Terzo Tempo – Duel To The End

Inter played Roma away from home in what was an absolutely stunning head-to-head battle between two excellent teams. Spalletti sent out his eleven with a few variations from the get go. He fielded the standard back line of D’Ambrosio, Skriniar, De Vrij and Asamoah. In the holding roles we saw a duo that hasn’t been very common this season which was Borja Valero and Brozovic with Joao Mario as the number 10. On the wings he decided to swap Perisic over to the right hand side and leave the left to Keita to work into his right foot all led by Icardi.

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Inter’s first goal came off a beautiful ball from D’Ambrosio to find Keita Balde. What’s key to note however is the build up to that specific play. Joao Mario was able to pick up the ball played from the back and turn the body pressing him. Now at a first glance it seems fairly simple but the elegance comes in after the turn he immediately plays the ball into D’Ambrosio’s path. This shows an extreme amount of elegance, intelligence and the ability to execute was fantastic, the Spalletti affect really impacting him properly.

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The second point that should be addressed is Roma’s absolute screamer. Now with that being said a lot went wrong in the sequence leading up to that substantial space that created the goal. Unfortunately both Brozovic and Borja Valero stepped out of the holding role to press the ball carrier. Manolas was able to take a touch and play the ball to Under who had acres of space to wire it in. When both holding midfielders step as such, shape of the 4-2-3-1 becomes diluted. Essentially it becomes a 4-5-1 which isn’t necessarily a bad thing but in this particular case, the unplanned shape change from four rows of bodies to three rows of bodies posed an inconvenience because the lines were to spread. The solution was that either the midfield is to play less aggressive or the back line had to step up and unfortunately this slight lack of focus left to much space which is the direct cause of the goal.

In conclusion, it wasn’t a horrible game for Inter but there wasn’t anything spectacular. For a none bias soccer lover this was surely an excellent game considering how end to end it was for nearly the entirety of the game, in the end it as a dual to the end with no clear victor until next time.

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