The Nerazzurri left the Marassi with another valuable three points, despite playing much of the second half with 10 men. What can we learn from our sixth win of the season?
Another Challenge Conquered
“That could have killed anyone, but not us.” These were Antonio Conte’s thoughts on Sampdoria’s goal which came after Inter were reduced to 10 men. He’s not exaggerating either, Inter from years past are the exact sort of sides that would have crumbled in that situation. On Saturday, however, we saw no panic. The side didn’t retreat to the edge of the penalty area. They didn’t start hoofing the ball 60 yards up the field. Instead, a few choice substitutions were made and the team continued to dominate the game - even adding a third goal. The performance was an excellent example of the progress the side has made since last season.
Lay Off Lautaro
In the aftermath of the match, a lot of criticism was aimed at the direction of Inter’s Argentine sensation. Many fans (rightfully) pointed out that Inter would never have gone down to ten men if Lautaro had buried a very scoreable change immediately prior to Sanchez’s booking. The criticism then expanded to his overall performances this season and the fact that he only has the single goal to his name. While Lautaro has struggled to replicate his form with Argentina, it is far too early to doubt his quality. We cannot forget that he is still only 22 years old and being asked to learn two roles in a completely new tactical system. Despite all this, he is still making the correct movements to get himself into dangerous positions. All that is lacking from his game currently is finishing - a characteristic that many young strikers struggle with. Let’s show the guy some patience and appreciate the fact that we’re still able to win despite the missed goals.
Bastoni Will Be A Gem
It has taken two years for one of the most promising young Italian defenders to make his debut for Inter. During that period he has been loaned to both Atalanta and Parma, and the clubs financial statement revealed that he had cost a whopping €31 million. Needless to say, Interisti have been excited to finally see what the fuss was about, and the player did not disappoint. Despite earning an early yellow card, Bastoni put in a commanding performance against Sampdoria. He combined well with Asamoah and the other midfielders, whilst almost setting up a goal for Lautaro. When Inter went down to 10, it seemed likely that the youngster would make way for a cooler head. However, Bastoni showed experience beyond his years and remained on the pitch until the final whistle. Inter’s backline looks secure for years to come.
The Butterfly Effect
As the second half began, Inter looked set to cruise to a simple victory over a side in shambles. A third goal would have given them an unassailable lead and Conte the chance to rotate players before the most challenging week of the season. However, the red card and goal to Sampdoria changed everything and the side had to work hard to earn the three points. This was fantastic to see on the night, but it may change the week ahead. Will Brozovic (who has played all but 19 minutes this season) survive both games? Will Sanchez get the nod in Barcelona, given he’s unavailable for Juve? These questions and more will need to be answered by Conte in the coming days.
Six from Six
Another week, and another significant step forward for Conte’s men. Juve, Napoli, Roma and Lazio all recorded wins, but Inter were able to maintain their perfect record (and spot at the top of the table) in the face of difficulty. The side now has the most goals scored, the least conceded and retains the only perfect record in the country. The blemish against Slavia Prague appears to be forgotten and the Nerazzurri should be supremely confident heading into two matches which could well shape their season.