Roberto Donadoni was left to wonder what might have been. His team went to Milan unbeaten in five matches and even if that run consisted of three scoreless draws, he knew they would be tough to beat.
Inter managed to claim three points against the Rossoblu. But Donadoni was furious with the source of both goals in the 2-1 result. “We conceded two goals on set plays, clearly we weren’t concentrated or reactive enough in those situations, but other than that Inter barely created any problems for us.”
Maybe the former Milan player had a point. Of 14 shots fired at goal by the Nerazzurri, only four were on target in 90 minutes. The goals came in a four minute spell, starting with Ivan Perisic in the 72nd minute. Inter struggled to break down a rugged Bologna, but when the ball fell to the Croat as the visitors failed to clear a corner he made no mistake. Likewise, Danilo D’Ambrosio netted from another corner, turning in from close range.
Not that it’s a new scenario for Inter. After all, they have only 39 goals to their name this term, a particularly low tally when you consider they have spent 17 weeks inside the top three.
But the issues were made even worse on Saturday. Captain Mauro Icardi lasted only 10 minutes, forced off after a nasty knee sprain. Inter’s concern is there may be ligament damage which keeps the Argentine on the sidelines for an extended period. As they chase third place and a Champions League return, it’s a blow. Icardi is Inter’s leading scorer with 12 Serie A goals. Nobody else has reached double figures. Adding to Mancini’s attacking problem is an upcoming suspension for Rodrigo Palacio after he reached the yellow card limit.
The veteran will miss Inter’s vital trip to Roma this weekend. Currently fifth, they are five points behind the third-placed Giallorossi. In the scheme of Champions League qualification it is a massive clash. Roma have won eight straight in Serie A.
It does, however, offer an opportunity for Eder. While no other Inter player has hit double figures, Eder has. He scored 12 goals for Sampdoria before his January switch to San Siro. In seven Inter appearances the Italian international is yet to celebrate.
With Icardi’s injury he can become the focal point in attack for the trip to the capital. Eder has already scored against Roma this season, for Samp. This is the time to grasp his chance, to break his Inter duck. As they fight for third, it would be timely.