A fortnight ago, Inter were left reeling after a dreadful performance against newly-promoted Parma culminated in a 1-0 home defeat, leaving them with just four points from their opening four Serie A fixtures this season. Now, having dispatched a stubborn Cagliari side 2-0 in front of yet another huge San Siro crowd, Nerazzurri fans have an entirely different outlook on their team’s prospects for the season ahead.
Indeed, following three successive league victories over Sampdoria, Fiorentina and Cagliari during the past week, Luciano Spalletti has guided his squad back into the top four and ready to pounce if Juventus should drop points. Though, having clinched 21 points from their first seven games of the campaign, that looks highly unlikely at this moment in time. La Beneamata can only control their own destiny, however, and there are many positives to be taken in that regard.
Summer signings Matteo Politano and Lautaro Martínez were both handed an opportunity to impress in the absence of Ivan Perišić and Mauro Icardi from the starting XI. Neither disappointed and they both thoroughly deserved to cap off very impressive displays with a goal apiece. Alongside the attacking midfield threat of Radja Nainggolan, they linked up brilliantly and were a joy to watch at times. On another night, they may well have scored another two or three goals between them.
Despite his fine performance, the former Sassuolo winger was in no mood to get carried away in the immediate aftermath of tonight’s match, insisting that there are aspects of his game in which he must improve: “I know that I have to improve a lot, because in the second half I misplaced passes that I really should not have got wrong. We knew it would be tough tonight, but we wanted to give a sense of consistency to our results. The good thing is that we can rotate the squad, because we know whoever plays in attack is strong.”
Meanwhile, Spalletti was full of praise for Lautaro during his post-match interview with DAZN: “Lautaro is talented and perhaps we use that too much, because he has this ability to accept the ball, turn and shoot straight away. He knows where the ball can go and pounces on it. I think training with Icardi is helping him to learn something about attacking the space, but he already had everything: technique, quality and physical strength. He is also a bit egotistical, such as when he went for goal and it was two against one, but that’s not a bad trait for a striker to have.”
Everything is coming together nicely for Inter ahead of another crucial week, in which they will face two challenging away matches versus PSV Eindhoven and SPAL. If they can manage to secure two more victories before the forthcoming international break, they will have put themselves in a very promising position, domestically and in Europe too. But, Inter will always be Inter and therefore rarely choose to do things the easy way.
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