It was a thrilling match at the San Siro as Inter Milan tied Atalanta 2-2. This match featured numerous brilliant goals from both sides as Lautaro Martinez opened the score from an accurate cross from Nicolo Barella. The lead did not last long as Ruslan Malinovskyi scored from outside Inter’s box with a sizzling strike past Inter goalkeeper, Samir Handanovic.
Merely minutes later, Atalanta struck again and this time it was Rafael Toloi who found the back of the net. The defender pounced on a rebound by Handanovic and converted as he was left unmarked inside the box. Late in the match, with under 20 minutes remaining, Edin Dzeko scored to tie the match at 2-2.
Each side earn a hard-fought point as neither side were able to find a third goal. So, what did we learn from this match?
Hakan Calahanglou puts in a lackluster performance
It was going to be difficult for Inter to replace Christian Eriksen in the midfield. The Dane became a key player last season and his absence has left a hole in the midfield. This past summer, Inter signed Hakan Calhanoglu during the transfer market to fill the void. He has been mediocre this season as he’s proven to be inconsistent and, versus Atalanta, he followed up with an average performance.
Calhanoglu looked slow with his runs, created few chances, was ineffective on set pieces and lacked pace when tracking back to help the defense. His work ethic was poor in certain situations where he gave up quickly on the play. After an impressive debut versus Genoa, the following matches haven’t been great from the Turkish midfielder.
Inter wasted too many opportunities
Inter managed to earn a draw versus Atalanta yet should have secured the three points. The Nerazzurri had countless opportunities to win the match. In the early stages, Dzeko had a prime scoring opportunity at the left side inside Atalanta’s goal area yet his shot went wide of the post. It was a bad attempt from the striker who should have had a better shot as he was left unmarked and had time for a better release.
Late in the second half, Dzeko had another scoring opportunity where he was left unmarked inside the box but he headed the ball over the net. The Inter striker had numerous chances to score and add to his tally yet failed to covert. Additionally, Federico Dimarco missed an opportunity from a penalty as he hit the crossbar. Inter had their chances yet let them slip away.
Ruslan Malinovsky steps up for Atalanta
In need of a goal and an uplift in the match, Malinovskyi provided that for Atalanta. Trailing 1-0, for the first half-hour Inter controlled the tempo and pace of the match. However, at the 30th minute, Malinovskyi scored a powerful strike to tie the match. Minutes later he assisted on their second goal as he delivered another shot-on target from outside the box. Handanovic made the stop yet Toloi, who was left unmarked, followed up on the rebound and scored to give La Dea the lead.
Malinovskyi was effective in their attack where he got by defenders, created chances, had quality shots on net, and gave his side that uplift that they desperately needed. It was a great performance from the forward as he managed to shift the momentum of the game in their favor. He finished the match with four key passes, two aerial duels won, one goal, and three shots on target.
Samir Handanovic with another disappointing performance
After two successive performances from Handanovic who started to look confident in goal, the Inter goalkeeper went back to his old ways. He struggled on multiple occasions where he was late to make a save, didn’t anticipate the shot, or looked out of position. On a few chances created by Atalanta, Handanovic was late to react to make the save and was fortunate that their shots went wide of the goal.
Handanovic made a critical error on Atalanta’s second goal. Malinovskyi delivered a powerful shot on target and the Inter goalkeeper made the save, however, he directed the ball forward instead of towards the sideline. He put it into a dangerous area where Toloi managed to follow up on the rebound and scored to give his side a 2-1 lead at the time of the goal. He’s made many critical errors this season and this time it cost his side three points.
Simone Inzaghi makes significant moves
With just over 30 minutes remaining in the match, Inter manager, Simone Inzaghi, made three critical moves that were beneficial. The Nerazzurri were lacking pace and, with Atalanta controlling play, Inzaghi brought on Matias Vecino, Denzel Dumfries and Dimarco for Calhanoglu, Alessandro Bastoni and Matteo Darmian.
This was a smart move by Inzaghi as it gave Inter the spark they needed. The Nerazzurri looked quicker, generated chances, and dominated possession. Dumfries and Dimarco added pace and this created difficulties for Atalanta’s backend. Prior to being inserted into the match, Inter looked slow and didn’t have much intensity.
At a time when Inter needed a spark in their game, Inzaghi made his first substitution at the right time. It took them 13 minutes after subbing on all three players to find the back of the net and came close to a third goal on multiple occasions. Inzaghi stepped up in this match and made some key decisions that helped his side earn a valuable point.