Serie A leaders Inter were fortunate to survive a scare from lowly Hellas Verona on Matchday 19, holding on for a 2-1 victory.
The Gialloblu did what they could to spring a surprise, but the individual quality of the Nerazzurri made the difference. Although Thomas Henry’s header cancelled out a Lautaro Martinez strike, Davide Frattesi came off the bench to score the winner, and the Biscione remain clear on top of the table.
Hellas Verona were awarded a penalty after a VAR review, but Henry struck the post with his penalty, and the Gialloblu have to wait another day to climb out of the relegation zone.
Frattesi the super-sub saves Inter
It has been tough for Frattesi to break into the Inter starting line-up with Nicolo Barella, Hakan Calhanoglu, and Henrikh Mkhitaryan impressing in midfield. Despite this, the former Sassuolo midfielder has often provided useful cameos off the bench.
The 24-year-old replaced the Armenian veteran after 83 minutes, and three minutes into stoppage time, he displayed one of his trademark runs to score the winning goal against Hellas Verona. After Alessandro Bastoni and Barella had their shots stopped, Frattesi was able to score from a rebound.
He has scored five goals for club and country so far this season, and he would probably be scoring more if he played regularly.
Arnautovic further justifies the need for Inter to buy another striker
Marko Arnautovic was relegated to the bench despite his goal in Inter’s 1-1 draw to Genoa in the previous round, making way for the returning Lautaro. The Austrian veteran did come on for Marcus Thuram after 73 minutes, but he wasted opportunities to become a hero.
Both times, he displayed an inability to place himself in a better position to score what should have been relatively easy chances to score for someone with his experience. It is clear that the Nerazzurri lack depth in attack, and the 34-year-old is not going to fill the void.
Inter have already bought Canadian winger Tajon Buchanan from Club Brugge, but the Biscione need to look for better out-and-out strikers than Arnautovic.
Henry penalty miss proves costly for struggling Hellas Verona
After victories in the opening two rounds of the 2023/24 Serie A season, Hellas Verona have failed to maintain that early momentum and they find themselves in the relegation zone.
The Gialloblu came close to stunning the Serie A leaders, producing a performance full of heart, but they fell short when Thomas Henry failed to convert his penalty. The Frenchman replaced Milan Djuric in the 73rd minute and scored shortly after with a header. However, he failed to keep his cool and he hit the post with his spot kick in injury time.
Hellas Verona are desperately in need of points and they came close in the most unlikely of fixtures. Henry squandered his chance though and went from hero to zero.