Inter followed up a successful week following the restart with an infinitely more frustrating seven days.
A comeback win in Parma and a rather impressive 6-0 demolition of struggling Brescia allowed Inter to flex their muscles and show that they were title dark horses heading into the last dozen games.
However, fast forward to Sunday evening and Inter undid a portion of their good work with a lacklustre 2-1 defeat at the hands of ten-man Bologna.
Contrasting results have brought about contrasting reactions from Inter fans. Here is what we can all agree on in terms of what Antonio Conte’s side has taught us this week..
Achraf Hakimi Done
Inter have officially completed the signing of Moroccan defender/wing-back Achraf Hakimi from Real Madrid.
Hakimi has established himself as one of the best full backs in word football over the past two seasons where he has been plying his trade with Borussia Dortmund.
The deal demonstrates the pull of Inter under Suning and the club’s ambition to return to Europe’s top table.
Credit to Beppe Marotta and Piero Ausillo for getting such a massive deal done. Next stop David Alaba? We can dream..
Victor Moses May Be Worth Retaining
After an excellent cameo in the 2-1 comeback win in Parma last weekend, Victor Moses got a start at home to Brescia and certainly impressed.
Inter missed his industry against Bologna as he sat out with a knock.
His crossing ability and forward thinking play over the two aforementioned fixtures has left Antonio Conte with much thought going into the latter stage of this season.
Initially, bar an assist in the derby for Lukaku, Moses seemed a potential dud and short term at best but he has now until the end of the season to prove the past week hasn’t just been a flash in the pan. His buyout price is set at €12million but Chelsea may lower it.
Alexis Sanchez Deserves To Start Alongside Romelu Lukaku.
Alexis Sanchez has had a similar spell to Moses.
An initial impact, months of treading water and now a burst over the past week.
Sanchez upped the tempo massively as a sub at the Tardini and then followed it up with a goal and an assist against Brescia.
The faltering form of Barcelona ridden Lautaro Martinez should spell a chance in the starting XI for the Chilean.
His link up with fellow United alumni Ashley Young and Romelu Lukaku could be fruitful and could help Sanchez earn a deal here next term.
A mammoth wage at Old Trafford isn’t affordable or reasonable for the Nerazzuri but there may be a way round that. Alexis needs a chance to show his recent form isn’t just a flash in the pan.
Marcelo Brozovic’s Return Is Much Welcomed But Barella Needs To Play For Inter To Play
Although he got little personal reward in Reggio Emilia, Nicolo Barella was vital in helping Inter return with all three points for one simple reason; his tenacity.
His forward thinking and battling nature dragged Inter through and although it was good to have Marcelo Brozovic back dictating the play against Bologna, it was clear Barella was missed.
A return date for Barella is unknown but it can be said with confidence that Inter are much weaker without his box to box presence and Gagliardini is a down grade.
Mister Conte – Be Proactive Not Reactive
Antonio Conte is a brilliant manager. A manager with a CV to back up that statement but he isn’t exempt from criticism after a poor performance.
The defeat against a ten man Bologna side isn’t good enough, especially when it could’ve been avoided.
Sinisa Mihajlovic’s side are no mugs but when they are away from home and down to ten men against a side challenging for the Scudetto, they shouldn’t be walking away with three points.
It seemed obvious that in the second half Inter were struggling to hold their lead and faltering.
The score line started to turn against them and the lack of productive substitutes was baffling.
Alessandro Bastoni’s poor dismissal tied the side’s hands but still it came across that Conte wasn’t brave enough.
Next year he may have more rounded options should players come and go but braver and quicker substitutes that react to the game would benefit Inter massively.
If Inter are to progress to the top two next term, they need more steel and guts to see out games like this and that falls to some extent at the feet of the manager.
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