It was a nervy encounter but Inter moved up to third place in the standings with a 2-1 win away at SPAL. It certainly was not a perfect performance from the Nerazzurri who gave up plenty of chances to their less-fancied opponents. Here are our contenders for Man of the Match.
While the defence and midfield seemed seemed to lose their head at times, Inter’s Slovenian keeper put in a solid performance against SPAL. He made one fantastic save from a Petagna in the first half, and had to keep out a further four shots on target. He was confident on crosses and his distribution was, for the most part, safe. He did, however, risk a lot with a couple of low passes to Nainggolan which could have led to clear chances for SPAL.
The Croatian full-back was a player Inter chased for almost the entire summer, and it was clear to see why in today’s game. He provided the assist for Icardi’s first goal, and made a number of overlapping runs which caused problems for the SPAL wing back. Furthermore, he was solid in his own half with virtually no danger coming from his side of the field. He also displayed a rare example of fair play when he admitted to the referee that he had headed a ball last which earned SPAL a corner. He struggled a bit towards the end of the match, but it was a very encouraging return to the field for Vrsaljko.
Inter were defensively suspect for large period of todays game, but little of which was the fault of Milan Skriniar. With Miranda having a bit of a nightmare next to him, the Slovakian made a number of important clearances and moved the ball safely out of defence. More importantly, we saw his leadership qualities as he constantly encouraged and directed those in front of him.
Remember when the Italian media were concerned about Icardi’s goal drought? Inter’s captain now has five goals in his last five games, and appears to be returning to his peak form. Both goals today came from sharp movement within the box and his second was a time when all the pressure was on the Nerazzurri. It is also important not to overlook the amount of effort the player puts in when we do not have the ball. Spalletti clearly wanted the team to press SPAL high to force an error, and Icardi was always the first player to pressure the defenders and encourage his own team forward. This strategy would have led to a goal as well had it not been for some hesitation from Keita Balde.
Man of the Match
On a day where many players struggled, it is impossible to go past the man who delivered both goals and the full three points. Icardi put in a typical goalscorers performance. His wife and agent Wanda Nara commented this week that he feels more calm this season because he knows there are other players to share the burden of scoring, but it should give Interisti great comfort to know that we can always rely on Mauro to perform when the chips are down.
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