At times intense, at times soporific, Inter and Lazio played to a 0-0 draw at the San Siro on Saturday night. Defenses reigned supreme in a match that wasn’t particularly void of chances, and the Nerazzurri will enter the new year sitting in third place in the Serie A table. Luciano Spalletti’s men are now winless in five games in all competitions.
Player ratings from Milan:
Samir Handanovic - 8.5
Undoubtedly Inter’s man of the match, Handanovic traded high quality saves with his Lazio counterpart Thomas Strakosha. A reliable save on a blistering Sergej Milinkovic-Savic shot in the first half and a miraculous finger-tip save on a 79th minute Felipe Anderson shot on goal all but earned Inter the point in this one.
Joao Cancelo - 7.5
Cancelo’s most impressive appearance in an Inter shirt yet. While that may not say too much, Joao was solid in defense and proved to be a decent threat going forward every now and then. Danilo D’Ambrosio will presumably reclaim his spot without too much of a problem whenever he returns from injury, but if Cancelo can continue to play like he did today, he’s a reliable backup.
Andrea Ranocchia - 6.5
After taking what looked like a nasty blow to the stomach midway through the first half, Ranocchia looked as if his day was about to be cut short. Credit to Andrea for sticking it out. Immobile’s pace seemed to overwhelm him at times, but Andrea’s aerial presence and strength contributed to a decent performance.
Milan Skriniar - 7
Skriniar’s ability to thread a pass upfield is criminally underrated. Tonight was another example of what we’ve come to expect from the young Slovakian. He’s a rock at the back.
Davide Santon - 6.5
Pretty routine night in Davide Santon’s sixth start of the year. Towards the closing stages, he started to look a tad bit tired. Seems to be playing in cruise control at times.
Matias Vecino - 6
Disappeared for parts of the match and couldn’t seem to link the defense and attack like he usually does. One of Matias’s most meh games of the year.
Roberto Gagliardini - 6
Relatively uneventful night for Roberto, much like Vecino. One or two of his giveaways in the midfield could’ve costed us dearly. Sometimes Gagliardini seems like he’s running in sand compared to everyone else.
Antonio Candreva - 6
Put one or two crosses into dangerous areas, but wasted many, many more. This is the third time Candreva has met his old team since he’s been an Inter player, and it’s the third time he’s put in a mediocre shift. Fans in the San Siro made it pretty clear that they weren’t thrilled with Candreva’s performance when he was subbed off in the 73rd minute.
Borja Valero - 7
Third best Inter player today behind Handanovic and Cancelo. Forced Strakosha into a wonderful save in the second half, and continues to provide consistency and cohesion when the rest of the team seems to lose it.
Ivan Perisic - 6.5
Forced Strakosha into two saves (one quite lovely), but failed to impact the match otherwise. I’m still waiting on Ivan to recapture that early season form that made him one of the most dangerous players in Serie A. When Perisic isn’t playing well, it inevitably seems to affect Mauro Icardi. Speaking of which..
Mauro Icardi - 5.5
Mauro seems to be sputtering at the moment. Today he managed fewer touches than any starter on the pitch (27) and failed to record a shot on target. When Mauro isn’t firing, Inter aren’t firing. It’s as simple as that.
Joao Mario - 6.5
JM provided a decent attacking spark when he came on for Antonio Candreva in the 73rd minute. It was interesting to see him play as far out on the wing as he did, but it worked well. Played a beautiful cross to Perisic which resulted in one of Inter’s three shots on target
Dalbert - N/A
Only played a little over ten minutes after coming on for Joao Cancelo in the 82nd.
Marcelo Brozovic - N/A
Came on for Borja Valero in the 85th minute.
Luciano Spalletti had a limited selection of players for this match after Inter’s midweek extra-time loss to Milan in the Coppa Italia, so it’d be harsh to be overly critical. The one problem may have been the timing of the substitutes. When Inter began to look sluggish towards the middle of the second half, the team could’ve used substitutions before the 73rd, 82nd, and 85th minutes. Gagliardini and Santon looked rather gassed, especially. A winless run is the perfect time to see what a manager is made of, and how a team responds. Here’s to hoping Inter can end this skid when they travel to Florence on Friday.