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New Year, New Inter!

Dzeko - Napoli
Dzeko - Napoli

Inter become the first team to beat Napoli in Italy with a massive 1-0 win, after a superb header from the ageless Edin Dzeko.

An absolute must win match for Inter to keep any Serie A title ambitions alive. Possibly Inter’s best showing of the season against a classy Napoli side, and to keep a clean sheet is very impressive.

Let’s look further into the match itself.

Inzaghi ball –

Finally Inter looked fluent against one of the best sides in Italy. As we know, Inter had lost all four matches against the top seven of 2021/22 in Roma, Lazio, Juventus and Milan.

Coming into this match, there was hope that 2023 would be a change of fortune and Inzaghi’s men delivered.

The first half had multiple chances which Inter did not grasp, as Napoli really struggled to handle the likes of Lukaku and Dzeko up front. From the opening whistle, Inter created problems for the Napoli defence and if not for a wasteful Inter, it would’ve been 2-0 at half time.

A brilliant Lukaku ball to the back post where we expected Di Marco to finish. However he couldn’t handle the ball on the rise. The Di Marco we’ve seen so far this season, we really expected a shot on target as a minimum.

We really deserved a goal in the first half and the perfect team play should’ve lead to a goal. Skriniar played out through the back, and put a perfect ball through to Lukaku. A right-footed cross from Lukaku to Dzeko before a sensational lay-off to Darmian before he smashed it over the crossbar.

The second half started, and Inter kept that attacking momentum going. The pressure kept building until finally the deadlock was broken.

A lovely ball from Mkhitaryan put Di Marco into plenty of space, before a sublime cross met Dzeko for an insanely powerful header. As we saw in the friendly matches over the last month, Dzeko was the difference again.

Special mention – 

There were lots of sensational individual performances today but the standout has to be Barella. He was like an energizer bunny all over the pitch and snuffed out any half chances which Napoli tried to create.

Napoli have one of the best midfields in Italy with Anguissa, Lobotka and Zielinski but Inter smothered them massively. Barella was just everywhere and gave these guys mentioned above little time to do anything.

Anytime they tried to play out from the back, he was there to pressure and cause a mistake so Inter could counter.

On the attacking end, there were a couple of occasions where Barella should’ve been a little more selfish in shooting instead of passing. Overall the correct decisions were made for the majority, but a couple I’m sure we were all shouting at the TV saying “SHOOT!”.

Overall, I’m glad Barella is playing with controlled passion and not doing anything childish like we saw in previous seasons. The yellow card he received was just an outburst and it was deserved, but I love him wearing his heart on his sleeve.

Where to next? 

We are back in three days against new boys Monza. It will be an interesting fixture as Monza have tested and pushed some of the big teams in Serie A this season. Although, we should still expect an Inter win even if it is away from home.

Prediction: Inter 2-0

As always, Forza Inter!

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