They kicked Barcelona out of the Champions League and they play like a sheet. “Best Version”
The start of the current season was not successful for Inter. The “Nerazzurri” lost a few points in the league, which temporarily dropped them out of the peloton following the Scudetto. The victory over Barcelona, however, gave them a lot of confidence and today we are watching their best version during the term of Simone Inzaghi.
The Champions League group stage draw was not lucky for Inter. The Milanese found Viktoria Pilzno, always dangerous Bayern and Barcelona driven by a spectacular summer transfer window. And with the Nerazzurri dropping out of this elite competition early on in the past, many experts believe they have shared the fate of previous years. They did not split. Four points on aggregate against “Catalonia Duma” allowed them to advance to the knockout stage of the Champions League before the last round. This is a huge success for Simone Inzaghi’s team, which was in a small hole this season.
The runners-up in Italy at such an early stage of the season already had four defeats in Serie A. Their game did not bring you down for a long time. They became predictable for their opponents, they made unforced mistakes in the defense and, most of all, they lacked efficiency under the opponents’ goal. The loss to Roma on October 1 left Simone Inzaghi’s job in Milan hanging in the balance. The victory over Barcelona, however, allowed them to return to the right path. Since then, the “Nerazzurri” have recorded a streak of victories and their stance on the pitch has changed by 180 degrees. In the Champions League, they made the plan and now they are tasked with catching up with the amazing Napoli in the league. Although, of course, it will not be that simple.
From the beginning
Simone Inzaghi, replacing Antonio Conte last year as Inter coach, was tasked with repeating his success – to win the Scudetto. Failed to. The Italian runner-up turned out to be a painful defeat, and Inzaghi, who, after all, prefers a similar style to Conte, had to face a lot of criticism. The poor season, however, gave reasons to take appropriate steps in the summer to strengthen the team. President Steven Zhang and Sports Director Beppe Marotta got down to business. The aim of the “Nerazzurri” was to strengthen the offensive and to replace players from the broad team for a better model. The club went to:
- Romelu Lukaku (from Chelsea)
- Kristjan Asslani (of Empoli)
- Raoul Bellanova (of Cagliari)
- Andre Onana (from Ajax Amsterdam)
- Henrich Mchitarjan (from Roma)
- Francesco Acerbi (from Lazio)
It can be clearly stated that Simone Inzaghi’s team has been joined by a mix of young and talented players with those experienced and limited in the international arena. In the end, the Inter coach could be satisfied with the reinforcements, but he was lucky not to have Ivan Perisic in the club. The Croatian left for Tottenham. The Milan also left, among others Arturo Vidal and Alexis Sanchez.
Inter entered the new season with a ventilated cloakroom and hope to return to the Italian throne. Bookmakers agreed that the “Nerazzurri” are the main contender for the Scudetto.
The Milanese, however, started the league struggle poorly. From the very first meeting, old problems became apparent, namely, the lack of effectiveness. They were able to win high with Spezia and Cremonese, but at such an early stage of the season there were matches that were “thrusting with the knee”. The biggest problem, however, was the defense. So far, Inter has impressed with its iron defense, while at the start of the games the players from Stadio Giuseppe Meazza looked as if they had not completed a single training unit with each other. The trainer had something to work on, but the time for corrections was short due to the tight schedule.
It should be noted that in Milan they did not have such problems for a long time. The defense is already flawless, but after the 12th round, Inter has 17 goals conceded. There were also painful defeats against Lazio, in the Derby della Madonnina against Milan, Udinese and Roma. The Italian media suggested in early October that Simone Inzaghi’s job was hanging in the balance, and Paulo Sousa was even mentioned among his successors.
However, La Gazzetta dello Sport wrote:
– Steven Zhang is not considering the dismissal of Simone Inzaghi, although he has taken a close look at his work and the results. The president of Inter is also dissatisfied with the coach’s statements at press conferences, who became involved in financial matters and spoke unflatteringly about the budget. Meanwhile, the #InzaghiOut hashtag has gained popularity in social media, which is why the coach has to face enormous pressure in the upcoming matches.
Inter’s problems at that time, however, meant that the club from Milan was no longer considered a candidate for the title. There was also a defeat in the Champions League with Bayern. The German champions gave the Nerazzurrim a solid football lesson.
So Inzaghi was playing with Barcelona for the job. And he defended himself. Four points in two games, improved by a victory over Viktoria Pilzno, gave the Milanese a promotion to the knockout stage at the expense of the “Duma of Catalonia”. Defensive was working generally as it should, and today nobody is talking about the coach being fired from work. The media gives Inter a card more often.
– We saw a different Inter than before: more focused, hungry, brave, and finally more of a team team. The advantage was documented by a beautiful goal scored by Calhanoglu and a great defense. They rediscovered the joy of the game and felt the taste of victory in such an important meeting. It is indescribable that it is so successful – wrote “Corriere dello Sport” after winning with “Barca”.
The tie with Barcelona rebuilt a team that needed such performances like oxygen. The machine started. In the league, Inter has a series of four wins in a row and has already caught up with the peloton rushing towards the Scudetto. The team is at full throttle, giving Simone Inzaghi a lot of room for maneuver. The good form of almost all players means that the coach can rotate the squad. On the other hand, the Italian has to bear in mind that Inter is chasing Napoli, not their rivals, so he cannot overplay with combinations.
New owner and new stadium?
What’s next for Simone Inzaghi and his team? Inter’s future will be influenced by the likely change of ownership. According to the Financial Times, Suning Holdings Group wants to sell “Nerazzurrich” later this year. The Chinese own 99.5% of the shares and hope to receive from 1.2 to 1.4 billion euros for the club. The new buyer will also have to pay off roughly 700 million of the debt. According to unofficial information, the sale process is to be carried out by experts from Reine Group and Goldman Sachs. The same companies helped Roman Abramovich sell Chelsea this year. It is possible that Inter will also be handed over to one of the American entities. For example, AC Milan was recently bought by a consortium from USA Red Bird Capital Partners.
– The Zhangs, both father and son, always seemed to be here in good faith. At the beginning, they asked me to talk to the players and motivate them. But it is impossible to hold on to today’s football for a long time. Every year losses are doubling… Maybe American funds will come. However, be careful with speculation, football is not made to make money. The Americans would like to make a show of him. Show business. I don’t know if this will ever be possible in Italy. New stadium? It would be a crime to destroy San Siro. What is EUR 30 million compared to history? You will see no one will dare to destroy our temple Massimo Moratti, former president of Inter, told the daily Corriere della Sera.
In fact, a beautiful stadium may soon disappear from the map of Milan. Milan and Inter have reached an agreement with the city authorities to modernize and revitalize the entire large area around San Siro. There would be a new, modern facility for 60-65 thousand fans, which, like the current stadium, would be shared by both clubs. However, it will not be built exactly in the same place as the current one, but several dozen meters away. The entire project “La Cattedrale” is to cost as much as EUR 1.3 billion, and the new San Siro is to be slightly smaller than the current one (with 80,000 seats), but definitely more modern and adapted to current needs.
On the other hand, it’s hard to imagine Milan without San Siro. The temple of Italian football should not disappear from the football map. This is just as difficult to understand as Inter’s attitude early in the season for Simone Inzaghi. The Nerazzurri, however, came out of the crisis. Fans hope that Milan will also find a new solution for such a beautiful facility.
#kicked #Barcelona #Champions #League #play #sheet #Version