Inter lose pace on rivals Milan as Roma and Juventus come charging for Antonio Conte’s team

After having a fantastic record in the league Inter gained just 1 point this past week as they played two games. First it would be defeat at Sampdoria going down 2-1 to record only their 2nd defeat of the season and then they would draw 2-2 with Roma in a very entertaining game.

The defeat at Sampdoria really hurt the club because Milan finally lost a game, their first of the season and this was the time to catch them up. Milan lost 3-1 at home to Juventus.

The Sampdoria game looked like it wasn’t going to be Inter’s when Alexis Sanchez missed a 12th minute penalty, the omens were in the air and this just wasn’t going to be Inter’s night. Sampdoria took a 2-0 lead into half time and despite Stefan de Vrij pulling a goal back for Antonio Conte’s team they would go on to lose the game.

Normally Romelu Lukaku would have taken Sanchez’s place but he was back and recovering from a minor injury and had to start the match from the bench as a precaution. Inter had 11 shots on target and were far the better team but they couldn’t find that 2nd goal to get back into the game.

This past week hasn’t been easy for Inter whose 2 recent games have both been away from home and whilst they were expected to beat Sampdoria many thought they could struggle at the Stadio Olimpico against Roma and that so proved to be true.

In the end the final result did seem fair though with Roma starting well but as the game went on Inter creating the better chances. Inter found themselves 1-0 down early on when Lorenzo Pellegrini took a shot from outside the area after great build up play by Roma. The half ended 1-0 to the home side.

Inter though were piling on the pressure in the 2nd half and hit back with two goals in short time. The first was a brilliant powerful header from Milan Skriniar, the defender has been in great form lately.

It would be another defender who would help Inter out and put them in the lead a few minutes later with a brilliant strike by Achraf Hakimi. Inter looked like they would go on to win the game and there was just four minutes remaining when Roma broke their hearts.

Gianluca Mancini scored a great flick on header almost a classic style in the vein of the great Paolo Rossi to secure a point from Roma.

As a result the league is looking exciting however Milan has taken a 3 point lead from Inter and they have 40 points. Roma have 37 and have several teams hot on their trail in the form of Roma, Juventus and even Atalanta aren’t that far behind with 31 points.

Next weekend is the big one for Inter as they will face the champions of the last 9 seasons Juventus at home. Lose that and they could slip six points behind if Milan beat Cagliari.

What this week has proven is that despite the obvious talents of this Inter team where there are goals in all positions, they really miss a 100% Romelu Lukaku, he is the player they rely on and the heart beat of this team.

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Martinez the hat trick hero as Inter hit Crotone for 6

Inter beat Crotone 6-2 to march on in Serie A and they are just a point behind Milan in what is looking like a two horse race now for the league title.

Inter have not lost in 10 games and they have earned 26 points from their last 30 as they continue their relentless route chasing Milan. It was a fantastic performance from Antonio Conte’s team although what was incredible is that they actually went behind in the game.

Crotone took a surprise lead as early as the 12th minute from a headed cross but less than 20 minutes later Inter were leading the game. First through Lautaro Martinez who hadn’t stopped scoring goals up until now but had gone a little goal shy for his standard. Martinez smashed home superbly from a Romelu Lukaku assist and even though it was only 1-1 you got the feeling at that moment that there would only be one winner. Soon it was 2-1 due to an own goal, though it appeared that Martinez had scored his second but replays showed he clearly hadn’t.

But the excitement was not over yet when just a few minutes later Crotone were awarded a penalty and converted for 2-2, the teams went in at half time with this score. Whilst Inter had been technically the much better side there was no denying that the visitors had played a good first half and had many threats on goal themselves.

Martinez made it 3-2 just before the hour mark from a tight angle- he was so full of confidence in this game. A few minutes later the power and strength of Lukaku shrugged off a few defenders to make it 4-2 and now the game looked like Inter would collect all three points.

A 5th goal came and it was Martinez’s hat trick after he was in the right place when a shot was saved but he pounced on the re bound with his head from just a few yards out. Achraf Hakimi who has been in brilliant form for Conte’s team rounded off the game by making it 6-2. Matteo Darmian assisted Hakimi who scored from a thundering shot and the defender ironically probably scored the best goal of the game.

Inter’s 3 best performing players so far this season:

1. Romelu Lukaku 52pts

Lukaku has scored 12 goals and assisted in a further 3 and is having arguably his best season in his career to date and has the most points of any player at Inter.

