goal - his seventh in eight career games against Juve, incredibly - leaping a full 2.38m to tower above Mandzukic and head into the corner, and then came the assist, a magnificently dainty cross with the outside of his right foot for Perisic to win the game. Perfection doesn't exist in football, but you'd be hard pressed to get any closer than Maurito did here. What a shame we didn't sell him to Napoli...
Perisic - 7.5
It's very rare that a Derby d'Italia match-winner ends up going under the radar post-game, but with all the (justified) talk on Icardi, De Boer and others I feel like Ivan has. So let's give him some praise too - he only had two full training sessions with the squad last week, due to the small injury he had picked up post-Pescara, and was a doubt to even make the bench as late as Saturday afternoon, but you couldn't have asked any more of him from the moment he replaced Eder in the second half. A couple of classic Perisic dribbles and then a lovely header to complete our quickfire turnaround - Icardi has got a lot of attention (again, rightly so) for his assist, but the leap on that man to reach the cross... majestic. I didn't think he'd ever top his previous best Derby d'Italia moment (the one involving Juan Cuadrado...), but he has you know. A wonderful lesson in class and professionalism that I hope the other Croatian in our squad was paying close attention to.
Melo - 6
He came on for Medel and carried on from where Pitbull left off. I can't remember anything he did that harmed our chances of protecting our lead (Pjanic went down awfully easily under his 'challenge' for the late Juve free-kick) and that is definitely progress in comparison to his performance on Thursday. Oh, and he also provided us with a superb picture during the celebrations for Perisic's goal that we can all relate to.
Miangue - 6.5
He's more reliable than Santon or Nagatomo, no? We can't go too OTT on Miangue after two substitute performances in Serie A, but he's been error-free on both occasions and done exactly what De Boer has asked of him. On this occasion though he went one better than that, making mincemeat of Dybala to nick the ball off him late on. Promising stuff.
De Boer - 8
It's been a terribly difficult first month at Inter for our new mister, but finally Frank has something to really smile about. He prepared this game brilliantly during the week and the result was our best team performance BY A MILE of the season so far. Everything was impressive - the pressing, the discipline, the compactness out of possession, the speed in our transition play and the character to capsize the Campioni d'Italia after conceding the first goal, with the winner coming from the man he initially protected on the bench and then unleashed into proceedings at exactly the right moment. In fairness that's something we are getting worryingly used to - we've conceded the first goal in all five of our official matches this season - and this needs to be corrected, because we won't always be able to power back into proceedings like we did here, but for today I suppose we can let that slide. The treatment he has been offered by the Italian press since arriving in Italy has been nothing short of atrocious and disgraceful, and unsurprisingly there was not a single mention of him on any of Monday morning's front pages, despite having played a huge part in our first league win over Juve in eight attempts. Well done, Frank. That match was a bona fide masterpiece.