STADIO GIUSEPPE MEAZZA (MILAN) – After sweating out a thrilling victory on Serie A‘s opening day, Inter secured a much more comfortable win in their first home match, by putting three goals without response past Spezia.
With Alessandro Bastoni included in the starting XI after being benched against Lecce, it was Robin Gosens to fall to the bench as Simone Inzaghi decided to move Federico Dimarco higher up the pitch, as he didn’t seem willing to give up on his quality in the build-up, as showed by the eight open-play crosses he put in his first outing.
The Nerazzurri’s injury-time win in Salento had left some questions to answer for Inzaghi, especially in terms of his side’s approach.
However, unlike what happened on the Serie A opening day after taking a quick lead, Inter kept going on the foot front and tried to put Spezia under further pressure, especially by keeping Dimarco and Denzel Dumfries very high.
Inter broke Spezia’s wall down
After finishing 12th with Udinese last season, coach Luca Gotti is taking no time to prove how good he is at making his teams solid and organised.
Despite not simply sitting back when Inter were in possession, their defenders were always attentive to keep the line high in order to put the Nerazzurri defenders offside every time they could, as well as ready to run back to intercept long balls.
In such a scenario, with the visitors matching Inter in terms of intensity, it seemed clear that the hosts could only take advantage of their superior technique and physicality, which they did through a precise combination that saw Romelu Lukaku flick a Nicolo Barella pass into the path of Lautaro Martinez, who made no mistake.
As it is often the case against Serie A minnows, the opener ended up becoming a key moment of the match, as the visitors’ fierce resistance gradually decreased, with Inter managing to break through their defensive wall more and more easily.
Looking for more attacking solutions
Although the LuLa duo have already got two goals under their belt, it looked clear for long stretches that they still need improve their understanding of each other since being reunited. First shaped under Antonio Conte, their attacking partnership now has to thrive with a very different playing style, which entails long periods of possession and much fewer quick transitions.
While Martinez has been learning how to move in this system for a year, patiently waiting to open cracks in the opponents’ defence, Lukaku finds himself in the shoes of the apprentice, having to tune in with a less direct style.
However, the LuLa chemistry is not the only aspect Inter boss Simone Inzaghi will be looking at – in fact, he’ll be certainly expecting more from his midfielders in terms of scoring prowess, notably Barella.
After finishing his previous Serie A season with 12 assists, the Italian needs to make the most of his skills, such as a good shot from distance, as well as honing the ability to make runs behind the defensive line, in order to improve his goal tally (just 3 in Serie A last season).
If Inter can add this, with Dumfries also looking as a growing threat, they’ll be on the right track to make their Scudetto challenge last until the end.