Despite playing what can only be categorized as poor football for most of the game, a 39th minute goal by Ivan Perisic seemed to give Inter Milan road win over Chievo in Verona.
But, the Nerazzurri’s poor play caught up with them as a 90th minute equalizer from Sergio Pellissier gave the Flying Donkey’s their sixth draw of the season and further illustrated the horrendous play for Inter Milan.
Despite seeing the return of Radja Nainggolan and Perisic return to the score sheet, there was little to be excited about Saturday.
With the draw, Inter Milan remain in third in the league on 33 points, five in front of Lazio and eight behind Napoli, who sit in second.
Regardless, the main storyline of Saturday’s draw is the lackluster play for Inter.
Again, Inter Milan had double-digit shots with 12 with only three being on target. They controlled 63 percent of the possession and had an 83 percent pass accuracy.
The problem was having any kind of consistent attack.
The match was rife with fouls — five yellow cards and 20 fouls in total — which could be some explanation as to why the Nerazzurri failed to mount any offense whatsoever throughout the match against one of the worst defenses in Serie A.
The only bright spot happened in the 39th minute when Mauro Icardi leaped over a Chievo defender, found the ball and crossed to an open Perisic for the go-ahead goal.
#Perisic Goal @inter @ivanperisic44 pic.twitter.com/P5EybcvtZU— Oltjan Cani (@Oltjancani) December 22, 2018
From that point on, it appeared Inter was playing more not to lose rather than playing to double its lead.
Sitting back on defense and failing to press the issue was one thing, but when the Nerazzurri did make any kind of an attack, the end result was either a poor finish or Inter being caught offsides. Seven times the Nerazzurri were whistled offsides during the match.
Spalletti made his three changes in the second half, bringing in Matias Vecino for Nainggolan in the 67th minute, then substituting Matteo Politano for Lautaro Martinez in the 75th. His final change was bringing in Borja Valero for Joao Mario in the 82nd minute.
None of those changes yielded much outside of Martinez assisting Perisic with a shot in the 78th minute that was blocked away.
In fact, Nainggolan, Politano and Mario had something to do with at least six of Inter’s 12 shots during the match.
Just as Inter was playing with fire, it was Pellissier who made them pay in extra time. Mariusz Stepinski played a strong ball through the middle of the Inter defense to Pellissier who just had to tap the ball over Samir Handanovic for the equalizer.
Now, the Nerazzurri will have three days to think about it before entertaining Napoli on Boxing Day (Dec. 26). Napoli held on for a 1-0 win at home against SPAL earlier Saturday. Kickoff for the match at the Giuseppe Meazza will be 2:30 p.m. (EST).
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