2. Lautaro Martinez 42pts

Martinez recently picked up 14 points in one game v Crotone and looks like being one of the really special forwards in this new era of football. He has scored 9 goals and made another three.

3. Achraf Hakimi 32pts

Hakimi looks like he is everywhere on the pitch and has so much passion and desire. For a defender his stats are fantastic and he has scored 5 goals and assisted in another three. He has also helped to keep 3 clean sheets.

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Inter record 10th win of the season as they hunt down Milan in Serie A

10 wins from just 15 games means that Inter are just a single point behind their rivals Milan in the chase for the Serie A title.

For Inter it would have been 11 years next year since they won the league and Milan 10. The two teams from the San Siro have had to watch Juventus run riot in the league over the past 9 incredible seasons, that could be set to end this season though. Milan are 10 points in front of the old lady although the champions do have game in hand. But Milan end the year as ‘winter champions’ and that could be a good omen.

As for Inter they have been incredibly strong this season and if not for Milan’s brilliant start which has seen the black and reds go unbeaten so far Inter would easily be top. Inter themselves have only lost one game and this latest victory against Verona away from home means that Antonio Conte’s side have won their last 5 games in a row and would be 1st in the league on form.

Just before Christmas was the last batch of Serie A games to take place this year and Inter travelled to Verona. It would be a game that Conte’s team would win 2-1.

Inter played some good football in the first half but it wasn’t a memorable one for either side as they had just 1 shot on target each and the first 45 minutes ended with the score at 0-0.

However just seven minutes into the 2nd half Inter were able to break the deadlock through striker Lautaro Martinez. It was an important feat for the Argentine player given that he had been quiet in front of goal in the last few weeks. A cross by Hakimi found an unmarked Martinez who swung his body in the right direction to score a fine goal, with the way the game was panning out it felt like it could be the only goal of the game and the winner.

However just 10 minutes later Verona found an equaliser. Ivan IIic could hardly miss as a cross should have easily been covered by Inter goal keeper Samir Handanovic but the keeper made a rare mistake and fumbled the ball into the path of IIic who was just a few yards from goal and it was 1-1.

With Romelu Lukaku having a quiet game it would be left to an unlikely hero for Inter to get the winning goal. Aptly named Milan, his full name Milan Skriniar of course, the defender rose high to head in a powerful shot which left the keeper stranded. Skriniar looked surprised and this was his first goal of the season, but what an important one to give Inter all three points.

Inter’s next game is at home against Crotone who are in 19th place on January 3rd.

Best Inter Players for Each Position So Far This Season

Goalkeeper: Samir Handanovic 8pts

This was an easy one given that Handanovic has played every game and Inter’s other keepers haven’t had a chance yet. However one would expect more points from a goalkeeper whose team are in 2nd place. This is because Inter have conceded goals and he has only been able to keep 3 clean sheets so far.

Defender: Achraf Hakimi 28pts

Hakimi has been very solid and is by far leading for Inter’s defenders. Along with his 3 clean sheets he has also contributed to seven goals for the club, scoring 4 and assisting in 3 which of course is very impressive for a defender.

Midfielder: Nicolo Barella 16pts

Barella leads from Roberto Gagliardini by two points and has been a very important player for the club scoring once but also assisting in a further 4 goals.

Striker: Romelu Lukaku 46pts

Easily out in front is the one and only Lukaku who has been magnificent this season. He already has 11 goals and has assisted in 2 more and is feeling very confident. Last season was a landmark one for him and this one could even be better.

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Fantasy Serie A’s top performers heading into 2021

The Serie A season is temporarily on hold heading into 2021 for the holiday season but has not disappointed thus far. Milan has picked up from exactly where they left off last year, sitting in first place, while Antonio Conte’s Inter has since emerged as legitimate title contenders. Juventus has struggled in the early goings of the Andrea Pirlo era, drawing six of their 13 games thus far.

As the new year approaches, let us have a look at Serie A’s top performers after 14 matchdays. Here are your top five Fantasy Serie A performers:

1) Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Roma) – 94 points. 

The 31-year-old has been in sensational form this season, helping Roma throw its name in the race for top four. Mkhitaryan has hit the ground running in the early goings of the new season, registering seven goals and six assists in 14 appearances for the Giallorossi. Paulo Fonseca’s men currently sit in third place going into 2021 and will rely on the Armenian international to lead them into an unlikely title race. As of right now, Mkhitaryan is Fantasy Serie A’s top performer with 94 points. At 4.5 million euros, there is no reason why the Roma man isn’t on your team.

