Inter's three-game winning streak in Serie A came to an abrupt end on Sunday afternoon, as an impressive Bologna outfit held them to a draw after an entertaining game of football. Despite this I thought the majority of the players put in satisfactory performances, with one notable exception, so I don't think it's time to start panicking again. Bologna are a good team who will be in no danger of relegation this season, and we nearly beat them anyway despite Joao Mario missing the game through injury. Below are the ratings for Sunday's match (Baraka's match recap can be found here).
Handanovic - 6.5
He didn't have much to do in this game, although when he was needed at the end he responded present and correct to deny Dzemaili the winner. Could he have done better with Destro's goal? My initial thought was yes - the shot looked quite slow - but Luca Marchegiani was doing commentary on the game for Italian television and he didn't think he was at fault, so I'll take his word for it. He wasn't a bad goalkeeper in his time.
Santon - 5.5
He looked marginally better than he does at left-back, where I just don't see any positive contributions, but it wasn't a great day for Davide. A couple of nice crosses and little more, as well as a few misunderstandings with Candreva. Was caught up the field for Bologna's goal, but at least did well to set up Ranocchia's late miss by charging forward and winning the ball back.
Miranda - 6.5
A shaky start, much like the rest of the team, but after Bologna scored he returned to being the Miranda we all know and love. He never loses his calm even when he finds himself in tricky situations. I would quite like him to hold my hand and guide me through adult life, because you could trust him with it.
Ranocchia - 6
The opening quarter-hour did little to dispel my pre-game terror when I heard Murillo would be missing through injury; he got bypassed by Destro, sliced a clearance inside his own box, played a hopeless forward pass straight out for a goal-kick, conceded a dangerous free-kick after giving the ball away and panicking, and then failed to bring down Verdi as he slalomed inside to set up Destro to score. That Ranocchia was worth a rating of 3.5, if that. But then things changed. Life is full of surprises, and Froggy's performance for the remaining hour was one of them, worth a solid 7 for composure and personality. He made a couple of nice diagonal passes for Candreva in the second half before three - yes, THREE - impressive defensive clearances in the space of 12 minutes at the end of the match. Destro in minute 75, Dzemaili in minute 84 and Krejci in minute 87 were all stopped in their tracks by him doing his job well, not by anyone else. I really can't remember the last time he looked as comfortable as that. But then, just as he was very slowly starting to win myself and sections of the San Siro crowd over, that header in the 95th minute happened. So let's meet somewhere in the middle and go for a 6. Not bad, Froggy.
Miangue - 6.5
He wasn't perfect, but perfection cannot reasonably be expected of a 19 year-old on his full debut at San Siro. After what I felt was a timid start to the match on his part (which nevertheless featured a fabulous recovery on Verdi), he relaxed as the second half progressed and started drawing applause from the crowd. He certainly isn't afraid to take risks when he has the ball at his feet, which can only be a positive considering the dross we've been watching in the full-back roles over the last two years.
Medel - 6
The first 28 minutes were rather complicated for poor Gary, as Joao Mario's absence forced him to get involved in our build-up play with limited success. When Gnoukouri came on he seemed to have more freedom to just concentrate on what he knows how to do, which is very helpful to the balance of the team and in my view justifies his place in the starting XI.
Kondogbia - 4.5
It gives me great sadness to say this, but Kondo's 27-minute performance was insufficient. He made a couple of nice dribbles while he was on the pitch, but also two very big errors in possession - the second of which led to Bologna's goal - along with a few other occasions on which he lost the ball too easily. To be honest, having rewatched the game I didn't understand what De Boer really meant about needing to play simpler - I thought he did that on certain occasions - but it's pretty clear that these two people live on different footballing planets. And we improved markedly when Gnoukouri came on. Markedly. It was a change that needed to happen, and the aftermath vindicated De Boer's ballsy decision so I'm glad he made it, but I really hope we haven't lost Geoffrey for good here. Unless he responds to his new coach's very, very tough love approach, we might well have.
