Last week our amazing league win streak came to an end, but this did not deter the team from winning this week. The losses of last week seemed to fuel the team against Empoli as Inter ran out and dominated for much of the match. This excellent performance occurred even with the absences of several key performers. In the end, Inter played well and receieved a deserved victory.
Samir Handanovic - 7
Handanovic was called upon to save the ball on a few occasions this game and rose to the challenge every time. He is a truly great keeper and makes crucial saves seemingly every game. His crucial saves means that the team picked up another clean sheet.
Jeison Murillo - 6.5
Murillo has been performing much better under the leadership of Pioli. Jeison Murillo appears to be back in form and with every passing game the memories of the rough start to the season fade away. Murillo is a strong defender and it is nice to see him play with quality again.
Gary Medel - 6.5
Seems to be a perfect fit for the new three man defense that Pioli has recently employed. Not only does Medel position himself perfectly, but he also retained his normal tenaciousness. Then, when the team transitions into the offensive side of the ball, Medel cycles the ball around well.
Miranda - 6.5
The experienced leader of our defense put in yet another solid shift. Although he was not exceptional, against Empoli he did not need to be exceptional. His leadership is absolutelt invaluable to the team.
Antonio Candreva - 7
This was surely an improvement from the game against Juventus for Candreva. Playing another week in this formation benefited the Italian as he looked far more comfortable against Empoli. His improvement was highlighted by his ability to send in more quality crosses and by his clinical goal.
Roberto Gagliardini - 7
Gagliardini is fun to watch. He brings stability to the midfield while foraying forward. Since coming to Inter, he has put in several wonderful performances. There is only one thing missing from his game. This missing piece is finishing. Time after time, Gagliardini puts himself in the perfect place to score but just cannot get the ball into the back of the net. Once he gets down finishing, he will be an unstoppable force.
Geoffrey Kondogbia - 7
An amazing game provided by the Frenchman. He was winning tackles left, right, and center. Kondogbia has linked so well with Gagliardini that is hard for me not to get excited when they play together. Kondogbia could very well go on to justify the lofty price that we spent just a couple of summers ago if he continues to play with this level of ability and confidence.
Danilo D'Ambrosio - 6
Played well in his new position in this new formation. It was unfortunate that he had to be substituted in the second half. Let's hope this abdominal issue is not anything to serious as he is currently our most reliable defender.
Joao Mario - 6.5
Joao Mario was not the most dangerous of our attackers in the game, but that is not a slight against him. Joao did well to link up with the other attackers and caused a fair bit of havoc throughout the match. Would have had an assist if it were not for an amazing save by Skorupski on a Palacio header.
Eder - 7.5
Best player on the pitch against Empoli. Eder caused the Empoli defense issues all game and was rewarded with both a goal and an assist. On the opening goal, Eder used his resourcefulness to chest the ball into the back of the net and Eder got his assist after delivering a sublime cross to Candreva. With a performance like this, it will be interesting to see if Pioli will give Eder another start with Perisic coming back from suspension.
Palacio - 6.5
He is not going to score loads of goals but he still offers a valuable element to the team. He never gives up on any ball and is pressuring the opposition the whole time he is on the pitch. On his assist, he turned a seemingly nonthreatening cross into an assist thanks to his endless determination. Palacio almost got a goal of his own early in the game, but Skorupski did well to deny his powerful header.
Christian Ansaldi - 5
Came on for D'Ambrosio after the Italian picked up an injury. Ansaldi has struggled recently and his struggles do not appear to be ending any time soon. Hopefully Ansaldi will be able to regain the form that convinced Inter Milan to buy him.
Gabriel Barbosa - 5.5
Every time the Brazilian sees the pitch the crowd noticeable gets louder. Fans at the San Siro are genuinely interested in the young Brazilian's ability and are desperate to see him play more. That being said, Gabigol did not do too much too impress with an average performance. It is going to be hard for him to earn playing time with our wingers playing as well as they are.
Andrea Pinamonti - 5.5
The promising young Italian received his Serie A debut and did well in his limited action. We have heard so much about the talented striker from the Primavera so it was nice to see him get some minutes at the end of the game.
Stefano Pioli - 7
Pioli faced a difficult task this week preparing his team for the clash against Empoli. To start, Pioli was missing more than a few players as Brozovic, Banega, Perisic, and Icardi did not suit up for the match due to injury or suspension. In addition to the many players out, Pioli had to get team focused after a week that saw us lose twice and get involved in some off the field controversy. Even with all of this going against the team, Inter came out and fought for a well deserved win. The team was focused and got the three points to keep us competing for the top places in the league.
Pioli has opted for a three man defense in the last two games now. This has not made the team overly defensive and this formation looks like it can be successfully implemented in future games. So, it will be interesting to see if Pioli adheres to the three man defense in the upcoming weeks.