If not for a late header, Inter Milan could be tied for fifth in Serie A.
But, instead, the Nerazzurri remain in fourth place in the league standings, tied with Lazio who have a game in hand.
The 1-1 draw with Roma Sunday keeps Inter in a Champions League position, regardless of how Lazio fair in their make-up game.
But, let’s not kid ourselves, since Stephan El Shaarawy’s goal in the first half, many Interisti saw that fifth-place position has a real possibility.
Nonetheless, here are our player ratings for the latest draw:
Samir Handanovic: 6.5
Handanovic was tested early but was able to keep some composure. El Shaarawy’s goal was not necessarily his fault as it started with a nice pass from Davide Santon via Alisson.
Davide Santon: 5
Failed to impress … in fact it was just the opposite. Santon’s erroneous header led to El Shaarawy’s goal in the first half. Before and after that, his play was nothing short of atrocious with turnovers and poor footwork.
Joao Miranda: 7
Miranda and Skriniar remained mainstays in the back for the Nerazzurri. Both played as quality as they could and were forced into action thanks to numerous midfield errors.
Milan Skriniar: 7
Handled Radja Nainggolan nicely when they were faced up. Like Miranda, managed to hold back much of Roma’s first half attack.
Joao Cancelo: 6
Really the worst part of his game against Roma was the faux dive in the penalty area that earned him a yellow card. It was pretty obvious. Otherwise, his pace managed to help move the ball forward, but it had little effect.
Roberto Gagliardini: 5
The entire midfield was horrendous for this game. Turnovers, poor passing, ineffective outlet passes forward … the errors were too many to count and Gagliardini was a big part of it. Subbing him off didn’t come soon enough.
Matias Vecino: 7.5
His grade is justified basically because he scored the equalizer late in the game. Otherwise, his midfield play was just as bad as Gagliardini’s and Borja Valero.
Borja Valero: 5.5
Speaking of Valero, he had two fine chances at a goal and flubbed both of them. He almost seemed scared to have the ball in the area. His redeeming quality — and one that I hope Luciano Spalletti has taken note of — was his play on defense. Valero is not an attacking midfielder and now that we may have one with Rafinha, Valero can go back to doing what he is better at … defending the middle.
Antonio Candreva: 6
Was pretty ineffective tonight. Had some nice passes and even gave Aleksandar Kolarov and Federico Fazio some fits. Could have been a little more involved and needs to work on his crossing as they are finding the feet of opponents more than they are teammates.
Ivan Perisic: 7
The Croatian was impressive with his attack and even showed some promise on defense. Could have scored on a few occasions but seemed to be like a new player getting their first touch in front of the net … too excited.
Mauro Icardi: 6
Let’s be honest, teams have figured out our offense and Icardi is paying the price. Roma often had two defenders covering Icardi leaving him no space to work. The problem is most good forwards work around that and Icardi has not seemed to find that ability yet.
Marcelo Brozovic: 6.5
It seems there is more to Brozo than just a coffee house. Came on to start the second half and had the assist for Vecino’s goal. When he is on, Brozovic is dangerous as he showed signs of tonight. But, when he is off … he might as well stick to coffee.
Where has this been all season long? Éder came on as a substitute in the middle of the second half and nearly scored 30 seconds in. He had another great chance later in the half that went over the crossbar. I think he has the talent to be very, very good. He showed some of that tonight.
Dalbert showed flashes of why we signed him in the first place. I still can’t get over those throw-ins that are halfway across the field. He is fast and has good vision. The problem here is playing time. Came in for Santon in the 77th minute and it should have been a lot sooner than that.
Luciano Spalletti: 6.75
Was right to sub out Santon but should have done it much sooner in the game. Has to find solutions to poor midfield play. Perhaps Rafinha will help with that, but regardless, it has to be better. Also, moving Valero to a defensive midfield role and pressing forward with Éder, Icardi, Perisic and Brozovic seemed to mix things up nicely … plus it yielded a late goal by, ironically enough, a midfielder.
Man of the Match: Vecino
Yeah, it is only because of his equalizer. He managed to do what Icardi, Perisic and Éder couldn’t do … find a way around Alisson.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!