Injury struck Inter hosted Spal in match day 27 of the Serie A
This is the second time that Inter will face Spal this season in the Serie A. Last time these two teams met, Inter came out 2-1 victors with Icardi scoring both goals. This time around Inter were without their former captain, as well as a host of other Injuries. Perisic, Nainggolan and Balde were also out of this clash due to injury.
Inter’s schedule as of late has been extremely compact. This is due to Europa League and Serie causing 2 matches within 3-4 days of each other. Fatigue and player management was critical for Spalletti to ensure that no player is over worked. Spal on the other hand has only had 1 victory in their last 16 matches. Inter would enter the match as favourites.
Inter came onto the pitch with only one thing on their mind, 3 points. Throughout the first half they had multiple chances to take the lead. With defenders rushing up the field, striker Martinez was fluttered with opportunities. He was unable to take advantage of any of them. Inter were thought to have taken the lead when Martinez put the ball into the back of the net, only until VAR intervened and noted that there was a handball in the play and the goal was then disallowed. Half time would come with a frustrated Inter still locked at 0-0. The 42nd minute saw heartache for Inter as midfielder Brozovic had to come off injured, adding to Inter’s growing injury list.
Inter came into the second half looking for that opening goal and after constant pushing it finally came. It took 67 minutes for Inter to find the lead, with a beautiful strike from winger Politano. A deflection landed at the feet of Politano, who connected with a powerful left foot, which was too much for the keeper to stop in the bottom right corner. Finally it looked like the hosts were getting into a rhythm and would walk away with 3 points. Only 10 minutes later Inter struck again in similar circumstances. Cedric’s ball into the box landed at the feet of Gagliardini who struck the ball into the bottom left corner. After 90 minutes Inter walked away with 3 points and a 2-0 win.\
Inter entered the match with some injury concerns but still managed to walk away with the 3 points. The chaotic schedule does not seem to be slowing down with 2 matches in 3 days coming up. Inter will host Frankfurt in the 2nd leg of the Europa League where a victory is imperative to their qualification. This match will be extremely tough, as Frankfurt have been undefeated in this campaign. With this being said, an injury cloud over Icardi, Perisic, Nainggolan, Balde and now Brozovic will make things tough. Further this Inter will also be without striker Martinez due to suspension, leaving Inter striker less.
3 days after the Europa League clash Inter will have one of the biggest challenges of their season. Inter will face fierce rivals AC Milan in the derby Della Madonnina. A lot more rests on this encounter other than bragging rights. This will be the fixture of the round with 3rd facing 4th place. Milan are also in astonishing form being undefeated in their last 10 matches (7W 3D) winning their last 5.
Spalletti needs to be very cautious in selecting his squad, and making the right substitutions. A loss in either match, will surely ensure that this will be his last season in charge of Inter. This time next week Inter’s champions league hopes will either be extremely dented, or looking great. They will also know if they still have a hope of winning a European trophy this season.