Now, it’s only the fourth preseason game but it might be worth a look at some takeaways from Inter Milan’s 1-0 win over Olympique Lyon in the International Champions Cup 2017 on Monday in Nanjing.
Of course, I’m sure there are way more than five things taken away from the win, but for the sake of space and time, we’ll outline five. If you have others, feel free to include them in the comments below:
The offense has the potential to be dangerous … Despite the transfer issues surrounding Ivan Perisic, the Inter offense did impress in the second half. In the first half, bad deliveries in the area prevented the score to be much higher. Gabriel Barbosa, Joao Mario, Perisic and Stevan Jovetic seemed to be able to move the ball at-will against Lyon’s defense. But, keep in mind, most of Inter’s activity was in the second half while they proved to be inept in the first (see below).
One way to eliminate concerns for your defense is use the offense … There is no question the Nerazzurri need some help on defense. Heck, for that matter, you can make an argument there is help needed in all parts of the field except goalkeeper, but that is another story. While Lyon’s offense was less-than-impressive even with Memphis Depay, one reason why the Inter defense wasn’t tested is because the offense controlled possession for a majority of the second half. Not that it’s a good policy, but in this case it brought a win.
"The best way to defend is to attack and when you win the ball, you have to stay tight to pass it around easily,” said Inter boss Luciano Spalletti following the game. “I saw all of this today, in the second half especially.”
The need for better delivery in the penalty area … Yes, Mario’s pass back to Jovetic was on target and timely, it was one of the few passes on offense that was. Inter missed numerous opportunities in the first half because balls played in were either too wide or deep in traffic.
World, Federico Valietti. Federico Valietti, world … This kid played right-back as a substitute and became the talk of Interisti following the game.
The former Primavera star for Inter had a solid outing, showing speed and tact to fend off Lyon’s few attacking attempts. In fact, it appeared at times that Lyon was actually avoiding the right side late in the first and into the second half choosing to press up the middle or on the left with Depay.
That first half though … It was a little painful to watch as lethargic may not appropriately describe the Nerazzurri offense. Éder, Andrea Pinamonti and Antonio Candreva were stagnant against a Lyon defense that really wasn’t that good. It bears mentioning that Lyon’s offense was pretty much the same, just for a majority of the game not just one half. Geoffrey Kondogbia, Joao Mario, Perisic and Barbosa did impress in the second half, but that first half was awful.
Do you have observations from the game? Put them down in the comment section below.