Unfortunately, Inter’s winless streak was extended to six matches as the club lost 0-1 to Napoli at the San Siro on Sunday. As Michael pointed out in his match recap, there can be no complaints about the result. Napoli were the better side, and Inter were fortunate to only lose the match by one goal. As frustrating as the recent run of form is, a loss to Napoli this season should be expected. Right now, they’re the simply the better team.
Here’s my take on how Inter preformed in Sunday’s loss:
Samir Handanovic – 7
Simply put, he was Inter’s man of the match. Without Handanovic’s heroics, Napoli may have been able to score three or four goals on the day. His save denying Dries Mertens was one of the few highlights for Inter.
Danilo D'Ambrosio – 6
The Italian right back certainly wasn’t the issue on Sunday. I thought he did decently enough in neutralizing Lorenzo Insigne. Napoli’s attacking core is excellent, so not standing out as a weakness is certainly acceptable.
Jeison Murillo – 6
He was fine. Sunday wasn’t a great performance from the Colombian, but he wasn’t poor either. Murillo was forced to exit the game after banging his head. Here’s hoping he doesn’t miss any time through injury.
Gary Medel – 4.5
In recent weeks Medel has been outmatched in defense. He struggled clearing the ball on Sunday, and his lack of height was especially evident in this match. Re-watching the goal, I believe he should’ve been in a better position to help clear the cross before it got to Nagatomo. A taller player may have been able to head it out of the way.
Yuto Nagatomo – 3
What more can you say? Nagatomo gifted Napoli their only goal, and was entirely ineffective crossing the ball. Moving forward, Inter cannot afford to put themselves in a position where playing Nagatomo is necessary.
Marcelo Brozovic – 4
Pioli took a risk playing Brozovic over Kondogbia on Sunday, and it didn’t work out well. The Croatian seemed overmatched in midfield and was noticeably sloppy. Brozovic was seen as a player with so much promise, but he (along with this team) has been frustrated to watch lately.
Roberto Gagliardini – 5
The Italian wasn’t great and his turnovers could’ve been costlier than they were on Sunday. That said, he wasn’t that poor in this game either. Gagliardini is a young player that has a bright future, but he isn’t immune to the funk the squad’s been in this month.
Antonio Candreva – 6
I thought Candreva played well in the first half, and was one of the few players looking to create offense. As always, crossing accuracy needs to be improved. Candreva wasn’t the problem on Sunday, but he wasn’t the solution either.
Joao Mario – 5.5
Joao Mario is a classy player that has the talent to stand out and produce huge games. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen on Sunday. He started out the match well, but soon disappeared when he was needed most. The Portuguese was sacrificed for Perisic after 60 minutes, in what was an interesting decision from Pioli.
Eder – 5
Ugh. There must be a better, more creative option. Perhaps it’s time to try a highly-touted 20-year-old Brazilian? We can dream, right?
Mauro Icardi – 5
Inter’s captain received almost no service from his wingers and midfielders. He was simply shut down by Napoli’s defense, and could do very little to change the result.
Ivan Perisic – 5
Was brought on to change the game in the 60th minute. Failed to do so.
Ever Banega – 5.5
Was brought on to change the game in the 73rd minute. Failed to do so. At least the effort was there.
Marco Andreolli – 5.5
Genuinely forgot he was an Inter player until his substitute appearance on Sunday. He had a few good tackles, and didn’t really do anything wrong in his short appearance.
Stefano Pioli – 5
As has been the trend lately, Pioli’s squad selection can be easily second-guessed, and his substitutions didn’t work. While Inter certainty could have and should’ve played better on Sunday, Napoli were the better team. It’s with that in mind, I can’t be too critical of the manager after this one.
He’ll have one last chance to win a “big match,” when Inter play his former club Lazio in a few weeks. Don’t hold your breath.