After quite a few rather nerve wracking matches, a victory without complications was what the doctor ordered. And that’s exactly what came Wednesday, when Inter thumped Brescia 6-0. It was quite the pleasure to watch, even if, like you I’m sure, I’m slightly discombobulated by such an outstanding performance from the Nerazzurri.
The match started quite eventfully, with a big chance for each team. First, a wayward Ashley Young pass found its way to Sandro Tonali, and the youngster played Alfredo Donnarumma in behind. Brescia’s leading scorer blasted the ball over the bar and that miss would haunt the relegation threatened side.
Young made up for his earlier mistake by scoring the opener in the 5th minute. From the right flank, Alexis Sánchez sent a fantastic cross to Young in the top of the box. The Englishman sweetly struck a volley across the goal and into the back of the net.
Inter’s heavy possession would pay off in the 19th minute. Victor Moses went on a run into the box, and after a sharp turn, was tripped by Mateju. Sanchez scored the ensuing spot kick, his second goal of the season.
The Chilean was close to a brace later in the half. Off a corner a header from the Man United loanee almost snuck in at the near post but Brescia’s goalkeeper, Jesse Joronen, was able to scramble it off the line.
Inter wasn’t content with just a two goal lead going into halftime, so Danilo D’Ambrosio added a third in the 45th minute. After some nice interplay between Young and Sanchez, the Englishman chipped a cross to the top of the six yard box, and D’Ambrosio came crashing in to head the ball past Joronen.
That wasn’t the end of things, though, as Lautaro Martínez had a point blank effort saved in the 3rd minute of stoppage time. The Argentine was visibly frustrated with the miss, but at least his head is back in Italy after a brief trip to Spain.
Inter cruised in the 1st half, with 68% possession and double the shots of its counterparts. That pattern would continue in the 2nd period.
Roberto Gaglairdini made up for his miss against Sassuolo, or at least in part, when he headed home an Alexis Sanchez free kick in the 52nd minute. The goal was a bonus to what had already been a very solid game form the midfielder.
After more Inter possession, and a few nervy moments at the back when Brescia went forward, Antonio Candreva came close to making it five. In the 70th minute, he let loose a bullet from the top corner of the box but the ball smashed off the crossbar.
Then, Christian Eriksen decided to join the party and tally his 1st goal in Serie A. Lukaku niftily turned in the box and sent a low shot to the far post. Joronen made a save on that, and then another on Eriksen’s initial rebound attempt. The Dane could not be denied twice, however, and slid in to capitalize on the rebound of the rebound.
Not to be outdone, Candreva made up for his shot that struck the woodwork by curling in a pleasing effort from the top corner of the box into the lower left hand side of the goal.
I never thought I would enjoy a thrashing of that magnitude so much. It was unlike what we’ve seen over the last few weeks from Inter that it felt foreign. I thought for a moment that I had accidentally gotten the days mixed up, and turned on the Atalanta game. But no such mistake was made. Instead, Inter played some of the best football we’ve seen from it of late.
The Nerazzurri had 66% possession, and was effective with it, too. Conte’s squad took 19 shots, 8 of which landed on frame. In case you were wondering, that’s a conversion rate of 31%. Not bad at all.
Moving on, the team was able to keep its shape very well, as shown by the average player positions. In fact, you can see a 3-4-1-2 formation perfectly transcribed onto the graphic. The likely cause of that is the emphasis on possession that Inter displayed, which allowed the team to have a more controlled approach to the game. Brescia, meanwhile, was pulled out of position thanks to all of the ball chasing Diego Lopez’s side was engaged in.
Player wise, Alexis Sanchez had perhaps his best game yet for the Nerazzurri, and was deserving of the Man of the Match award after totaling one goal and two assists, as well as playing the pass prior to the penalty. More of that from Sanchez would do wonders for an Inter attack that at times look a bit thin in creativity.
His fellow South American, Lautaro Martínez, may not have gotten on the scoresheet, but showed a desire and intensity that we haven’t seen in some time. And even if it may not have been the ideal emotion, I loved seeing his frustration at failing to find the back of the net because it shows that he is fully committed to the team.
Someone else who was able to shake off some recent poor showings was Ashley Young. He had a goal and an assist, and like his partner at fullback, played a big role in the victory.
The win gives Inter 7 points of breathing room on Atalanta, at least until La Dea play Napoli Thursday evening. Unfortunately, Inter was unable to make up any ground on Juventus, and is still 8 points out of 1st.
Let’s hope the good vibes carry on into Sunday’s match!