Inter’s seven league match winning-streak came to an end on Sunday, as the Nerazzurri lost to Juventus 1-0 in Turin. While the loss was certainly disappointing, Inter created chances and made it difficult for the champions to walk away with three points. It wasn’t the best performance, but it’s a loss we can live with knowing the players showed no fear against a very difficult opposition.
Samir Handanovic – 7.5
Handanovic was Inter’s best player on Sunday, and in my opinion, it wasn’t close. He made countless big saves that kept Inter in the match, and there was absolutely nothing he could do about Juan Cuadrado’s goal. Without Handanovic, Inter could’ve lost by three or four goals..
Gary Medel - 6
I thought Medel played well in this match, making a few key tackles and cleaning things up at the back. He’s still adjusting to life as a defender, and facing the attacking talent of Juventus is not easy under those circumstances.
Miranda – 6
He did a relatively good job of helping Inter close down on the Juve players in the final third. The three center backs were not the problem on Sunday.
Jeison Murillo – 6
Danilo D’Ambrosio – 5.5
D’Ambrosio is not really suited to play as a left wing back, and while the commitment was there, he wasn’t very effective in this match. If the three at the back formation is something Pioli wants to use in the future, let’s hope Inter can bring in a couple of more versatile fullbacks in the summer.
Marcelo Brozovic – 5
I don’t know what happened with Brozovic, but he struggled mightily against Juve. He wasn’t able to finish passes and seemed to be behind the play in attack. It was a poor performance for a player that’s been nothing but reliable under Pioli, and unfortunately, he was rightfully subbed off.
Roberto Gagliardini – 6
The good news is that Gagliardini put himself in position to score on multiple occasions. The bad news is that young midfielder wasn’t able to finish any of the three glorious opportunities he had. Perhaps it was big-match nerves, but we need to see better finishing from Gagliardini moving forward.
Joao Mario – 6
Joao Mario gave a valiant effort in this match. He was forced to play much higher up the pitch than he’s been accustomed to due to Juve shutting down Icardi, so his work-rate was commendable. I also thought Mario did a good job of putting the ball into dangerous areas when delivering his corner kicks. While he didn’t play poorly, Joao Mario just wasn’t enough to get Inter on the score sheet like he had in previous matches.
Ivan Perisic - 5.5
I’m sorry if this comes off as controversial, but despite the refereeing, you simply can’t lose your cool and be sent off in the final minutes when your team is trailing by just one goal. Prior to the red card, I thought that Perisic was one of the most dangerous players for Inter in the match. But as a veteran leader on the team, the midfielder needs to have a cooler head in that situation. The red card officially sealed the victory for Juve, and the subsequent ban is something that can hurt Inter in the next couple matches.
Antonio Candreva – 5.5
Candreva’s defensive responsibilities, due to the formation switched, limited his effectiveness in attack. Unfortunately, he had a very forgettable performance, and was subbed off for Eder early in the second half.
Mauro Icardi – 6
In what is so uncharacteristic of Icardi, the Inter captain was a non-factor in Sunday’s Derby D’Italia. Juve closed him down well, and although he once again ran the entire match, Mauro wasn’t able to get very involved. As difficult as it is, we have to give credit to the Juve defenders for taking away Inter’s best scoring option.
Geoffrey Kondogbia – 6.5
Kondogbia was physical and very involved from the moment he set foot on the pitch. He was a noticeable improvement over Brozovic on the day, and part of me thinks Pioli is kicking himself for not starting the Frenchman.
Eder – 6
Eder offered energy off the bench, and in my opinion, played better than Candeva. Unfortunately he wasn’t able to get a shot or pass off of his amazing run, which may have been the best chance for Inter to score in the second half.
Rodrigo Palacio – 5
Palacio wasn’t really able to influence the match after being subbed on. It was a forgettable, short appearance for him.
Stefano Pioli – 6
I’m torn here. On one hand, I want to give Pioli credit for experimenting with formation, and having the courage to play with three at the back. The formation did, in a way, get rid of Inter’s biggest weakness (the fullbacks), but the team had won seven straight league matches playing in the 4-2-3-1.
The switch basically took Candreva out of the match because of his defensive responsibilities, and it just didn’t seem to work. In my opinion, Sunday’s match was one of those “don’t fix what isn’t broken” situations. If Pioli wanted to play Medel, I would’ve much preferred him to sacrifice Gagliardini or Brozovic to keep the formation the team has had so much success playing recently.
Switching the formation was a bold move for the Italian manager, and had Inter won, Pioli would’ve been seen as a genus. But, the switch just ultimately didn’t work out this time.