Inter have gone back on top of Serie A after narrowly defeating Fiorentina 1-0 on Matchday 22. A Lautaro Martinez header was enough to seal the win, but Nicolas Gonzalez had a penalty saved by Yann Sommer.
Although the Swiss goalkeeper conceded the penalty, he saved the spot kick and he also made a few other crucial saves in open play. While the likes of Lautaro and Hakan Calhanoglu have impressed throughout the campaign, the 35-year-old has produced some fine performances in between the sticks and has been an unsung hero in comparison.
Meanwhile, Fiorentina were disappointing against another strong opponent. Despite impressing against provincial clubs in Serie A and looking impressive in the Europa Conference League, they have demonstrated their inability to rise to the major occasion.
Sommer a better fit for Inter than Onana
There was no doubting that Andre Onana was excellent throughout the 2022/23 campaign for Inter, playing a key role in their run to the Champions League Final. However, Sommer has been superb since the Cameroonian joined Manchester United.
The Swiss goalkeeper made some important saves against Fiorentina, and despite impeding M’Bala Nzola, which resulted in a penalty, he atoned by saving Gonzalez’s effort.
It is fair to say that Sommer has ensured that Onana has not been missed, and he has arguably been a better fit for the Nerazzurri. Biscione tactician Simone Inzaghi sets his team up in a deep block and they hit on the break as soon as they see an opportunity, making a sweeper-keeper like Onana seem like a luxury or unnecessary.
The more Sommer thrives at Inter, the less Onana is missed.
Lautaro having the season of his life
After winning the Supercoppa Italiana against Napoli with a late goal, Lautaro Martinez was the hero in Serie A for Inter with the solitary goal against Fiorentina.
That header has taken the Argentine’s tally to 19 goals for the 2023/24 Serie A campaign, seven clear of Dusan Vlahovic for Juventus. He should eclipse his tally from the previous season of 21, and it is unlikely that he will have a quiet spell like he has had in previous years.
With Lautaro in this form in all competitions, the Inter captain is setting things up to make 2024 his year.
Fiorentina flop on the big occasion once again
Although Fiorentina have been in the battle for a Champions League place, the Gigliati once again disappointed in a big game, and they were not incisive against Inter.
The Nerazzurri were happy to sit in a deep block and hit on the counter as the Viola tried in vain to break them down. Nico Gonzalez could have changed the momentum if he had scored with that penalty, but the final result was typical of the Florentine’s season.
Fiorentina lost 4-0 to Inter earlier in the season, 1-0 to both AC Milan and Juventus, and now this defeat to the Nerazzurri. The 3-1 victory away to reigning Serie A champions Napoli was one of the exceptions, otherwise the Gigliati have shown themselves to be flat-track bullies.