What a poor showing. The Nerazzurri decided not to show up in one of their biggest games of the season. Needing three points to qualify for the Champions League ahead of the final week and they got embarrassed by Napoli.
Nothing to play for other than pride and Napoli showed up and dismantled Inter. Inter’s lone goal came in the 81st minute when the game was out of hand already at 4-0. The goal was a penalty scored by Mauro Icardi.
The scoreline is fair as Napoli were the better team but Inter could not get any bounces in their favor.
Napoli opened the scoring in the 16th minute off a wonder goal by Piotr Zielinski. Kwadwo Asamoah turned the ball over on a pass to midfield, a touch pass from Fabian Ruiz where Zielinski took a wonderful touch to his right and struck the ball perfectly from 25 yards out past the diving keeper Samir Handonovic into the top corner.
Inter pushed back one minute later where Radja Naingollan received the ball at midfield. Took a turn and fired a pass down the line to Matteo Politano. Politano found Ivan Perisic in the middle but the Croatian winger struck the ball with a volley over the bar.
Lautaro Martinez could have scored at least two goals in this one but his final touch escaped him. His first chance came in the 37th minute when Napoli turned the ball over to Perisic. He used a quick one touch pass to Lautaro who looked clumsy on the ball after a poor first touch.
Took a shot that wasn’t powered well and it was an easy kick save by the keeper Orestis Karnezis. The Argentine had a chance it the 51st where he found some space. Took a little too long to take the shot and it gave Koulibaly just enough time to come in to block the shot that was destined for the bottom corner.
Later on in the 74th minute, he had a shot go off the bar. The scoreline was 4-0 at that point so it would not have meant much but could have been a nice confidence booster going into the final game.
Napoli made it 2-0 in the 61st minute through Dries Mertens. A great run by the Belgian midfielder as he broke past Miranda and D’Ambrosio to find the cross from Jose Callejon.
The Belgian made no mistake and headed it across Handanovic and into the corner. D’ambrossio gets beat too easily on this goal and Miranda had no idea Mertens was even there. He turned around and look surprised that it was in the back of the net. Need more awareness on that and/or communication from both defenders as well as the keeper.
As soon as it went to 2-0, it felt like it was not Inter’s day. The frustration on the players faces was evident. Not much went their way and when it did, Napoli was there to make a great play.
The play of the game had to be a goal line clearance from Koulibaly. Lautaro made a great cut to his right foot, beat the keeper with his shot and the Senegalese defender anticipated it all. He got right to the spot where the shot was going and headed it just over the bar to keep the score 2-0 in the 68th. That play was brilliant from Koulibaly and showed the class he has as a player.
Another bounce went Napoli’s way to make it 3-0. Handanovic makes a very good initial save and directs it away from goal. A second player came behind for Napoli, passed it across the middle to a wide open Fabian Ruiz who put it in. The nail in the coffin.
Fabian added a second in the 78th minute and at that point it was just cruel. Napoli were the better side and deserved the three points. Inter have to come away from that performance extremely disappointed because they did not show up against a side whom have nothing to play for.
Napoli are the better side but Inter could have made life easier on themselves with a result. Unfortunately for the Nerazzurri, they did not and will head home to try and qualify for the UEFA Champions League on the final day of the season.
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