Inter and Napoli have played out a 1-1 draw to end Inter’s winning streak. A bizarre own goal from Handanovic and stunning Eriksen goal keeping the scores level.
In a match which could’ve went either way, it was Inter who seemed to have the better of the chances. There were multiple shots which ricocheted off the posts unluckily for Inter.
On a matchday where Milan picked up all 3 points and Juventus lost to Atalanta, taking a point from a strong opposition in Naples isn’t a terrible result.
Let’s look a bit further into some key points from the match.
Unlucky Handanovic –
As of late, Handanovic has been on a fantastic run of form. Majorly, you could argue that Bastoni, De Vrij and Skriniar are doing such a great job at the back. However Samir has been bringing back some early career form to look the goods in between the goals again.
Today was just a day which didn’t go Samir’s way. The Napoli goal was just wrong place at the wrong time for De Vrij, as Handanovic seemed to have put the ball perfectly onto De Vrij’s boot as they came together.
Next thing you know, the ball is in the back of the net and the score is 1-0 to Napoli.
Handanovic would redeem himself later in the match as Politano had an incredible goal scoring opportunity. The ball would hit the finger tips of our number one as the ball went pelting into the crossbar.
Need to shoot –
Too many times today we saw a pass as the first option in front of goal instead of shooting.
Darmian in the first half had a great chance to test the goalkeeper, but chose to pass across goal instead. Sometimes this can be the way to go, but it’s better to be selfish in those situations as the highest percentage option is taking a shot.
Hakimi also had a perfect opportunity on the last kick of the game, where he too chose to pass instead of shooting. Great defending from Manolas saved a certain goal, but I don’t think Hakimi knew it was just him one on one with the goalkeeper.
We can justify these decisions as these two above players are wingbacks. However being put in those positions should have some attacking awareness to the mindset of play.
The title is coming –
There are 7 games remaining in the season and Inter still holds a 9 point lead. With Milan in second place, the 9 point gap is actually a 10 point gap, as Inter’s head to head record is superior for this season.
Inter deserve this title so it will great if Inter can hold on. Only a few more wins are needed before there is zero chance of being caught by the chasers.
The likes of Lukaku, Barella and De Vrij have been absolute standouts, so it will very pleasing to see them rewarded for their efforts. We all know that Inter likes to keep things interesting, so I hope the result today is just a one off.
Where to next?
Another away game awaits Inter as they travel to play Spezia in a midweek fixture. It will be a match Inter should win, as bottom-half Spezia look to be safe from relegation at the moment.
Although Spezia have upset a couple of the big teams including Milan, Napoli and Roma this season, let’s hope Mr Conte doesn’t underestimate this Spezia side.
Prediction – Inter 3-1
As always, Forza Inter!
Written by Matthew Pickham