Inter’s quest for a Scudetto became more of a reality after Matteo Darmian scored late to lift the Nerazzurri to a 1-0 victory over Hellas Verona. It was an eventful match and it looked as if Verona had tied the match right before injury time as Inter goalkeeper, Samir Handavovic, failed to grab the ball. However, the goal was called back after Inter were awarded a free kick.
It was a masterful performance from Inter manager, Antonio Conte, as he managed his side perfectly and broke down a sturdy Verona side. It was Inter’s third clean sheet in the past six matches and, during that span, they have conceded three goals. They have been hard to break down and limited Verona’s chances throughout the match.
Inter inch closer to their first trophy since 2011. It has been a long time coming for a side who have had many disappointing campaigns. As for Verona, they will feel hard done by after a late disallowed goal was not reviewed by VAR. Nonetheless, a valiant effort from both sides.
So, who were the winners and losers in Inter’s 1-0 win versus Verona?
Winner: Matteo Darmian
In recent weeks, Darmian has become a fan favourite. The wing-back has scored three goals this season, yet two have come in the past three matches in Serie A. These two goals have led to six points and bring Inter much closer to a Scudetto. Darmian has managed to score with less than 20 minutes remaining and has been able to deliver when his team needs him the most.
It took just over ten minutes for Darmian to score and find the game winner. He received a brilliant pass from Achraf Hakimi, yet the run made by the Italian was more impressive. He was left wide open and unmarked with plenty of space to work with when he made his run into the box and delivered an accurate shot past Verona goalkeeper, Marco Silvestri.
Darmian has been one of Inter’s best signings this season and he’s become one of their most valuable players late into the season. Credit to Conte, who wanted the Italian in his squad and it is starting to pay off for Inter.
Winner: Romelu Lukaku
Romelu Lukaku may be on a four-game scoreless draught, however, he was effective for Inter. Throughout the match he made strong runs, drew fouls, made key passes and was effective with his hold up play. While the Inter striker certainly would have liked to score for his side, he certainly stepped up in other ways.
Verona’s defender, Giangiacomo Magnani, struggled throughout the match versus Lukaku. The Belgian’s physicality and size proved to be a lot for the defender to handle as he conceded a yellow card and committed four fouls. With Magnani playing man to man versus Lukaku, this created space for Lautaro Martinez as he had numerous scoring chances in this match.
Lukaku finished the match with three key passes, one aerial duel won, five fouls won and three clearances. He played a key role in Inter’s 1-0 win.
Loser: Kevin Lasagna
Back in January, Udinese transferred Kevin Lasagna to Verona and since arriving he hasn’t been much better when compared to his teammate, Nikola Kalinic. The Italian has been a major disappointment as he has two goals in his past fourteen matches in Serie A with Verona. He had a lackluster performance versus Inter where he lost the ball on multiple occasions, showed poor control, and wasn’t clinical.
Lasagna’s decision making was very poor as, far too often, he elected to take shots with multiple defenders blocking his path. His runs didn’t fare much better as he struggled to create space and separate himself from Inter’s defenders.
With Verona in need of a goal, Lasagna failed to deliver for his side. He showed little physicality, lost many challenges, and, at times, fell to the ground too easily. Lasanga has not been a threat to the opposition and been fairly predictable. He finished the match with five bad touches and was dispossessed twice.
Loser: Samir Handanovic
While Inter managed to win the match, Handanovic should be fortunate that he didn’t cost his side any points. The Inter goalkeeper had to make one save in this match yet near half time he made a disaster of a casual play. Darko Lazovic crossed the ball into the goal area and Milan Skriniar defended well as he headed the ball into mid-air. The ball came down directly to Handanovic, who did a poor job holding the ball yet fortunately, Faraoni was given a foul for impeding the goalkeeper. The ball went into the net yet was quickly ruled off.
For a third straight game, Handanovic forced an error yet was lucky that this didn’t affect the outcome. He has struggled in recent time and this is an area that Inter surely needs to address this summer transfer window.