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Juventus 0-1 Inter Milan: Match Recap

Inter escape Turin with a priceless three points

Juventus v FC Internazionale - Serie A Photo by Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images

The Allianz Stadium has not been a very happy hunting ground for Inter Milan since The The Allianz Stadium has not been a very happy hunting ground for Inter Milan since Juventus began calling the stadium home in 2011-12. After beating the Bianconeri November of 2012, Inter had not picked up three points there in nearly a decade, only scoring four goals in those eight trips. However, with Inter needing a win in a do or die situation to stay in the Scudetto race, the Nerazzurri eked out a huge 1-0 win thanks to a controversy-laden penalty sequence eventually scored by Hakan Calhanoglu late in the first half.

Starting XIs

Max Allegri set up his team to attack, something he has not done often this season. He made a myriad of changes from the team that defeated Salernitana way back on March 20, including starting all three of Paulo Dybala, Alvaro Morata, and Dusan Vlahovic in an attempt to get all of his most dangerous attackers on the pitch at once. The biggest miss for Allegri was the departure of designated Marcelo Brozovic marker Dejan Kulusevski to Tottenham this January. Without this key tool, Inter’s regista had more room to roam.

Simone Inzaghi started his standard lineup, minus Stefan de Vrij, who is still returning from a calf injury. Marcelo Brozovic made his much needed return while Lautaro Martinez and Edin Dzeko got starts up top.

JUVENTUS (4-2-3-1): Szczesny; Danilo, de Ligt, Chiellini, Sandro; Locatelli, Rabiot; Cuadrado, Dybala, Morata; Vlahovic.

INTER (3-5-2): Handanovic; D’Ambrosio, Skriniar, Bastoni; Dumfries, Barella, Brozovic, Calhanoglu, Perisic; Dzeko, Lautaro.

First Half

From the outset, Juventus brought the match to Inter. It took just 44 seconds for the hosts to put a shot on target through Vlahovic, but one that Samir Handanovic harmlessly collected. Just 70 seconds into the match, Lautaro managed to earn the first yellow card of the match with a dangerous high boot that caught Manuel Locatelli in the face, requiring treatment.

Inter got their first chance in the match from a corner kick seven minutes in, as a ball swung in by Hakan Calhanoglu found Milan Skriniar at the far post, but not with enough power to trouble Wojciech Szczesny in the Juventus goal.

Just a minute later, on one of the most chaotic passages of play of the season, Handanovic punched a Juan Cuadrado cross high into the Turin night, lost the ball in the air, found it, and slipped before he could catch the ball as it fell from orbit. The ensuing bounce off of the ground hit the crossbar and bounced back into play before a shot from Locatelli could be cleared by Ivan Perisic. A foul in the mad scramble could have been called on Giorgio Chiellini, but none was given since nothing came of the spectacular scramble.

On the 14 minute mark, Handanovic made a much more confident save on a Cuadrado shot from distance, atoning for the heart stopping events of moments before. Shortly after, Juventus continued the pressure as a long cross from Vlahovic found the head of Morata inside the six yard box, but the Spaniard failed to guide his chance to the target.

After 33 minutes, Locatelli had to be subbed off with a knee injury after already taking a boot to the face from Lautaro early on. New addition Denis Zakaria, who Inter know well from his time at Borussia Monchengladbach, replaced the Italian.

Nine minutes later, in a moment everyone across Italian football has analyzed over and over, Inter were awarded a penalty by VAR for a foul by Alvaro Morata on Denzel Dumfries just inside the box, reminiscent of the penalty given to Alex Sandro in the first matchup between these two teams this season. On the ensuing penalty kick, Hakan Calhanoglu initially missed, but the ball was bundled into the net on what could have been given as an own goal against Adrien Rabiot. Instead, referee Massimiliano Irrati and VAR judged that Matthijs de Ligt encroached on the penalty box before Calhanoglu struck the ball, and was one of the first Juventus defenders to the loose ball after the save, meaning that the penalty was to be retaken in an absolutely chaotic string of events. The second penalty was put away by Calhanoglu in minute 50 of the first half. Five more minutes of extra time ensued before the whistle was blown on the half.

