After finishing last in their group 12 months ago, Inter have successfully made it through to the final 16 even after a 2-0 loss to Madrid.
The next matchup will be tough, but you have to be in it to win it. I hope we can avoid the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City. Knowing our luck we will probably get Bayern Munich though.
Let’s look a bit further into the match itself against Real Madrid.
We held our own –
Yes, the final score may have finished 2-0, but we had chances in this match to take the lead. The first half had 13 shots which is the most Real Madrid have had against them in Champions League history without a goal.
I take away the positive from that statistic because on another day it could’ve been 2-1 our way at the break. Especially considering that we dominated in possession too against a solid Madrid team.
The second half was as bad as I’ve ever seen Inter play this year, however there were still chances to get on the scoreboard. On another night, I think we would’ve seen a different result favouring Inter.
Let’s not forget that Real are the current La Liga champions, and also currently leading the league this season by 8 points. They aren’t push overs by any stretch, so to give them a test like we did then I’m proud of the effort.
Can’t blame the coach here –
For so long, I’ve been critical of Inzaghi’s subs but I didn’t have too much of a problem today.
I actually thought Dumfries played well and could’ve easily had an assist if his passes were a little more accurate. Maybe taking off Dumfries for Dimarco was an odd choice, but before the Roma match, Dumfries was very low in confidence. Hopefully it’s good signs to come for Inter with Dumfries now hitting some form.
Dimarco didn’t really impress today and had a night to forget. I think we are really missing Darmian, so it’ll be good when he available again. Dimarco may be better down the left hand side if Perisic ever needs a rest.
In regards to the Brozovic substitution, I was a bit surprised at first. I thought “why Inzaghi, why?!”, then I realised that Brozovic was already on a yellow card so another booking would’ve suspended him for the first match in the Round of 16.
People were also saying, “Why wasn’t Barella subbed for Brozovic instead?”
There was no way that Inzaghi could’ve foreseen Barella acting so stupidly on the pitch. A “punch” to the leg of Militao cost Inter any hope of a comeback. Also, it now means that Barella may miss both matches of the knockout stages.
A straight red with violent conduct could mean more than the normal 1 match suspension which is unfortunate but deserved if true. I think Barella missing a few matches of football will be a good thing, as the last month of football has been poor from him.
Need a better keeper –
If Inter are going to compete against the big sides, then extraordinary saves need to be made. There were two wonderful strikes from Madrid today, so I don’t blame Handanovic in his current state.
Unfortunately during this match, there were too many times where he was standing like a statue. Luckily one of the times the ball ricocheted off the post and Inter were able to get the ball out of danger, and on the other occasion our defenders were able to clear the ball off the line when Handanovic was beaten.
A world class keeper like Onana is who we should be looking to secure in January. He may be restricted in Champions League playing with Inter as he’s currently in Ajax’s squad, but moving forward into the next few years he would be the smart choice.
I love everything that Handanovic has done for Inter over the years, and as a sign of respect I would let him keep the armband and number 1 jersey. Although, he will not be taking the field as I would have Onana in between the sticks as my first choice.
Where to next?
We are back at the San Siro to face Cagliari. Currently in the year 2021, Inter have 17 wins and 2 draws at home so I hope we can make it win number 18 this weekend. I expect Inter to bounce-back with a comfortable win here.
Prediction: Inter 3-0
As always, Forza Inter!