While Bologna may not be the most in-form team in Serie A, there are plenty of quality players in their side, so a trip to the Stadio Renato Dall'Ara is rarely an easy endeavor. The first half, which was very frustrating for Inter players and fans alike, was proof of a difficult game for the Nerazzurri. Yet, thanks to a second half surge and Gabriel Barbosa’s first goal for the club, Inter walked away with three points. A win is a win, and we’ll gladly take it.
Here’s my opinion of how Stefano Pioli’s side preformed on Sunday:
Samir Handanovic – 7.5
Handanovic is one of the most reliable goalkeepers in the world, and he proved it once again on Sunday. The Slovenian made several big saves and was crucial to Inter sealing the victory in stoppage time. Inter fans should be thankful to have such as loyal, world-class keeper.
Jeison Murillo – 5.5
It was a very forgettable, average game for Murillo. While I don’t think he played particularly poorly, this was not one of the Colombian’s best performances. Either through injury or Pioli deciding to abandon the three-at-the-back formation, Murillo was sacrificed for Ansaldi early in the second half. I really hope it wasn’t an injury, as Inter will be forced to play next week’s crucial match against Roma without Miranda.
Gary Medel – 7
Medel played very well in this match. He was constantly cleaning things up at the back, snuffing out Bologna’s counter-attacks. Medel’s consistent, solid performances are starting to show why Pioli considers him to be a center back, a position the Chilean is thriving in.
Miranda – 6
Miranda did not play poorly on Sunday, but I gave him a 6 because of his unfortunate yellow card. Miranda is Inter’s best defender, and with Roma on the horizon, he has to do everything he can to be disciplined and avoid missing the match. Unfortunately, the yellow card means the Brazilian will be suspended for the crucial game next weekend.
Danilo D’Ambrosio – 6.5
D’Ambrosio had a solid game on Sunday. He picked up the crucial assist in the 82nd minute, making a smart run forward, collecting Banega’s pass, and crossing the ball to Gabigol for the tap-in. It was a huge play for Inter. Besides that moment, I found myself forgetting that D’Ambrosio was on the pitch, which isn’t a bad thing for a fullback – and certainly an improvement over recent matches.
Roberto Gagliardini – 6
Sunday was a quieter than usual match for Gagliardini, and that’s more of a compliment of his recent run of form than a slight of his performance on Sunday. While he ran throughout, and held his own, the Italian wasn’t a huge factor in this match. Here’s hoping Pioli goes back to the Kondogbia – Gagliardini partnership. Inter’s newest signing seems to be most comfortable playing alongside the Frenchman.
Joao Mario – 6.5
Joao Mario was asked to line-up deeper than he’s been playing in recent matches. As a result, Mario didn’t push forward as much as I would’ve liked to see. He still showed flashes of his great form, but at this point the Portuguese may be better suited to the number 10 role than that of a deeper-lying midfielder.
Antonio Candreva – 5.5
It was not a great game for the Italian. While he was (as always) active on the right wing, Candreva was far too hesitant to take on Adam Masina than I would’ve liked. His crosses were also ineffective in this match. Candreva was rightly subbed off for Gabriel Barbosa in the 74th minute.
Eder – 5.5
Not quite sure what was going on with Eder. He was frankly a bit of a disappointment after his great match against Empoli. The Italian found himself behind the play far too often, and scuffed a great chance to put Inter in the lead.
Ivan Perisic – 6.5
I thought Perisic was Inter’s best attacking player in the first 74 minutes of Sunday’s match. He was very active throughout, and set up Palacio with a glorious chance. It’s certainly good to have the Croat back after his suspension.
Rodrigo Palacio – 5
Palacio was far too wasteful on Sunday, and rightfully subbed off for Banega. Thank goodness Mauro Icardi’s two-match ban is over.
Cristian Ansaldi – 6
Ansaldi has had a rough go of it in recent matches — perhaps that’s why Pioli chose to start with the three-man defense. It was certainly a solid performance from the Argentine when he came on. Let’s hope that Sunday was the beginning of a strong run of form for Inter’s left back.
Gabriel Barbosa – 7.5
Gabigol scored! I thought his entire performance from the bench was excellent. Barbosa was extremely active and bright in Bolonga’s end, which is exactly what you want from an attacking substitute. His tap in goal won the match for Inter, and you could see how excited his teammates and manager were for the Brazilian. It took much longer than anyone anticipated, but let’s rejoice in the fact that Gabriel Barbosa is a goal scorer for Inter.
Ever Banega – 7.5
Sunday was an outstanding substitute appearance for Argentine. Banega’s perfectly placed lead pass to find D’Ambrosio set up Inter’s goal. While he won’t get an assist, Banega was as responsible for the goal as D’Ambrosio. It was a great performance for Banega, and one that may give Pioli a selection dilemma against Roma.
Stefano Pioli – 7.5
The first half wasn’t great, but Pioli recognized that and made the appropriate changes. Two of his three substitutes were crucial in scoring the game-winning goal. A manager making match-changing substitutions is something of a new phenomenon for Inter, but one that was surely needed.
The Italian also guided Inter to six points in the absence of Mauro Icardi, which is all you can ask for. The two wins were also coming off of bitter losses to Lazio and Juventus. Pioli didn’t let the difficult losses get to the players’ heads, and led them to professional victories, when Inter teams of recent years would’ve almost surely dropped points. Here’s hoping Pioli can get it right from the start in what will be a crucial match against Roma next weekend.