Everyone associated with Inter Milan will surely be glad to say goodbye to the month of October. Saturday’s 2-2 draw at home to Parma capped off a month that featured only one win in all competitions for Antonio Conte’s men. Poor finishing again plagued Inter throughout the match, which at one point saw the home side trailing 2-0 through a quick second half brace from familiar foe Gervinho. Late goals from Marcelo Brozovic and Ivan Perisic saved a valuable point for Inter, but the two points dropped will loom large.
With Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez both unavailable through injury, Conte opted to go with Ivan Perisic up top next to the recently struggling Lautaro Martinez. Other notable changes included another start for Christian Eriksen, the return of Roberto Gagliardini from a COVID-19 induced absence, and a change of position for Stefan de Vrij, who moverd to the right side of the back three to make room for Andrea Ranocchia in the center of defense. He was flanked on the left by Aleksandar Kolarov.
INTER (3-4-1-2): Handanovic; de Vrij, Ranocchia, Kolarov; Hakimi, Gagliardini, Barella, Darmian; Eriksen; Perisic, Lautaro
PARMA (5-3-2): Sepe; Grassi, Balogh, Iacoponi, Gagliolo, Pezzella; Kucka, Hernani, Kurtic; Cornelius, Gervinho
Inter came firing out of the gates, earning a corner within the first minute of the match, the first of ten taken by Inter in the half. Within two minutes, Perisic missed a glorious opportunity in the middle of the penalty area as he brought down a pass from Nicolo Barella but volleyed his effort over the bar. Inter had two other bug chances in the half, a corner headed goalward by Ranocchia and saved by Luigi Sepe and a header over the bar from Achraf Hakimi.
In defense, there was not much to do for the home side. Parma continued in the same plan as previous sides facing Inter, defending first and attacking when opportune. Samir Handanovic had one clear save to make on a shot from Andreas Cornelius, but not much else. Inter’s defenders were called into action more on the attacking side of the ball than defending.
While Inter came out blazing in the first half, it was Parma that struck at the beginning of the second half, to devastating effect. Just twenty seconds into the half, the Ivorian volleyed home a long ball over the top of the defense by Hernani, splitting Hakimi and de Vrij. Gervinho’s impressive first time finish left Handanovic with no chance to prevent Parma from taking a 1-0 shock lead. He followed with a second goal 16 minutes later, as a Roberto Inglese pass split the defense again, leading to a one on one chance with Handanovic, who was left out to dry again.
After the second Parma goal, substitute Marcelo Brozovic quickly answered to help steady the ship for Inter. His low shot from outside of the box found its way past Sepe and set the stage for Inter to hunt for a second and possibly third goal. From then on, Inter dictated one way traffic onto Sepe’s goal. A controversial non-call in the penalty area as Perisic jumped to meet a cross but was wrapped up and taken to the ground by Parma’s Botond Balogh left the home side clamoring for a penalty in their chase for points. The equalizer came two minutes into extra time, with a Kolarov free kick finding the head of Perisic, whose glancing touch guided the ball into the back of the net. After the goal, Inter almost found themselves pulling off the improbable, but Arturo Vidal’s close range header in the dying seconds rolled just wide of the net, leaving the points to be shared at San Siro. On a night where Inter were more clinical in front of net, they surely would have taken all three points.
Handanovic - 5.5: There wasn’t much he could have done on the first goal, but the captain probably could have done better to avoid having the ball put between his legs for the second Parma goal. Even then, he was still left on his own for both.
de Vrij - 5.5: Not playing in his accustomed central role in the back three, the reliable Dutchman looked out of place. He was beaten on both goals, but was out of his usual position.
Ranocchia - 6: The veteran clearly feels comfortable with the extra protection afforded in the middle of the back three. He did not have much to do though, and was bypassed on both goals. If he was not part of a back three that shipped two goals, he might warrant a higher rating.
Kolarov - 6: None of the center backs outside of de Vrij were challenged really in defense. The Serbian offered threat going forward and was clinical on the free kick delivery for the second Inter goal.
Hakimi - 5.5: Another quiet match for Hakimi since his return. These low blocks seem to be stumping him in attack, where he likes to take on defenders and beat them for pace. His missed header showed he still has a ways to go before he reaches his full potential in front of goal.
Gagliardini - 6: On his return, he showed once again that while he is not the most aesthetically pleasing player, he does provide balance in the midfield. He started well but faded as the matched progressed before leaving the pitch for Marcelo Brozovic.
Barella - 6: Always running, for good or for bad. His energy was once again the engine in the midfield, but he flew into a few unnecessary fouls in this match. Despite this, he still played well.
Darmian - 5.5: Largely a passenger in this match, Darmian did not have much to do on either side of the ball. He was tidy when play came his way before being substituted in a tactical move for Andrea Pinamonti.
Eriksen - 6: While clamor continues to grow around the lack of success for the Dane at Inter, he put in another average performance. He deserves credit for trying creative passes to open up the Parma defense, but he was largely unsuccessful in execution.
Perisic - 6.5: With the injuries up front for Inter, Perisic was thrust into the striker’s role. He missed a big chance early in the match and was clearly out of position, but worked hard throughout the match and got the late equalizer. He had a good case for winning a penalty as well.
Lautaro - 5: The Argentine’s cold streak continues. He looks lost in front of goal and had little effect on the match. The sooner he puts it all back together, the better.
Vidal - 6: The Chilean worked hard in the midfield after coming on. He did the dirty work as he always does. His work helped Inter grab the game back as it was slipping away. He was also inches away from the winning goal.
Brozovic- 6: Played well after coming on for Gagliardini. He was Inter’s most threatening midfielder and scored the first goal.
Pinamonti - 5.5: After replacing Lautaro, he held the ball up but was not a scoring threat. He had very few touches in threatening areas, but won the free kick that led to Perisic’s goal.
Nainggolan - N/A
Conte- 5: Faced with some personnel decisions that were out of his hands, Conte perhaps could’ve used the chance to stray from his current 3-4-1-2 experiment and set the team up in a different formation, maybe even with a back four. Despite this, he could not put the ball in the net himself and likely could have avoided some criticism if Inter got the win.