After a deflating loss to Juventus that put Inter’s finishing issues on full display, the Nerazzurri plainly needed these three points. Despite giving up the first three clear cut chances and a freakish deflected goal early on, Inter rallied to score six unanswered goals and take a resounding win into their final test before the World Cup, a trip to Atalanta.
Though Inter had a clear opportunity to rotate the squad ahead of another top-four battle on the weekend, Simone Inzaghi picked nearly the same team that started against Juventus to redeem themselves against Bologna.
Thiago Motta opted for a 4-2-3-1 that included two known Inter-killers in Musa Barrow and Marko Arnautovic. Former Inter midfielder Gary Medel captained the visitors on a return to his old home ground.
INTER (3-5-2): Onana; Skriniar, Acerbi, Bastoni; Dumfries, Barella, Calhanoglu, Mkhitaryan, Dimarco; Dzeko, Lautaro.
BOLOGNA (4-3-3): Skorupski; Posch, Soumaoro, Lucumi, Lykogiannis; Schouten, Medel, Ferguson; Orsolini, Arnautovic, Barrow.
Still looking beaten down from a disappointing performance on the past weekend, Inter ceded possession and momentum to the visitors in the opening minutes. Big chances from Musa Barrow and Marko Arnautovic came very close to opening the score.
Bologna did get the opener just after the 20 minute mark when a shot headed off goal from Riccardo Orsolini careened off the back of Charalampos Lykogiannis, being redirected past Andre Onana for a deserved opener to the visitors. Inter, already in a tough position after a loss, set themselves up with another hole to dig themselves out of.
The dig began with a wonderous volley off the foot of Edin Dzeko from the edge of the Bologna penalty box after Denzel Dumfries’ deflected cross. The Bosnian did an impeccable job judging the ball as it fell out of the rainy Milan sky, directing it on a looping trajectory past Lukasz Skorupski for the equalizer just five minutes after Bologna took the lead.
Edin Dzeko with a BEAUTIFUL volley. pic.twitter.com/bGoYWFA7iL— CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ (@CBSSportsGolazo) November 9, 2022
After the first goal, the flow of the game began to favor Inter. Ten minutes later, Lautaro Martinez was fouled on the edge of the penalty box, near where Dzeko uncorked his volley for the first goal. The ensuing exchange of words between Medel and Lautaro, two players who never shy away from conflict, produced yellow cards for each. After the two were sorted, Federico Dimarco added insult to Bologna injury by driving home an exquisite free kick low and to the keeper’s side.
Federico Dimarco with a gorgeous free kick. pic.twitter.com/XObjNA3Sht— CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ (@CBSSportsGolazo) November 9, 2022
Two great goals in the span of ten minutes were enough to drop Bologna heads. A great start for the visitors was washed away in less than 20 minutes while a stagnant San Siro at the beginning of the match had erupted into cheers and chants.
Just before halftime, Inter made sure to leave Bologna no way back into the match as Lautaro headed home at the near post from a Hakan Calhanoglu corner taken with the strategy of crowding Skorupski’s goal, something Inter clearly had intel on and attempted on set pieces all match.
Right place, right time.— CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ (@CBSSportsGolazo) November 9, 2022
Lautaro Martinez scores Inter's third of the first half. pic.twitter.com/Mq5oEEF3tE
Up 3-1 and cruising, Inter had turned around a match that threatened to get ugly, thinking back to the last match between these two teams, the one we all know. However, the slate felt like it was wiped clean with the performance in the final 20 minutes of the half.
Picking up right where they left off, Inter took no time getting a fourth. Dimarco got himself free on a great run down the left, losing his man and curling a shot past Skorupski just two minutes into the second 45.
With a brace on the night, the Inter youth product enjoyed the night before is 25th birthday, celebrating in style with two goals for his boyhood club. A story that will make any Inter fan smile and possibly feel a little envy.
A brace for Federico Dimarco and this one is just as beautiful as his first goal. pic.twitter.com/XszkaWZ9cf— CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ (@CBSSportsGolazo) November 9, 2022
With the match completely dead to rights, Inter continued to let out their frustration from the last match and from their last match against Bologna, which may have caused the Nerazzurri the Scudetto. A penalty was expertly guided home by Calhanoglu, who logged himself a goal to go with his first half assist before substitute Robin Gosens gave himself a burst of positivity with a back post goal to bring some light to what has been a tough spell at Inter overall so far.
Inter are keeping their foot on the gas pedal!— CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ (@CBSSportsGolazo) November 9, 2022
They have their SIXTH goal of the day. pic.twitter.com/OIOjeE7zab
After six goals, Inter finally went into cruise control, sparing Bologna for the final 15 minutes until the final whistle ended the one way proceedings.
Onana - 6.5: Made a good save early but had no chance on the deflected goal. Not much to do after Inter took back control of the match and swiftly killed it off.
Skriniar - 7: Brought a needed fire to the team when they went down. Helped rally the troops and kept everyone’s heads on straight to begin the comeback. Took Arnautovic on a stroll for good measure.
Acerbi - 6: Had precious little to do in this match. Never a bad thing when your defenders don’t have to get involved on a significant scale.
Bastoni - 6: Still recovering from an illness but did not have to overexert himself by any means in this match. Probably the kind of return he needed.
Dumfries - 6: Moved up and down the right flank effortlessly, made himself a problem for Bologna on both sides of the ball. Good to see.
Barella - 7: Set up Dimarco’s second and continued his generally great form in the past month. Such a luxury to have someone with his drive in the midfield.
Calhanoglu - 7: A standard goal and assist both from dead ball situations. Hard to think of anyone who can do what he does with the ball at his feet on a set play.
Mkhitaryan - 6: Probably the least to do out of all the midfielders. Not a bad performance by any means. Any time these older veterans can coast through a match, it is great for this team.
Dimarco - 8 (MOTM): Without a doubt his best match in an Inter shirt. Two great goals that may only be topped by his thunderous effort against Inter when he was on loan at Parma. On his day, one of the best left sided players in the league.
Dzeko - 7: His goal got the team back on track and opened the door for the ensuing rout. Could have had at least one more.
Lautaro - 7: Needed to get back on track and did so with Inter’s third goal. A great run to set up the free kick for the go ahead goal as well.
Bellanova - 6: His speed just pops when he’s on the pitch, just needs the rest of his game to catch up.
Gosens - 6.5: Good to see him on the scoresheet despite this possibly being one of his last matches at Inter, as the Bundesliga beckons.
Brozovic - 6.5: Had an absurd amount of touches for the time he was on the pitch and looked back to his old self again. Great news.
Gagliardini - 6: Didn’t have much to do which is never anything to complain about when he’s on the pitch.
Asllani - 6.5: Continues to get into dangerous positions when he plays, but just needs to finally see one hit the back of the net. Could be soon.
Inzaghi - 6.5: Allowed players who fell flat against Juventus to redeem themselves. It looked like it may not work early, but his tactics soon paid off as Inter took out a lot of frustrations over the course of 90 minutes.
Next up for Inter, their final match of 2022 before the World Cup break. Atalanta have just lost to Spezia, but trips to Bergamo are never easy. Nonetheless, Inter need three points to set themselves up for a run in the second phase of the season when club competitions return in early 2023. I look forward to seeing you all on the other side of it.