2) Romelu Lukaku (Inter) – 78 points.

The Belgian international has been the driving force behind Inter’s title race early on, netting eight goals in 11 appearances for the Nerazzurri. Inter has only lost one game this season and is currently riding a ten-game unbeaten streak going into 2021. Antonio Conte’s men have maintained the pace atop the table due to their impressive run of form, sitting just one point behind Milan. If Inter will successfully overtake their fierce rivals, Lukaku will need to be firing from all cylinders. His 78 points are good enough for second place in our top fantacalcio performers thus far and should only add to his impressive tally heading into the new year.

3) Theo Hernandez (Milan) – 75 points.

The former Real Madrid man has taken the next step in his career since making the move to Italy, establishing himself as one of football’s elite fullbacks. Hernandez has picked up some crucial goals along the way, including a brace in Milan’s come-from-behind draw against Parma and a last-gasp winner in the Rossoneri’s most-recent triumph over Lazio. The 23-year-old has proven to be one of Milan’s most creative outlets in the final third, adding three assists to his four goals. Stefano Pioli’s men have since emerged as title contenders due to their recent form but will face stiff competition heading into the new year.

4) Roberto Soriano (Bologna) – 74 points.

The Bologna man is a surprise inclusion on this list but has been in top form this season. Soriano has been extremely productive for Sinisa Mihajlovic’s men, netting six goals and four assists. While being the side’s designated penalty-taker helps, Soriano’s numbers make him an intriguing choice for your fantasy Serie A sides. His good form has since prompted Roberto Mancini to call him up to the Italian national team, rewarding his positive performances. Bologna has struggled in recent weeks, failing to win in their last five games, but if they want to turn it around, Soriano will need to be at the heart of their turnaround.

5) Joao Pedro (Cagliari) – 74 points.

Joao Pedro burst onto the scene in Italy last season, scoring 18 goals, and has not slowed down under Eusebio Di Francesco. The Brazilian been his typical efficient self in front of goal, registering eight goals in 14 appearances. Joao Pedro has combined to devastating effect with Giovanni Simeone and will be hoping to lead Cagliari into the race for European football. While they may sit closer to the relegation zone, the Sardegna-based outfit possesses enough firepower to turn their fortunes around.

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Romelu Lukaku can fire Inter to the Serie A title as club win 6th game in a row

One week and two wins have kept Inter in 2nd place in Serie A but the gap between them and their rivals Milan is now just 1 point. The good news is that the 3rd placed team Napoli are six points behind Inter and because the 9 time in a row champions Juventus lost at the weekend they are also trailing by six points.

It has been an incredible week for Inter who first had to face a top 4 rival in Napoli in midweek. It was always going to be a tricky game for Antonio Conte’s men and they were clearly the second best on the night. But in the end it didn’t matter, Inter came out 1-0 winners after a moment of madness from Napoli’s Lorenzo Insigne who gave away a penalty.

Romelu Lukaku kept his nerve to score his 10th goal of the season and the penalty would ultimately separate the teams. It was a huge win for the club.

Coach Conte was of course in full praise of his team. “A win like this one can do well, that’s what I told the boys.  It was not easy, Napoli are a great team It was a tactical match, with great respect on both sides. It was not a great game, but these are important points against an ambitious team like Napoli, always protagonist of our championship, these points are worth double.”

Inter followed up this win with another victory at the weekend as they beat Spezia 2-1. In fairness the first half was nothing to write home about as Spezia set up to defend and try to get a point at San Siro. It was no surprise that the first half ended 0-0. And Spezia had zero shots on goal and even Inter only had one.

The breakthrough finally came later in the second half when a terrific Lautaro Martinez pass found Achraf Hakimi on the right hand side who still had plenty to do but the in form player made no mistakes to put Inter 1-0 up.

A few minutes later it felt like game over when VAR had to intervene after an incident in the Spezia area which awarded a penalty to Inter. Lukaku who had scored against Napoli in the previous game from the spot came forward again and yet again made no mistakes to score his 11th goal of the season. Spezia did pull one back right at the death but the game was over and Inter saw it out.

In the fantasy points Romelu Lukaku leads with 46 points. The defender Achraf Hakimi who has scored 4 goals and been involved in seven altogether in a quite remarkable season so far has 29 points. In third place is Lautaro Martinez with 28.

