Some coaches excel in Champions League, some coaches flop in Champions League, Antonio Conte – you are part of the latter.
All that Conte’s men needed to do was win and take all three points. Was this doable? Yes. Was this accomplished? No!
Real Madrid did Inter a favour by comfortably winning their game at home 2-0, but Inter would be good old Inter and choke in the most important game of the season so far.
In the past couple of seasons, Inter have achieved similar feats in the group stages, and this season would be no different. This campaign will go down as a fail.
Let’s dive a bit further into some takeaways from the match tonight;
Wrong place, wrong time AGAIN!
Lukaku’s general ability to be in the right place in attack has been exceptional over the past season.
Unfortunately in Inter’s two biggest games in the past few months (tonight and against Sevilla), Lukaku has been caught in terrible positions.
Eriksen whipped in a beautiful corner for Sanchez to smash his header destined for the back net. There was one catch, Lukaku would stand in an offside position and block the ball from ever reaching the goal.
Even if the header was a little to the left, VAR would’ve ruled out the goal as Lukaku was blocking the goalkeeper’s view while offside. The attitude just wasn’t there from big Rom tonight and this is a fine example of that.
The coach takes the blame –
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how well Inter played if the 3 points aren’t in the bag. Who takes responsibility for the result? Well, it’s the coach in charge which is only right.
It’s the coaches formation and the coaches tactics which decides how well his team will play. In this instance, the team played to Conte’s tactics, and were the dominant side but the ball would not fall into the back of the net.
One lucky deflection and Conte looks like the saviour. As luck would have it, even if bad luck, the result would not go Inter’s way. Even if Conte wins the league this season, he will not be Inter’s head coach this year and that’s a guarantee.
The failure of finishing dead last in what could be considered an easy group will break Inter’s management as they should look for a replacement coach next season.
Inter are back on track to becoming the best defence in Italy. The effort from Bastoni, De Vrij and especially Skriniar could not be faulted tonight as they committed completely to every challenge on the pitch.
These are very good signs if the same defensive efforts can be replicated in the league. A fortified and impregnable defence will see Inter fight for the Serie A title.
Give us a break –
Over the past 10 years, Inter fans have struggled with the ups and downs. To be fair, there have been many more downs than ups.
Everyone thought Inter was past the dark times, but nights like tonight take us back remembering all the pain and misery.
Did we deserve to get through the group stage after the first 4 games? Definitely not. Before the groups started though, should Inter have qualified through this group? Definitely YES!
Even in the treble winning season, did you know that Inter only qualified for the knockout stage in the final match of the group stage? It’s ridiculous even in that season, a draw to Rubin Kazan in the last game could’ve sent Inter into the Europa League.
Where to next?
Right now the heartbreak of missing out on the next round of Champions League football is really raw, but after a good sleep we will care about the next match.
Inter will travel to the island of Sardinia to face a resilient side in Cagliari. Inter have won the last 6 of 8 meetings between the two sides, so an away win would be a much needed bounce-back for Inter.
Written by Matthew Pickham