Candreva - 7
Our best player along with Gnoukouri, if you ask me. He wasn't involved at all in the opening 20 minutes but our improvement from that moment onwards was down in no small part to him, providing the dainty assist for Perisic's wonder goal before almost putting us in front with the sweetest of volleys (damn you Da Costa, what a save that was). That one aside his crosses were fairly imprecise in this match, but you still expect something positive to happen whenever he picks up the ball - I really liked the quick corner he took for Perisic 10 minutes before the equalizer, because it demonstrated that his head was totally engaged. One other thing I noticed particularly in this match was his ability to always bring the ball under control with his first touch, no matter how it's arrived at his feet.
Banega - 6
Less impressive in this game than in previous outings. He offered us several classy moments throughout the 65 minutes he was on for, as well as a few weak shots, but they were just that: moments. Our play was a lot more dangerous when we got the two wide men involved than when we tried to break through centrally, which tells you this wasn't his finest performance. I still love him though, obviously.
Perisic - 6.5
After last weekend's golden winner in the Derby d'Italia, Ivan was decisive once again after scoring what must be his best goal since arriving at Inter. The goal at the Olimpico against Roma is the only one that can get anywhere close to it for quality of execution, surely. (And it doesn't get very close in my opinion.) Having said that I was disappointed with his second-half performance, because he drifted completely out of the game for long periods and gave Bologna a relatively easy ride. Could have ended the afternoon with a goal and the match-winning assist, having said that, but unfortunately Froggy fluffed his lines.
Icardi - 6
No goals this time for Maurito, although his performance was still sufficient. He looks a lot more like a captain now than he did at any stage last season, always trying to lead by example with his pressing and physical battles up front. He had five chances to score in this match and strangely didn't take any of them, although the only one he really messed up was the 92nd-minute miskick. Seems to be enjoying playing with Candreva, with whom he appears to have struck up an immediate understanding.
Gnoukouri - 7
Most of the talk in the coming days will be about Kondogbia and his emphatic public humiliation is - at least in the media it will be, because that's the more dramatic story - but if Geoffrey is going to be hung out to dry this week then this young lad will be at least partly responsible for it. Because he was brilliant when he came on, and needed only a matter of minutes to vindicate De Boer's ballsy decision. Our offensive play immediately sped up with the Ivorian's educated feet in midfield, limiting the efficiency of Bologna's aggressive pressing and forcing them to sit back against their will, and indirectly led to the free-kick from which Perisic scored if you ask me. He is not lacking in confidence and has an exceptional ability to protect the ball with his body, so in the absence of Joao Mario I say we use this guy in the Europa League as much as possible from now on. Very impressive display.
Eder - 5.5
He came on and spent 15 minutes playing in the trequartista role Banega had vacated, which is not his position and only served to bog down our attacking play. Then he started moving into wide areas and things got a little better, producing the cross that Icardi so nearly headed into the bottom corner with one minute of normal time left. I do like Eder though; I think he's a very useful player to be able to bring off the bench. Just not today.
Barbosa - 5.5
The most exciting part of his 20-minute debut was the roar that the San Siro crowd reserved for him when he came on. The team wasn't up to much in that period of the game, and sadly he wasn't able to change that despite a couple of neat passes. It'll take him time to fit into the mechanisms of the team, and with Perisic and Candreva ahead of him is definitely not guaranteed a starting berth.
De Boer - 6.5
If anyone had any doubt about Frank de Boer's courage, those doubts would have been wiped away in the 28th minute. After a terrible start to the match from the team, which he seemed to blame on losing Joao Mario and Murillo at the last minute, the ruthless Kondogbia-Gnoukouri change gave the players the kick up the backside that they needed to start playing properly. It was brutal, but the fact is it worked, because the 20 minutes we played before half-time were very convincing and could have brought even more than one goal. I didn't like the second half much though; we didn’t seem to have any logic to us in the last half-hour, particularly after the Banega-Eder substitution that didn't work. He wasn't able to adjust things from the touchline and the game petered out into a 1-1 draw that I felt was more than fair (although of course, had Ranocchia scored with the last kick of the game things could have been oh so different). But he deserves the 6.5 for showing us his balls, at least in a figurative sense. I hope the players have received the message: with Mister De Boer in charge you either go hard or go home.