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Inter close gap on Milan but crash out of the Champions League

Inter will now be fully concentrating on trying to win their first Serie A title since 2010 as they were knocked out of the Champions League in the group stages.

It was always going to be a difficult group for Inter and in having to square off against Real Madrid, Borrussia Monchengladbach and Shakhtar Donetsk Inter were certainly in the group of death.

In the final group game they had to beat Shakhtar at home and hope that Real Madrid would beat Monchengladbach. Real obliged with their win which they needed themselves anyway but Inter could only draw 0-0, and they were out. To rub salt into the wounds Antonio Conte’s team finished in 4th place. One wonders though if finishing last could be a blessing in disguise, as 3rd would have put the club into the Europa League. With no European football to contend with Inter can focus 100% on the league now.

The Italian media were inevitably scathing of Conte after their European exit and Conte said: “We have to evaluate everything with cool heads, not after an exit like this. There is a great deal of regret and disappointment, but I absolutely do not feel we were lacking determination, focus or aggression. We lacked a goal and throughout the Champions League campaign, we have not been fortunate with referees and the VAR.”

Cagliari 1-3 Inter

The good news is that the disappointment of being knocked out of Europe did not roll over and infect the team in the domestic league which they still hope to win. Inter beat Cagliari 3-1 and that means Conte’s side have won 4 games in a row.

It was a game that Inter dominated from the first whistle to the last but they found themselves trailing 1-0 at half time. The home side had scored from having just one shot on target to Inter’s five, and it looked like it would be a frustrating game for the away side.

However with 13 minutes left and a surprise result on the cards Inter’s pressure finally paid off. Nicolo Barella made it 1-1 with a fine effort from the edge of the area. Seven minutes later Inter were in the lead and now Barella had turned provider after his cross found the head of Danilo D’Ambrosio who had been on the pitch for just 60 seconds.

Romelu Lukaku wrapped the encounter up with a fine run from his own half as Cagliari were caught out throwing too many men forward in search of an equaliser. Lukaku had no one to challenge and was able to run the length of the half and tap in easy. It was Lukaku’s 9th goal of the season.

Inter are 2nd and because Milan could only draw 2-2 at home to Parma it means that the gap has been shortened to just 3 points. Milan will be away to Genoa in midweek and Inter will be at home to Napoli in a crunch game since Napoli are right behind them and just a point off. Indeed the difference between 2nd to 5th is just two points so a lot can change in midweek and then next weekend as we head into the Christmas break.

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Inter make it 3 wins in a row but thoughts turn to Champions League

Three league wins in a row has put Inter in 2nd place on 21 points and they are 5 points behind city rivals Milan.

Inter’s latest win came at home against Bologna when they won 3-1. Romelu Lukaku who is in the best form of his career opened the scoring but the plaudits wouldn’t go to him, neither would they go to the delightful talents of Lautaro Martinez. No there was a new hero for a new weekend and that belonged to Achraf Hakimi. The 22 year old scored 2 goals to confirm a great win for Antonio Conte’s side.

Lukaku scored his 8th goal of the league season and he saved his blushes at the same time. A cross was met by the swinging leg of the Belgian and the would be goal could have been a great one but Lukaku scuffed the shot, but got the luck of a second chance and made no mistake to put Inter 1-0 up,

Inter were soon 2-0 up and cruising after a delightful pass right through the middle by Marcelo Brozovic found Hakimi who still had a quite a bit to do on the edge of the area and made no mistakes in firing home, it was a beautifully worked goal between two players who made it look rather simple.

The first half ended 2-0 but in the second Bologna gave Inter food for thought by pulling a goal back through Emanuel Vignato. It was plain and simple bad defending which led to the goal and it could have been converted a couple of times in mad cap defending and the ball rebounding until it fell to Vignato who was never going to make any mistakes from such short range out. All of a sudden with twenty minutes remaining it was game on.

However just three minutes later Hakimi scored a superb solo goal running from just inside Bologna’s half, he had quite a bit of space and only needed to fend off one player but he kept running and had his shot which flew into the net. That killed the game off and any faint hope that Bologna had.

Antonio Conte was happy with his side who had 9 shots on target and are a point clear of Juventus, he said: “The lads are beginning to learn, if we don’t keep maximum concentration, we run risks and concede avoidable goals. Unlike other countries, in Italy we play a very tactical football. We therefore alternate periods of high press with waiting and then being aggressive on the ball.”

