Toothless Inter must work tirelessly to overcome issues in attack


“All that was missing from our game was the final pass, we made the wrong decision on a number of occasions. The coach asked us to remain calm, including in the final stages if the scoreline remained goalless. We made a few mistakes on the ball and need to work on this. When a goal doesn’t come, we have to concentrate on keeping the ball and attack at the right moment.” Those were the words of Inter full-back Kwadwo Asamoah in the aftermath of Saturday night’s 0-0 draw at home to Sassuolo.

Indeed, those who watched the match will be in total agreement with what the Ghana internationalist had to say – he is absolutely spot on! Though both sides did of course have their chances throughout the 90 minutes, it did appear to be one of those games which could have continued until midnight without anyone managing to break the deadlock. There was, to be brutally honest, a chronic lack of precision in the final third from both sets of attacking players.

That said, there was no shortage of talented players on display so it is hard to fathom exactly why there were so few clear goalscoring opportunities. Nerazzurri coach Luciano Spalletti was particularly critical of his side and did not hold back with his assessment of Mauro Icardi’s performance. Here is what he said during an interview with DAZN:

“It was a complicated match because Sassuolo played very well. At times, we managed to win back the ball early, but we kept giving it away again too quickly. We simply didn’t show the difference in quality between the two teams. We were below par this evening in the individual performances. Mauro didn’t find much space because Sassuolo defended well, but he also didn’t move very much to create the space, because we did create a few chances. He was unlucky on a couple of occasions, slipping at the crucial moment.”

By and large, Inter’s performance was tidy enough until it came to picking out a defence-splitting pass. Marcelo Brozović and João Mário were not given a great deal of options as a result of the low block defensive structure used by Roberto De Zerbi. Though the Neroverdi had their moments in attack and forced Samir Handanović to pull off a couple of excellent saves, their objective for the evening was to collect a point and they ultimately achieved exactly that.

Having secured an eight-point lead over Lazio, who currently occupy fifth place in the Serie A standings, Inter should be looking to secure qualification for next season’s UEFA Champions League group stage as quickly as possible. In turn, that should allow them to concentrate their efforts on trying to go as far as they can in the Europa League. However, until such a time arrives when they are able to dispatch lesser teams at home with a minimum of fuss, accumulating points domestically must remain their number one priority.

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