Then, something happened and the Nerazzurri started to dominate.
However, despite rattling Atalanta’s defense for the final 30 minutes of the match — specifically Ivan Perisic’s great chances late — Inter failed to find the back of the net and failed to make up any ground for a Champions League position, drawing 0-0 in Bergamo.
It marked the third consecutive match Inter Milan was held scoreless — the first time that has happened since 2012. It was also the first time since 1992 the Nerazzurri failed to score in Bergamo.
Conclusión del partido pic.twitter.com/HzKyL7enkQ— Inter Club Colombia (@InterClub_Col) April 14, 2018
The Nerazzurri desperately needed more than a draw as Lazio and Roma — teams right above Inter in a tie for third — were to play each other Sunday afternoon. If Inter would have won on the road, they could have secured at least fourth place in the league, regardless of the capital derby outcome. Now, only if one of the capital teams win will Inter be in a tie with the losing team.
Inter’s attack was nowhere to be found in the first half as Atalanta dominated possession and continuously tested Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic.
Perisic, who has been held scoreless in 12 of the last 15 matches, had the best opportunities to find the back of the net for Inter as striker Mauro Icardi was held ineffective in the middle for most of the match.
The Croatian had two solid looks at the goal late in the second half — one of a cross from Joao Cancelo where Perisic headed the ball out of play. Inter did get several quality minutes out of midfielder Rafinha along with Cancelo.
But, the Nerazzurri were plagued with poor passing and sluggish play from the start of the match.
The first half left little to be desired for Inter fans as Atalanta pressed and pressed and pressed some more while the Nerazzurri seemed to be more content playing defense thanks to an influx of passing miscues.
In the first five minutes, Papu Gomez tested Handanovic with a shot following a nice through-ball by Bryan Cristante. But, Handanovic was there to push the attempt aside.
Musa Barrow, in his first Serie A start of his career, smacked an attempt right at Handanovic midway through the first half.
Atalanta continued to pepper the net as Barrow took several chances in the first half.
Inter Milan got their first real shot near the target in the 30th minute after a counter-attack by the Nerazzurri off a Barrow miss sent Ivan Perisic clear, but his shot was tipped over the goal by Atalanta goalkeeper Etrit Berisha.
Just before halftime, Perisic nearly connected after Roberto Gagliardini sprung the Croatian free on the right side, but Perisic’s attempt to slot the ball wide of Berisha was too wide and went out of bounds.
That Gagliardini pass though pic.twitter.com/1YaOvBbXtY— InterYaSkriniar (@InterYaSkriniar) April 14, 2018
In the first half, Atalanta dominated possession, hanging on to the ball for 55 percent of the match. Atalanta also outshot the Nerazzurri in the half, 11-3 with five of Atalanta’s shots being on target compared to just one for Inter.
Inter has a short turnaround as they will take on Cagliari at 2:45 p.m. (ET) Tuesday then back on the road to face Chievo at 9 a.m. (ET), Sunday.
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