Professional Inter display should set tone for Frankfurt and Milan


“There aren’t many games left and every result is vital as we pursue our goals. Could this week be a turning point? I expect the team to adapt to every situation. As we’ve said before, a number of players allow us to always put out the best Inter team and that’s how it will be in the upcoming games. We need to understand what we have to do and where we need to go. At some points this season, we could have done better but we did very well at other points and the team has always shown that it has the desire to move forward.”

Those were the words of Inter coach Luciano Spalletti ahead of this afternoon’s crucial Serie A match against SPAL, which the Nerazzurri won 2-0 courtesy of second half strikes by Matteo Politano and Roberto Gagliardini. There was a huge amount of pressure on the home side to clinch all three points, following two disappointing league results versus Fiorentina and Cagliari. Truth be told, today’s performance was nothing special, with the team suffering from a real lack of creativity in attacking areas of the pitch.

Lautaro Martínez was his usual lively self and should consider himself very unlucky to have seen his first half goal disallowed due to handball. The young Argentine pressed the visitors relentlessly throughout the match and provided a constant threat to their defence. However, there was very little in terms of craft and guile from the midfield department. Granted, injuries to key players are not helping Inter’s cause right now but fans are right to expect much more from the likes of João Mário and Antonio Candreva when they are given an opportunity to impress.

Looking ahead, the next seven days are set to be decisive with regard to Inter’s season overall. Following their goalless draw on Thursday night, the Nerazzurri must beat Eintracht Frankfurt in order to reach the quarter-final stage of the UEFA Europa League. There is also the not so small matter of a Derby della Madonnina to contend with next Sunday evening as the race to secure a place in next season’s Champions League group stage hots up. The Rossoneri have been in excellent form since the turn of the year, so there is a chance this could be one of the most exhilarating meetings between the two sides in many years.

Given the number of injuries and suspensions he currently has to contend with, it will be interesting to see how the aforementioned Spalletti manages to put a team together on Thursday. With squad limitations in place, Inter really are down to the bare bones in European competition. Indeed, with Mauro Icardi still ‘unavailable’ for selection and Lautaro suspended, there is a good chance that Ivan Perišić or Keita Baldé will be deployed as a false nine. Only one thing is for sure: Spalletti will need to come up with something special if his players are to emerge from the next seven days unscathed.

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