Juventus v FC Internazionale - Serie A Photo by Pier Marco Tacca/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Second Half

Inter set out in the second half to do what they could not in the second half of the first meeting between these two teams, successfully defend a lead. They did this to great effect early on, making it to around the hour mark, where Joaquin Correa and Matteo Darmian came on to replace Lautaro and Dumfries.

Just after the hour mark, Vlahovic made an inch of space for himself in the box and fired a shot that curled just beyond the far post, indicating that Juventus were not going to let off in their push for an equalizer.

On 72 minutes, Juventus had their best chance of the half through Zakaria, who went on a long run before firing in a shot from the edge of the box that Handanovic may have just gotten a hand on as it drilled the post and bounded back into play for the second chance to hit the woodwork of the match.

With nine minutes to go, Roberto Gagliardini and Arturo Vidal made their way onto the pitch to help sure up the midfield defensively as Juventus made their final push. Robin Gosens also entered the pitch in place of Edin Dzeko just as the five minutes of extra time started to really lock things up at the back.

Despite some desperate diving by Juventus players in the Inter penalty area in extra time, the Nerazzurri were able to hold on to end their run without a win away against Juventus and the significant unbeaten run of the hosts in recent weeks to climb up to a comfortable fourth place with some speculation of an improbable Scudetto push. Despite not being the better side on the day, Inter came away with the three points when it mattered.

Juventus v FC Internazionale - Serie A Photo by Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images

Player Ratings

Handanovic - 5.5: Did not make things easy for himself early on, but recovered after the near-catastrophe early on and kept another clean sheet.

Bastoni - 5.5: Spent most of the match pinned back by Cuadrado, who got the better of him multiple times. Definitely a learning experience against a wily veteran.

Skriniar - 8 (MOTM): Along with Gelson Bremer at Torino, Skriniar seems to have figured out how to shut down Vlahovic from the middle of a back three. Massive defensive performance from the man that should be Inter’s next captain.

D’Ambrosio - 7: Though he’s not a regular starter, he is always ready to go out and give his all for this team. That showed in his defensive performance today. What a player to have as depth.

Perisic - 6: A quiet night on the left as he had to deal with both Cuadrado and Danilo, who both had good performances. Was crucial late in the match in cutting out Juve’s efforts on his flank, though.

Calhanoglu - 6.5: Was lost in the thick of things until the penalty. Finally put it away after all the chaos and has now scored against both Milan and Juventus. Say what you want, but he’s making a difference in this team in derbies.

Brozovic - 6.5: He was probably the happiest man alive when Kulusevski left Juventus. Without the Swede there to press, he enjoyed more freedom but showed that he had some rust to knock off after his injury and the international break.

Barella - 6.5: Looked sluggish early, but eventually got to his game. His run in the second half where he fended off three or four Juventus players before being fouled demonstrated what he does best when he’s on his game.

Dumfries - 6.5: Exacted his revenge after the penalty given against him in the first matchup. Was good on both sides of the ball, but could still improve in the speed of his decision making on the ball.

Dzeko - 5.5: Did very little other than head Juventus corners out of the box, an important piece of being a total player, but still had little going on at the other end of the pitch. Anonymous.

Lautaro - 5: Speaking of anonymous, when Lautaro wasn’t flirting with being sent off, he had little impact on the match. Correa showed more when he came on.

Substitutes

Darmian - 6: Could not quite get up to the speed of the match, but still positioned himself well as Inter hung onto their lead.

Correa - 6: Unlike the starting strikers, he dared to run at the opposition backline and attempted to cause some problems. A good place to start for him.

Vidal/Gagliardini/Gosens - N/A

Inzaghi - 6: Allegri had the better setup, but Inzaghi countered after the goal by using his subs very well and finally getting his team to effectively defend a 1-0 lead, even if they did get lucky a few times. He is now the first manager to defeat Juve away since Andrea Stramaccioni.

With a full week off, Inter will prepare to face Hellas Verona next Saturday as they continue to put pressure on Napoli and Milan ahead of them in the table. The Nerazzurri will need to take care of business with a comparatively lighter schedule than their direct rivals from here on out to continue their quest for the second star.

Forza Inter!