Inter continue to underwhelm in Women’s Serie A compared to last season: What has changed?

Inter were one of the most entertaining sides in Women's Serie A last season, but they seem to have lost their spark this season and Rita Guarino's project is at serious risk of stalling.

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Inter‘s 2023/24 Women’s Serie A campaign is not going the way coach Rita Guarino would have envisaged and another disappointing result on Matchday 10 has left them further adrift of the top.

The 2022/23 season seemed to represent some actual progress for the Nerazzurre as they try and build their way to the top of Serie A Femminile, but that progress seems to have stalled in this term.

Whilst a top-half finish is still very much on the cards, they are a lot less easy on the eye in 2023/24, and are further away from their rivals than Guarino would have expected.

Inter searching for their 2022/23 form

Michela Cambiaghi of Inter Women celebrates a goal in the Derby. (@Inter_Women)

The 2022/23 season for Inter was filled with several thrilling performances, plenty of goals, and a lot of individual quality.

By the end of the regular season, they were in third place, just five points behind Juventus, and had scored 45 goals in 18 games. That was more than eventual champions AS Roma and only one less than Juventus.

The on-pitch relationships between players like Ghoutia Karchouni, Tabitha Chawinga and Elisa Polli meant that Inter were free-scoring and a joy to watch.

They ended the season fifth, but that did not really tell the whole story. It really felt like they were the third-best team in Serie A Femminile that season.

Fast forward to halfway through the 2023/24 regular season and whilst their position in the Women’s Serie A table, fourth, does not look dramatic, the Nerazzurre look nowhere near the top sides and are a lot less fun to watch. They have scored 23 goals less than league leaders Roma, and six less than Fiorentina in third who are five points down the road.

Chawinga’s absence is felt, but more is wrong

The major difference between this team and last season’s team is the departure of Chawinga. She was the top scorer in the whole division with 23 goals and could dig Inter out of almost any hole they found themselves in.

Many players who impressed last season are still there, though, but the general level seems to have dropped. Agnese Bonfantini was signed after she almost single-handedly stopped Sampdoria from getting relegated, but her impact has been minimal so far. She has scored three times but certainly isn’t running games. Their best player has been the rejuvenated Michela Cambiaghi who has three goals so far as well.

The 1-1 draw against Sampdoria showed how the potency has been lost. After falling behind early on, Inter could not find a way to score against one of the division’s weakest sides until an incredibly scrappy goal in the 77th minute. They then couldn’t find a winner.

Guarino herself said to reporters after the game: “There is bitterness and anger because we gave away a lead that could have been avoided and then throughout the match we dominated, but unfortunately to win you have to score one goal and instead we wasted too much.”

Inter could feasibly end up finishing one spot higher than they did last season, but there is no evidence right now that they are creating a team that can bridge that gap to the top two teams in Serie A Femminile. Guarino needs to find something new in this team, otherwise it will feel like a project that has stalled.

Women’s Serie A 2023/24: Matchday 10 results

DateResults
Sat, Dec 9Inter 1-1 Sampdoria
Sat, Dec 9Juventus 4-0 Pomigliano
Sun, Dec 10AS Roma 2-1 AC Milan
Sun, Dec 10Napoli 0-0 Como W.
Mon, Dec 11Sassuolo 1-2 Fiorentina

Women’s Serie A table

1AS Roma1030
2Juventus1027
3Fiorentina1022
4Inter1017
5Como W.1015
6AC Milan109
7Sassuolo108
8Sampdoria108
9Pomigliano105
10Napoli F.101

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