Simone Inzaghi has redeemed himself to earn a place in Inter’s history books: How did he do it?

There was a time where Simone Inzaghi didn't look up to the job at Inter, but he has turned things around and written his name into the history books by delivering a night to remember for the Nerazzurri fans.

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Sealing Inter’s 20th Serie A title by beating AC Milan in a Derby della Madonnina was arguably the only real way for Simone Inzaghi to wash away what was considered by many the biggest asterisk against his managing career so far.

His first of two derby defeats, which came in February 2022 and eventually propelled the Rossoneri towards the Scudetto, was still an open wound that not even five trophies and an unexpected Champions League final were able to completely heal.

It was clear that Simone Inzaghi had put himself in the fans’ shoes and had never forgotten their pain, which is why he surely saw the potential for redemption with the unprecedented chance of securing the title in a Stadio San Siro packed with Rossoneri fans.

But beyond being a symbolic occasion, Inter’s win over their city rivals was a fitting reward for the tireless work that the former Lazio coach has put in since suffering that blow, along a path that saw Inzaghi grow in every single aspect as a coach.

Inter Thuram scudetto
Inter’s Marcus Thuram celebrates. [@Inter_en]

Simone Inzaghi’s tactical evolution at Inter

While Inter already offered promising glimpses of their current quality football soon after Simone Inzaghi took over in the summer of 2022, their defensive fragility, vulnerability to high-pressing teams and inconsistency were clear issues to address.

After helplessly watching the Biscione lose 12 Serie A games in his second season at the helm, Inzaghi was able to turn the tide and shape a team with an iron-like mentality that had some similarities to Antonio Conte’s title-winning side, with the addition of some tactical nuances that have earned him many admirers all over Europe.

The incredible versatility of so many of Inter’s players is evidence of Inzaghi’s fine work and the resulting constant rotations made the Nerazzurri extremely hard to read. It also provided them with an outstanding balance both in the defensive and attacking phases.

Inter gradually became a press-resistant side that could either be dominant through long spells of possession or sit back and perform lethal counter-attacks according to what the situation required. 

The potential involvement of every player in their attacks, from wingers to centre-backs, turned them into an unpredictable team capable of posing a threat from anywhere on the pitch.

Inzaghi’s management skills shaped a winning team

But perhaps even more than his tactical intuitions, Inzaghi should pride himself on his improvements on the communication front.

His firmer tone in press conferences, willingness to avoid excuses and determination to constantly raise the bar served as an inspiration to the whole team, as the players seemed to develop a blind trust in everything he said.

Inzaghi’s ability to manage the group first showed when he steered Inter to the Champions League final after his job was on the line in the winter of 2022.

Yet, the coach tried to outdo himself this season, as he was able to keep his players’ motivation high throughout the whole domestic campaign and get the most out of everyone, including those who were often left watching on the bench but provided a valuable contribution when called upon, such as Davide Frattesi, Kristjan Asllani or Carlos Augusto to name a few.

It’s been a common thought from Inter fans that Inzaghi needed to win a major trophy to be forgiven for losing the title at the hands of the Rossoneri in May 2022, when a packed Stadio Giuseppe Meazza witnessed a worthless 3-0 win over Sampdoria on the final matchday in tears, as AC Milan‘s fans took the streets to celebrate the Scudetto.

Against Milan, Inzaghi has come full circle and gifted the fans with a night that they could hardly imagine a couple of years ago – winning the Serie A title that clinches a second star on the shirt at the home of their city rivals is something that will go down in history, as will Inzaghi‘s name as the man who made it happen.

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