For the fourth consecutive match, Inter have dropped points in a game which the club could have conceivably won, had the consistency and effort been there on the day. The main word that comes to mind when you consider the performances of this team of late is frustrating. No one is happy with the result, and it’s very difficult to remain objective evaluating this team right now, but here’s my take on how the players preformed in Saturday’s loss to Fiorentina:
Samir Handanovic – 6
Anytime a goalkeeper has to collect the ball from the back of his net five times in one match, it’s not a great day. You might feel that a 6 is a bit generous, but Handanovic did save a penalty which ended up being one of the few positives from this match
The entire defense (Danilo D’Ambrosio, Gary Medel, Miranda, Yuto Nagatomo) – 4
Conceding five goals (four in 17 second half minutes) is inexcusable. None of the players in Inter’s backline played well. It was ugly, and each played his role in the horrific display. Simply put, Suning are going to need to invest heavily in defense if this team wants to win anything next season.
Roberto Gagliardini and Geoffrey Kondogbia – 5
This was a rough day for the Gagliardini / Kondogbia pivot partnership. It was promising start to the match for the young midfielders, but both struggled in the second half. Conceding four goals in 17 minutes after the break was on more than just the defense. The two players charged with shielding the backline certainly played their part in the debacle. Kondogbia was subbed off for Brozovic, but it didn’t change much. I still believe in these two moving forward, but Inter will need the Gagliardini and Kondogbia to show more consistency in the future.
Antonio Candreva – 7
This was far from Candreva’s worst performance in an Inter shirt the season. Yes, the crossing remains an area that he can improve in, but the Italian helped to create two goals. He wasn’t the issue on Saturday.
Joao Mario – 6
Joao Mario’s assist on Icardi’s first goal was magnificent. It shows how good he can be in the “number 10” role. That being said, not much the Portuguese did after the assist stood out, and he certainly did not trail back to help defend enough in the period of the match when Inter were conceding goals left and right.
Ivan Perisic – 7.5
Perisic scored his 10th goal of the season, and it was the result of a brilliant give-and-go with Candreva. The Croat also had an assist in the match. He, like Icardi, should not be faulted for the result. I for one, was very pleased with Perisic’s performance.
Mauro Icardi – 8
Imagine where Inter would be without its captain. Mauro Icardi is cementing his position as a world-class striker, and his hat-trick kept the defeat from being one of the most embarrassing of the season. He made a superb run for the first goal, the second was an example of Icardi’s ability to improvise and create space for himself, and the third showed his excellent positioning on corners. Mauro is a great player; all we can hope for is that he stays content in Milan. It won’t be long before “bigger” clubs who compete in the Champions League come calling.
Marcelo Brozovic and Eder – 5
Neither substitute made an impact. Eder needs to spend some more time on the training pitch working on free-kicks – that was ugly. [Insert “play Gabriel Barbosa more” complaint here.]
Stefano Pioli – 4.5
It’s easy to forget that Inter were ahead 2-1 at halftime. The complete meltdown in the second half comes down to discipline, and reflects poorly on the manager. Once Fiorentina equalized, Inter pushed forward with reckless abandon, and were caught on the counter-attack time and time again. The lack of any defensive structure was startling.
It’s unfortunate that things wound up going so poorly so quickly for a manager that, initially, did a great job of stabilizing the club in the wake of the De Boer era. Despite Inter issuing a statement in support of the Italian, its seems that change is needed and that Pioli’s days are numbered.