Inter were forced to remove the snake from their jersey as they drew 0-0 to Shakhtar for the third consecutive time in two seasons.
It’s very hard to find anything positive from this match. Unfortunately the past few Champions League campaigns have all followed the same path.
Let’s try to go into a bit more detail.
Man of the match –
When I said earlier there wasn’t many positives, I meant that there was really only one positive. Milan Skriniar was phenomenal today and really kept Inter in the match.
Anything which Shakhtar created, Skriniar was up to the task as he defused all the great opportunities the opposing team had.
The Inter defence still had it’s issues, but they must’ve gained confidence keeping a clean sheet. This is considering that Inter had kept only 1 clean sheet in 7 total games before today.
There was chances which Skriniar snuffed out by putting his body on the line. The main one was the tap in which Shakhtar would’ve had if not for Skriniar. A dangerous ball played right across the face of goal, where Skriniar made a hard challenge and knocked the ball out for a corner.
It was a close to perfect performance today from Skriniar, as he is really being consistent with excellent showings so far this season. I think he will keep building on this and play a pivotal role in any success Inter has.
Champions League woes –
I really don’t know what it is about this competition but we aren’t seeing the best version of this Inter side. Even in previous years, struggling to get out of the group stages has consistently been an issue.
Especially this year it’s a major problem. Inzaghi’s men have seen no issues with scoring in Serie A, yet we come to Europe and they forget what scoring is. The first two matches has proven this as were kept scoreless in both matches.
In the league, we’ve scored 20 goals in 7 matches but this does not translate into the same for Champions League matches.
I’m not sure if there is a hangover effect on the players after back to back matches, plus international duty but we need to get to the bottom of it fast. Otherwise Inter will be crashing out of the group stages embarrassingly two years in a row.
It could be related to not enough squad depth as we are usually seeing pretty close to the same 8-9 players start every game. Conte and Inzaghi both used pretty similar philosophies with their teams, so that would make sense.
Where to next?
We have one more match before another international break. A tough trip to face Sassuolo away which has proven to be a tricky fixture in recent years. Not sure if we’ll be able to recover as quickly as needed.
Prediction – Inter 1-1
As always, Forza Inter!