Three takeaways from Inter 1-0 Juventus: Advantage Nerazzurri in scudetto race, Calhanoglu’s midfield masterclass

Inter secured a huge win in the Serie A title race after Federico Gatti's own goal handed them victory over Juventus, with midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu impressing once again for the Nerazzurri.

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Inter's Lautaro Martinez, Marcus Thuram and Federico Dimarco celebrate (@Inter)

Inter moved four points clear at the top of the Serie A table after a tight 1-0 win over Juventus in the Derby d’Italia in Matchday 23.

Federico Gatti‘s own goal late in the first half was enough to settle the encounter at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza and extend the Nerazzurri’s lead at the top of the table.

Juventus came close through Weston McKennie and Dusan Vlahovic, but had defender Bremer and goalkeeper Wojciech Sczcesny to thank for stunning blocks to deny Hakan Calhanoglu and Marko Arnautovic respectively.

Inter edge closer to the title

Neither Inter coach Simone Inzaghi nor Juventus counterpart Massimiliano Allegri were willing to name their own team as favourites for the scudetto and tried to downplay the significance of this match, but the former are certainly in the driving seat now.

A meeting of the two most consistent and defensively excellent teams in Italy was always going to be tight and ultimately it took an own goal to settle matters, but Inter have shown that they are one step ahead of their bitter rivals.

With a four-point cushion, a game in hand, and the benefit of a superior head-to-head record, the Serie A title is now Inter‘s to lose. However, despite the result it would be premature to rule out a team with Juventus‘ winning pedigree out just yet.

Inter midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu on the ball (@Inter)

Inter midfield in control

Inter‘s title charge has been built on a combination of attacking prowess and a dominant midfield trio of Nicolo Barella, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, and Hakan Calhanoglu. The latter in particular was superb and pulled the strings expertly with his passing range and ability to spot the space.

Indeed, such is the level of consistency and creativity from the trio that it has been hard for anyone else to get a look in, including summer signing Davide Frattesi, and they proved once again that Inzaghi‘s options in the middle are the envy of the rest of Serie A.

Whilst Juventus boast the talents of Manuel Locatelli, Weston McKennie, and Adrien Rabiot, they are simply no match for Inter‘s terrific trio and it could well prove to be the difference maker.

Juventus striker Dusan Vlahovic brings the ball under control (@Juventusfc)

Vlahovic fluffs his lines when it counts

Coming into the clash, all eyes were on two of the most in-form strikers in Serie A in Inter captain Lautaro Martinez and Juve star Vlahovic. Whilst the Argentine failed to get on the scoresheet, he will be relieved to see the woes of his opposite number.

Vlahovic had hit six goals in his last four games after a lengthy period without a goal, but left his shooting boots back in Turin with a dreadful display against Inter. The Serbia international wasted Juve’s best chance and let his temper get the better of him on more than one occasion.

In contrast, it was Inter striker Marcus Thuram who caught the eye with a performance full of power, clever movement and a knack for getting himself in the right place at the right time. Between Thuram and Martinez, the pair are firing Inter to the title with 27 goals between them, and were unlucky not to add to that tally in Milan.

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