Inter’s final match of the season saw them welcome Udinese to the San Siro. The fans came out to support their side, and in return they wanted to see Inter show that they cared and that they were willing to put in effort in this match even though the result didn’t really matter. In the end they got the show they were looking for as the home side put five goals past their opposition and showed a level of confidence that was sorely lacking through most of this campaign.
Stefano Vecchi stuck with the 4-2-3-1 formation that the Inter players have used for a large portion of this season. Juan Pablo Carrizo started what was his final match for the Nerazzurri, while Danilo D’Ambrosio, Marco Andreolli, Gary Medel, and Davide Santon protected the veteran keeper. Geoffrey Kondogbia and Roberto Gagliardini took up their usual roles in midfield, while Antonio Candreva, Marcelo Brozovic, and Ivan Perisic played support to Eder in attack.
It only took 5 minutes for the home side to take the lead. Santon sent in a low cross that Brozovic avoided and Eder was on hand to loop his shot into the back of the net. Udinese tried to respond through Gabriele Angella and Duván Zapata but their efforts were either wide or saved by Carrizo. By the 18th minute the lead had been doubled, Eder fought off a defender and turned to bend the ball for Perisic to tap home at the far post. The Croatian winger had a field day in the first half, turning out Silvan Widmer time after time and teed up Gagliardini for an attempt, had a shot of his own saved, and then cut the ball back for Brozovic to score the third goal of the match in the 36th minute. He almost had a fourth two minutes before the break but he blasted his shot over the bar when he could’ve easily pass the ball to Candreva for a tap in during a counterattack.
The second half continued in the same vein as the first, with Inter dominating and Perisic in particular giving the Udinese defenders a torrid time. In the 54th minute he picked up his second assist when he toyed with Angella then drove past him to the byline and cut the ball back for an Eder tap-in. The winger was removed two minutes later for Rodrigo Palacio (making his final appearance for Inter) and if the rumors are true that he will be sold this summer, then Perisic will certainly leave Inter fans with fond memories.
As the game wore on the visitors began to have more and more opportunities on the break but they seemed unable to take them. In fact Inter seemed came closer to scoring during this period when Palacio thought he would get his sendoff goal but the ball bounced back off the post. Later in the match we got to see a new face as Vecchi sent on Trent Sainsbury for his Inter debut. Just when it seemed like things were calming down Udinese pulled one back through an Andrija Balic rocket into the top corner from just outside the box. Their joy only lasted two minutes though; Candreva sent in a deep cross and when Kondogbia put the ball back into the danger zone Angella accidentally chested the ball into his own net. The last event of the match saw Zapata finally get his goal from a corner to make the scoreline look like slightly less of a thrashing.
With that Inter’s 2016/2017 season is over. There were a few highs and a whole lot of lows, but now the club must look forward to next year’s campaign. Massive improvements must be made, but as Tim said, the only way is up.