What more is there to say? Inter’s horrid form didn’t disappear over the international break as we all (perhaps foolishly) hoped; if anything, it’s as bad as ever. The Nerazzurri kicked off April in dreadful fashion, falling to a third straight defeat at the hands of Fiorentina, who only needed a 53rd-minute Giacomo Bonaventura header to take all three points back to Tuscany.
Inzaghi made four changes from the Juventus defeat, with the injured Hakan Calhanoglu dropping out of the XI in favor of Marcelo Brozovic, while Bastoni also returned. The strike pair was a bit of a surprise, as Joaquin Correa made a very rare appearance to partner Romelu Lukaku.
The opening stages were back and forth, with neither side able to get a firm grip on the proceedings. Andre Onana was called into action in the 13th minute to make an impressive double save. He made a diving stop on a volley from Gaetano Castrovilli destined for the bottom corner and then pawed the rebound away from off the ground. Inter then crafted a golden chance of its own through Henrikh Mkhitaryan. The Armenian intercepted a loose ball in midfield and then made a sprint down half the field but before he could finish the job, Pietro Terracciano managed to close the angle down and kill the chance off. Inter continued to find success in behind Fiorentina’s high line, with Lukaku especially active, albeit ineffective. By the time half-time rolled around, the stats sheet was almost identical. Inter managed 8 shots to the Viola’s 9 (one on target for each) while possession was split 51-49 in the hosts’ favor. With a little bit better decision-making and clinicalness on the counter, Inter could easily have had at least a goal.
The second half started in very similar fashion, and Lukaku got a perfect look at goal on a silver platter in the 49th minute. Bastoni sent a cross from the end line to the Belgian, but somehow he shanked the ball sideways from 3 yards out and with the whole goal at his mercy. That miss proved all too costly as Fiorentina made Inter pay in the 53rd minute. An Arthur Cabral header from a corner kick forced Onana into a full-stretch save and Bonaventura beat a slow Bastoni to the rebound and nodded home into an empty net.
Inter had a few chances to equalize, most notably a Barella volley that smacked into the post and a Dumfries-Bellanova connection that saw the latter put a cross right at Terracciano from close range. Other than that, however, Inter lacked any sort of urgency and intensity as it fell to a 10th loss of the season. Even if the match went on for another day or two, it’s doubtful the Nerazzurri would have scored even less. Inter managed just 3 shots on target from 59% possession and 16 total efforts, and even when the hosts’ did manage to create a quality chance, poor finishing meant it went to waste.
Onana - 7: The only Inter player completely blameless for the result. Didn’t have much to do overall and when he was called on, he was ready.
Bastoni - 5: A very poor showing from the Italian in his return to play from injury. Got beaten by Bonaventura far too easily on the goal and outside of that one cross to Lukaku that the Belgian skewed so horribly, he didn’t offer anything going forward.
Acerbi- 6: Not his best showing, but he wasn’t a disaster either with 3 clearances and 3 interceptions to his name.
Darmian - 6: Like Acerbi, Darmian was more or less a net zero by the time the dust settled, which means he was one of Inter’s best players on the night.
Gosens - 6: Had a few moments of danger in the final third with 2 key passes and 3 crosses, but nothing consistent.
Mkhitaryan - 6: His first-half chance was one of the few moments of dynamism from Inter all game and it was a shame it didn’t end with the goal it deserved. That was about it for Mkhitaryan’s impact as well.
Brozovic - 6.5: Far from vintage Brozovic but at least a few small steps in the right direction. The Croatian managed a 90% passing rate, 3 key passes, 5 accurate crosses, and 2 accurate long balls.
Barella - 5.5: A chaotic showing from Barella, and not in a good way. Despite having the most touches on Inter (63) he lacked composure with an 82% passing accuracy and 14 giveaways.
Dumfries - 5: Par for the course for Dumfries. Once again his lack of end product killed attack after attack, with just a 63% passing rate, a team-high 20 giveaways, and 0 accurate crosses from 3 attempts.
Correa - 4: He was playing?
Lukaku - 3: Incredible. Simply incredible. Every chance he got you knew he was going to miss before he even began to kick the ball. The sooner Inter can send him back to Chelsea, the better.
Inzaghi - 5: As bad as this result is, it’s only partially his fault. After all, Inzaghi can’t run onto the field and score the chances Lukaku missed today. However, starting Correa was a mistake and once again this Inter team looks out of ideas, and that’s on the coach.
We’ll have to wait and see how the other clubs in European places do, but Inter is almost sure to fall at least a spot or two this weekend - and at the rate things are going, that’s only going to get worse. But for better or worse, the Nerazzurri don’t have much time to reflect, with a Coppa Italia semifinal leg one to play against Juventus in Turin on Tuesday before a visit to Salernitana Friday afternoon.