Inter’s inconsistency: The dropped points that have damaged the Nerazzurri’s Scudetto challenge

Almost every time Inter appear to have built a run of form in Serie A this season, they have then dropped points against a lesser side. It is a tendency that has changed the Nerazzurri's objectives for the campaign.

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Originally expected to mount a significant attempt to recapture the Scudetto they lost to neighbours AC Milan last term, Inter have too often looked incapable of challenging runaway leaders Napoli, despite sitting second in the Serie A standings.

The Nerazzurri are 15 points behind the Partenopei, with their campaign littered with dropped points against the less fashionable sides in the Italian top flight. It has raised questions about coach Simone Inzaghi’s ability to take them back to the top of the domestic pyramid.

Inter coach Simone Inzaghi takes charge of training. [@Inter_en]

Undone in Udine

Although Udinese were flying high in mid-September, Inter seemed intent on imploding at the Dacia Arena after Nicolo Barella had given them an early lead from a free-kick. Within minutes, Milan Skriniar had put the ball past his own goalkeeper to level the scores and then Inzaghi made a mistake of his own that appeared to turn the game.

On 31 minutes, the Nerazzurri tactician substituted Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Alessandro Bastoni, much to the defender’s displeasure, as they had both received early bookings, but Udinese would take control and eventually triumph 3-1 with goals from Jaka Bijol and Tolgay Arslan.

Poor Post-Napoli Performance

Inter could not have asked for a better return to Serie A action after the 2022 World Cup, as they defeated Napoli 1-0 at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza to give themselves, and the rest of the peninsula, hope that they could still be caught. However, in their next fixture against newly promoted Monza, more points were dropped.

A defensive collapse saw Patrick Ciurria equalise within a minute of Matteo Darmian’s opener, before Lautaro Martinez put Inter back in front on 22 minutes. The Nerazzurri’s slow and ponderous performance at the Stadio Brianza allowed the hosts to apply just enough pressure to force an own goal from Denzel Dumfries three minutes into added time.

Nicolo Barella battles for Inter against Monza. [@Inter_en]

Curse of the Derby della Madonnina

There are few greater pleasures than getting one over your bitter rivals, but when Inter have defeated AC Milan this season, the performances that have followed have failed to match those shown in the Derby della Madonnina.

After lifting the Supercoppa Italia in Saudi Arabia with a dominant 3-0 display, the Nerazzurri suffered an embarrassing 1-0 defeat to Empoli back in Milan. Inter barely threatened the Tuscan’s goal after Tommaso Baldanzi struck for the visitors.

Inter’s Milan Skriniar is shown a red card. (Photo: Getty)

The league encounter between the Milanese giants was less entertaining, although equally dominated by Inter, but their momentum was immediately halted by playing a passive goalless draw with relegation-threatened Sampdoria in their next Serie A appearance.

With Udinese next up on Matchday 23, Inter will once again be trying to build a run of wins together that can solidify their place in the top four. That is the season objective now, not the Scudetto.

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