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Inter Milan 4-0 Fiorentina: Match Recap

Inter close out the opening chapter of the season in style

Marcus Thuram of FC Internazionale (R) celebrates with... Photo by Fabrizio Carabelli/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Inter’s perfect start to the season has continued with a 4-0 thrashing of Fiorentina. It was a stellar showing all around, with Marcus Thuram opening his account at the Meazza, star man Lautaro notching a brace, and another shutout to make Inter the only team in Europe’s big-five leagues not to concede a goal so far. Despite being out-possessed 60-40%, Inter dominated what really mattered and limited the visitors to harmless passing. Inter tallied 21 shots (11 on target) and 3.73 expected goals to Fiorentina’s 6 (2 on target) and 0.38xg. It was the most complete performance of the season yet and a textbook rendition of Inzaghi Ball. The fact that the Viola’s keeper Olivier Christensen was its best player despite letting in four goals and conceding a penalty says it all.

The only bad news is that we’ll have to wait two weeks to see the Nerazzurri in action next thanks to the international break, but the delay should be worth it - the Milan derby will welcome Inter back into action in mid-September.

Starting XIs

Inter’s XI (3-5-2)
Fiorentina’s XI (4-2-3-1)

Inzaghi kept the rotation to non-existent with a full week to prepare, although new signings Benjamin Pavard and Davy Klaasen were fresh faces on the bench. Fiorentina also kept things surprisingly consistent considering its Thursday night Conference League qualifier, making just two changes from a 2-0 win over Rapid Wien.

First Half

Both teams spent the opening stages finding their footing, but once Inter got in behind Fiorentina’s backline, it made the visitors pay. The Nerazzurri’s first real chance of the game came in the 23rd minute and resulted in Thuram’s first goal in Inter colors when the Frenchman pounded home a Dimarco cross with his head.

Thuram almost had a second in the 30th minute, but he sent a Bastoni cross over the bar from point-blank. Inter racked up a few more half chances before the whistle sounded on the first forty-five, ending with 10 shots, 5 on target, to just two from Fiorentina.

Second Half

That domination turned into goals after the break, with Lautaro making it 2-0 in the 53rd minute off a Thuram assist.

Just five minutes later it would be three, as Thuram was taken down in the box by Christensen for a stone-cold penalty. Hakan Calhanoglu made no mistake and added a goal of his own to proceedings.

Inzaghi then decided to send in the reinforcements, giving Frattesi, Cuadrado, Augusto, Arnautovic, and even Asllani some game time. That didn’t stop Inter from racking up the scoreline, and it was Lautaro again in the 73rd minute off a Cuadrado assist.

This was all done despite heavy Fiorentina possession for almost the entire half (65% to 35%), but Inter was the clearly dominant side in both the scoreline and stats sheet.

Player Ratings

Sommer - 7: A third straight shutout with two saves to his name. Hasn’t been truly tested but looks the part of a strong keeper so far.

Bastoni - 8: His best game yet. Was an attacking force with 5 key passes, 4 big chances created, and 6 accurate long balls, but also kept Nico Gonzalez and Beltran under lock and key with 5 duels won, 2 clearances, 2 interceptions, and 2 tackles.

de Vrij - 7: Has returned to the de Vrij that won Defender of the Year in 2019/20. Made 2 clearances and 3 interceptions, blocked 1 shot, and won five duels.

Darmian - 7: Darmian was equally a wall as his Dutch defensive partner, winning 6 duels, 4 tackles, and 2 clearances. Won’t be as easy as expected for Pavard to break into the lineup at this rate.

Dimarco - 7: Assisted the opener with a pin-point cross, won 4 duels, and had a 91% passing rate.

Mkhitaryan - 7: Has now played 3 straight 90s and although the 34-year-old is surely feeling the effects, it doesn’t show. He managed the 3rd most touches on Inter, won 3 duels, and hit 1 key pass.

Calhanoglu - 7: Inter’s lack of possession limited Calhanoglu’s role to the periphery, but he notched a goal so it was far from a wasted evening for the Turk.

Barella - 6.5: A fairly low-key game for Barella’s lofty standards, with 34 touches, an 86% passing rate, and 1 key pass.

Dumfries - 6.5: Didn’t get on the ball too much with just 32 touches (2nd fewest of any outfield starter) but made it count when he did with 4 key passes and 2 crosses.

Lautaro - 9 (Man of the Match): Continues to take center stage of Inter’s attack and leads Serie A with 5 goals.

Thuram - 8: Another strong showing from the Frenchman. This time he did more than just hint at what he’s capable of, and played a key role in 3 goals with a strike of his own, an assist, and the penalty foul.

Inzaghi - 8: Coached a perfect game. The only complaint is the heavy workload Mkhitaryan has faced this season, but Frattesi and Co. will get their chance eventually.

FC Internazionale v ACF Fiorentina - Serie A TIM Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

Inter returns to play on Saturday the 16th with the Milan derby and until then it can enjoy joint-first place alongside the Rossoneri. What a game we have in store for us when Serie A picks up again.

Forza Inter!