STADIO GIUSEPPE MEAZZA (Milan) – Beyond halting Inter‘s four-game winning streak, the Neazzurri’s 2-0 defeat at Juventus had much further repercussions – they had once again lost in a high-profile Serie A fixture, extending the miserable streak that saw them lose five from five against teams within the Serie A top eight.
More than that, four of those five defeats came on the road, a statistic that stands out even more when compared with the Biscione’s home record – now including five wins, one only loss, and as few as four goals conceded. They hammered Bologna 6-1 at the Meazza.
Inter’s poor start salvaged by impressive home record
Amongst them was the one scored by Bologna on Wednesday night, before Inter reacted and went on to bring things back to normal, scoring six more in front of their fans while what had looked a promising side in the opening minutes gradually crumbled under the blows of the hosts.
Although the scoreline suggests otherwise, their thrashing of the Rossoblu came in a slightly surprising fashion – in fact, the game saw Inter pick up their first points of the season from a losing position, as the players finally seemed to shake off that inability to react to adversity that had already cost them many points.
As a result, the Nerazzurri have climbed to joint-fourth with Atalanta – whom they meet on Sunday – and only trail reigning champions AC Milan by three points.
However, one can’t help but notice another anomaly when looking at the table – in spite of what has been described at the very least, and rightly so, as a sloppy start to the season, Simone Inzaghi‘s men have picked up as many as nine Serie A wins, a figure which is only bettered by Napoli (12) in Serie A and equalled by AC Milan (and Lazio, should they defeat Monza on Thursday).
While no team in the top eight have been defeated as often as Inter, the Nerazzurri have somehow managed to keep themselves in the race for the top spots, and this is basically all down to their home record.
A season-defining trip to Bergamo
But beyond the sheer numbers, it’s clear that the Biscione’s performances have undermined the credibility of their title challenge – you simply can’t expect a side that have won silverware in each of their last two seasons to showcase such a gap between their home and away record and losing every single high-profile match.
This is why a good-looking table could simply be an illusion for Inter, as they will inevitably end up losing further ground from the top spots should they be unable to turn the tide and finally have some consistency away and against their direct contenders.
As things stand, the Biscione have a last huge opportunity to put an end to such speculations before the World Cup kicks off, as they’ll travel to Bergamo on Sunday to take on an Atalanta side who come off two consecutive home defeats against Lazio and Napoli. Gian Piero Gasperini’s side also fell to a 2-1 loss away at Lecce in Matchday 14.
Three points would still give Inter some room to fix things after the break, while any other result would suggest the Nerazzurri should simply focus on getting the best out of their Champions League campaign.