What is Inter’s problem against big teams, and how can Simone Inzaghi fix it?

With Bayern Munich following AC Milan and Lazio in beating Inter already this season, Simone Inzaghi has a tough job on his hands of rebuilding the Nerazzurri's confidence.


STADIO GIUSEPPE MEAZZA (Milan): Inter were not even given the time to lick their wounds after a painful 3-2 defeat to AC Milan in the Milan Derby. Just days later, they were awaited for their Champions League opening fixture against the toughest of their Group C opponents, Bayern Munich.

While an almost packed Stadio Giuseppe Meazza is no longer news by these days, a strange sense of discouragement could be perceived as the fans rushed to the stands.

The game was one not to be missed out for its magnitude, but both the players’ attitude and Simone Inzaghi’s choices had been heavily questioned in the aftermath of the derby loss and many feared that the German champions could pile more misery on the Nerazzurri.

Eventually, the 2-0 defeat that played out at the Meazza on Wednesday night was barely a surprise, although someone could have expected a more combative performance from Inter.

No signs of reaction from Inter

The opening 45 minutes were far from being the kind of reaction that the Nerazzurri supporters hoped to see, as the presence of André Onana, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Danilo D’Ambrosio on the pitch seemed the only real difference to Saturday, with at least seven or eight players constantly stuck around their own box as if they were protecting treasure, which the Bundesliga powerhouse would eventually steal anyway.

Soccer Football – Champions League – Group C – Inter Milan v Bayern Munich – San Siro, Milan, Italy – September 7, 2022 Bayern Munich’s Thomas Muller reacts REUTERS/Daniele Mascolo

Challenged with Bayern’s relentless pressure and threatened by their runs forward, Simone Inzaghi’s side looked extremely cautious, but a moment of distraction was enough to allow Joshua Kimmich to tee up Leroy Sané’s for the visitors’ opener.

Inter affected by lack of confidence

From that moment on, Inter’s current lack of confidence became even more evident – instead of raging out on their opponents and going on the look for an equaliser, the Nerazzurri were more attentive not to lose their balance, which would’ve resulted in more deadly spaces for Julian Nagelsmann’s outfit.

Yet, such an attitude deeply affected the Biscione’s offensive game, with Lautaro Martinez often being the only player in the opponents’ half, as he was forced to patiently wait for backup, making Bayern defenders’ lives much easier than they had planned.

In fact, as they’ve already shown in this opening stage of the season, Inter seem to have insufficient resources to both attack and defend well.

It may well be a matter of physical condition, but the feeling is that their confidence, already undermined by a draining summer, has been further eroded following their defeats against Lazio and notably Milan.

It is hard to tell what it’ll take to rebuild Inter’s confidence, but it is likely to be a slow process.


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