It was not pretty, but it sure ended with a nice scene. A hard fought match against a tough and compact Juventus side was put to bed by an unlikely winner. Alexis Sanchez pounced on a ball knocked down in the box by Matteo Darmian and slotted past Mattia Perin to send San Siro into jubilant chaos. Simone Inzaghi gets his first trophy as Inter manager and we are all still relishing in the moment.
Inzaghi named his strongest team for the match, bringing back Hakan Calhanoglu from suspension and Edin Dzeko from a COVID absence. Sanchez and Roberto Gagliardini dropped to the bench after starting against Lazio. With the match being played at home, it was clear that the hosts wanted to keep the trophy at the stadium after the match.
Juventus came into the match with a number of suspensions and injuries. Matthijs de Ligt and Juan Cuadrado were suspended while Wojciech Szczesny did not feature because of COVID vaccine issues. Federico Chiesa tore his ACL on the weekend and will be out long term. Lesser injuries to Leonardo Bonucci and Paulo Dybala meant the two were not fit to start but were named to the bench.
INTER (3-5-2): Handanovic; Skriniar, de Vrij, Bastoni; Dumfries, Barella, Brozovic, Calhanoglu, Perisic; Dzeko, Lautaro.
JUVENTUS (4-4-1-1): Perin; De Sciglio, Rugani, Chiellini, Alex Sandro; McKennie, Locatelli, Rabiot, Bernardeschi; Kulusevski; Morata.
Inter began the match by asking some questions of the Juventus defense, taking a couple of shots at Perin’s goal. Ivan Perisic dominated the left flank early, putting in multiple dangerous crosses after beating his man. Juventus showed their hand from the offset, happy to sit extremely deep and pounce on the counter. However, when Inter had the ball in their own end, a press was deployed.
Juventus pounced on one of their first forays forward, with a deflected cross from Alvaro Morata being misjudged by Stefan de Vrij which created space for Weston McKennie to head home a free header from point blank range.
After the goal, Juventus hunkered down even more, allowing Inter to have as much of the ball as they wanted. Outside of one Calhanoglu shot, Inter were short of creativity until Mattia De Sciglio brought down Edin Dzeko in the box for a penalty which Lautaro Martinez calmly converted to bring Inter level after trailing for just 10 minutes. Not much happened after the goal, meaning two teams went into the break at 1-1.
Parts of the first half were end to end and made for some entertaining football, but the second half was quickly reduced to a slog as Juventus grew more and more compact in their setup, looking to capitalize on a mistake or force the match into extra time or possibly beyond.
Federico Bernardeschi had an open shot at goal early into the half for Juventus, but pushed his effort wide. He also had a second effort from outside of the box go over the goal a few minutes later. The two chances were the visitors’ two biggest of the half. Denzel Dumfries answered with a great headed chance that Perin saved and pushed onto the crossbar.
As the half worse on, Inter had virtually all of the ball, but struggled to find clear cut chances. Lautaro and Perisic had half chances, but could not get enough on their efforts to trouble Perin.
Dybala was introduced late to try to give Juventus a jolt in attack, but little came from it. Sanchez and Joaquin Correa replaced Dzeko and Lautaro in an effort to get the same effect, but the decisive goal did not come before the final whistle.
An extra 30 minutes brought precious little in the way of chances for either team. An early corner whipped in close to the net of Perin was the most dangerous action until the final kick of the match.
Federico Dimarco played a hopeful cross into the box that was chested down by Alex Sandro towards Giorgio Chiellini. The ball did not make it to the veteran center back, but was rather picked off by Darmian, who won the ball and knocked it into the path of Alexis, who tapped the ball past Perin from short range just as the clock ticked past 120 minutes. The scenes in San Siro after the goal were stuff of dreams for Interisti. A last second winner at home for a trophy over Juventus. No one could write a better story.
ALEXIS SANCHEZ WINNER IN THE 120TH MINUTE. THE SCENES. pic.twitter.com/fuQiKUb0ck— CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ (@CBSSportsGolazo) January 12, 2022
Handanovic - 6: Not much to do in this match. Left out to dry on the McKennie goal and had little to do otherwise. Made a couple of simple saves and got to lift his second trophy with the club after a long career.
Bastoni - 7: Much like against Lazio, Bastoni was extremely dangerous going forward. His passing and awareness going forward are unnaturally great for a center back.
de Vrij - 6: Caught out for two goals in a week. Not the level expected by the winner of Serie A best defender a couple of seasons ago. Thankfully it did not cast the team in the end, but someone needs to get to the bottom of his issues.
Skriniar - 7: An absolute rock at the back. No one can get past him in this form. He also looks great with a trophy in his hands. Future Inter legend, hands down.
Perisic - 7: Has to be the best left wingback in the league at this rate. He can do whatever he wants in defense and attack and no one can stop him on this form. Big game player.
Calhanoglu - 6.5: A little rusty in his return, but still so dangerous with his passes and his dead ball deliveries. Grew into the match and showed he is still staying consistent. Happy to see him lift his first career trophy.
Brozovic - 6.5: A tough match for Inter’s regista. Constantly hassled by Dejan Kulusevski but still managed to keep play moving. Also commanded his part of the pitch in defense. The sooner that contract is announced, the better.
Barella - 6: Pretty quiet in this match. Looked like he was struggling to make his mark on either side of the ball.
Dumfries - 6: Also had a tough match dealing with such a deep and defensive Juve side. Got into dangerous positions a couple of times though and could have had a goal if not for an impressive save from Perin.
Dzeko - 6.5: Played as the big focal point up front and brought in other players, especially Perisic, well. Could not link up very well with Lautaro though because of the tight Juve defense. Won the penalty like the smart veteran he is.
Lautaro - 6.5: Did his usual work in pressing and tried to come deep to link the midfield and attack. Got his goal through a penalty and hopefully will have more confidence from the spot now.
Alexis - 7 (MOTM): Win a final at the death, win man of the match. Pretty simple. Really starting to make a case for more playing time in recent matches.
Correa - 5.5: Inconsistency rearing its ugly head again in his game. Sometimes struggles to impose himself off of the bench.
Vidal - 6: Something about Vidal and Alexis together just brings success. However, he did not have much to do. Worked hard in the midfield and kept the grit going to the end.
Darmian - 6.5: From an unheralded signing to one of the most clutch Inter players in his short tenure at the club. Worked hard to win the ball and set up the winner.
Dimarco - N/A Came on really late but ran hard up and down the left. Delivered the ball that led to the goal. Good to see a lifelong Interista lift a trophy.
Inzaghi - 7: I struggle to remember the last time Inter had this much possession and put on this much pressure in a big match. Sent out his strongest team and got a hard fought win against a very compact side. Three wins in three Supercoppas against Juventus in his still short career. He just may be the anti-Juve manager we need.
While celebrations will last a couple of days. The squad will need to set their sights on a weekend clash with Atalanta. After such a grueling match, going to Bergamo could be a very tough task. Let’s just enjoy this for a moment or two, though.