Inter Milan had been riding on a fine wave of form coming into this game against Chievo Verona. In the last four league games, Inter have won all four and have allowed a meager one goal to opposing teams. After a forgettable start to the season, Stefano Pioli has come in and guided the team back to success. The team is playing better defensively and more players are getting on the score sheet offensively. This did not mean that a fifth consecutive win was guaranteed today.
Today, Inter were tasked with playing a resilient Chievo Verona side. This is the same opposition that beat us by two goals in the opening game of the season. A lot has changed since that game. Stefano Pioli, the team's coach since November, needed the team to play cohesively and push hard in order to secure the three points against Chievo.
For the game today, Stefano Pioli decided to stick with the 4-2-3-1 formation that he has utilized so successfully thus far. Pioli chose to start his seemingly preferred choices in the back and front of his lineup, but did decide to alter the midfield. Joao Mario came in for Banega and debutant Roberto Gagliardini started in place of Brozovic. Seeing our new winter acquisition start definitely excited me.
Everything started off well for Inter in the beginning of the match. In the opening minutes Inter dominated possession and created chance after chance. Down the left flank of the pitch, Ivan Perisic and Cristian Ansaldi were finding ample space to get open and send in crosses. In the thirteenth minute of the match, Ansaldi crossed in a beautiful ball to to Icardi who barely missed the goal with a powerful header. As Chievo's defense was scrambling and trying to get a hold of the match, Inter kept pushing forward.
About twenty minutes into Roberto Gagliardini's debut game, Roberto decided to test Sorrentino himself. First, Gagliardini tested the Palermo keeper's gloves from long range and forced the keeper into a crucial save. Then, on the ensuing corner kick, Roberto went for an audacious over head kick that did not trouble Sorrentino too much. Roberto was not the only one to test the goalkeeper though, as Antonio Candreva hit a couple of powerful shots from outside of the box, just to be blocked by the sensational Sorrentino. The only roadblock preventing Inter from opening up the flood gates was the exceptional play of Stefano Sorrentino. The goalkeeper was making phenomenal saves one after another denying Inter players every time they came calling. Chievo were barely hanging onto this game by the slimmest of threads until the thirty fourth minute.
In this minute, against the run of play, Chievo struck Inter down. On a corner kick, D'Ambrosio was overwhelmed by his man, Pellissier, who knocked the ball into the back of the net. This moment was utterly unexpected and completely heart wrenching. For who knows how many times, Inter went behind this season. Unlike other times though, Inter had been dominating proceedings and continued to do so even after the goal. The team pushed forward and tried everything in their power to find an equalizer.
Coming into the closing moments of the half, I thought that Inter were again going to pull one back before the stroke of half time like they did against Udinese. Both Perisic and Icardi came close to scoring right before the end of the half but unfortunately, neither could not find the back of the net.
Heading into the second half, Inter displayed more of the same dominant performance we saw in the first half. The team again and again broke down Chievo's defense and created endless scoring opportunities. Then came the equalizer. With about twenty minutes left in the game, Candreva put in a wonderful cross behind Chievo's backline that Icardi steered expertly into the net. Icardi wasted no time celebrating though, as the captain was not happy with a tied game.
Icardi and Inter now were pushing for a winner as a draw would not have been an accurate representation of the game. The team fought forward for that all important winner and with five minutes left in regulation, Perisic found it. Perisic weaved through the Chievo defense before slotting the game winning goal under Sorrentino.
The scoring was not over as two second half substitutes linked up for a stoppage time goal. Palacio cut back a ball in the box to Eder who fired a shot right pass the helpless Sorrentino to wrap up he three points for Inter.
A sensational second half comeback produced by a dominant performance. The team linked together as a single unit and gave the home crowd a victory. There are many positives to be drawn from this game. Firstly, the team did not give up after Chievo's goal or slow down after Icardi's goal. Instead the team displayed great mentality and claimed three points. Another positive should be rightly drawn from the wonderful performance of our debutant. Roberto Gagliardini came in for a large fee but is clearly on his way to justifying the price tag if this performance is anything to go by. Inter now have five in a row. Up next is Bologna in the Coppa Italia.