There was also praise for Hakimi, the man of the match. “This lad is 20 years old and had just two seasons at Dortmund, where they play a much less tactical style of football. Haki is working hard, he has realised the difference between playing in Italy and Germany, where the opponents don’t study you as much, where they don’t identify your characteristics as precisely. I think he is in the right team and with the right coach to become one of the best in the world in his role. It will require a lot of work, but I’m very happy, because this type of performance will boost his confidence, whereas errors in the past might’ve dented his self-belief. He needs a balance, it’s going to be a process.”

Inter will be the favourites to win their next league game when they take on Cagliari away from home. Milan will play Parma at San Siro.

Inter need a win for them and Real Madrid

Even though Inter are in 4th place in their Champions League group, they can still incredibly qualify for the knock out stages but they will need to beat Shakhtar Donetsk. They are at home and many people will feel they have no excuses not to get the job done. At the same time Real Madrid who have not been on form will need to beat Borussia Monchengladbach for Inter to have a chance to qualify. The good news is that Real cannot relax and will need a win to make certain of progression, so it is all up for grabs.

Best Inter players in the fantasy rankings

The player that scored the most points over the weekend was of course Achraf Hakimi. It would have been more but the defender was also booked. He has 18 points overall and is the third best ranked player. Romelu Lukaku leads the rankings with a total of 35 points and is followed by Martinez with 20.

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Inter move to 2nd in Serie A but Champions League dreams hanging by a thread

Forget Juventus, well forget them for now anyway because all of a sudden it feels like a decade ago, before Cristiano Ronaldo flexed his brilliance in Turin, before the run of 9 titles in a row, Milan and Inter are 1st and 2nd in Serie A and both clubs will want to be more than just pacesetters.

The Old Lady aren’t far behind of course just 1 point separates them from Inter but for Antonio Conte’s team the weekend result was a good one, a 3-0 victory away to Sassuolo.

Alexis Sanchez opened the scoring in just the 4th minute and it is funny what confidence can do for a player. It has been no secret that Sanchez has been struggling for a few seasons now, but it was nice to see the Chilean international score last weekend and he scored again. Lautaro Martinez’s initial effort was stopped by the goalkeeper but the ball came back to the striker and instead of going for goal again used his maturity to square the ball to the waiting Sanchez who had an easy chance.

Ten minutes later it seemed that the game was slipping from the home side’s grasp even before it had really begun when a dangerous cross was pinballed into the five yard area and Vlad Chiriches scored an own goal which was unfortunate for him.

Even though it was 2-0 to Inter early on Sassuolo did not to their credit lie down and had a few good chances themselves, indeed each club recorded 3 shots on target in the first 45 minutes and Sassuolo dominated possession but couldn’t get the break through.

In the end it took until the hour mark to see a third goal and more importantly for Inter it was for them. It was to be by far the best goal of the match scored by Roberto Gagliardini. The midfielder received the ball on the right hand side edge of the box and with the ball slightly in the air toe poked it delightfully, for the sheer beauty of it this goal should be considered one of the best of the season.

There was a chance near the end to make it 4-0 which would have gone down as one of the extraordinary goals with two different Inter players volleying the ball to each other before Sanchez volleyed it towards goal- but alas it wasn’t to be. But this win was another important statement for the club that they could be league contenders.

Inter are in 2nd and are 5 points behind city rivals Milan who beat Fiorentina 2-0. Inter have won 11 points from their last 15 available and have lost just once so far this season.

Antonio Conte said after the Sassuolo game that despite the 3-0 victory this wasn’t a great performance. “We always try to give our best, at times it works better than others, sometimes the results aren’t as positive but we always give 100 per cent. It’s our best result of the season, but other performances have been far better. The result tends to affect judgement of performances. If we are talking about furore and determination, then perhaps it was the best, but if we’re discussing quality of football, then that’s a different matter. The ideal is to combine those two elements.”

Inter beat Borussia Monchengladbach to give hope for Champions League survival

Group B is tighter than tight and only 3 points separates 1st from 4th. Inter are currently last with 5 points but saved themselves from a group exit when they beat Borussia Monchengladbach 3-2 in Germany. It was an absolutely fantastic result given that the Bundesliga team are top of the group and it was their first defeat of the group stages.

Matteo Darmain opened the scoring for Conte’s side but the hero of the night was Romelu Lukaku who scored a brace to win the game 3-2. Lukaku had made his comeback in the league game but came on as a late substitute but it was in this match where Lukaku underlined just what an important player he is for the club.

There is only one more game to be played in the group stages and Inter must beat Shakhtar Donetsk. The good news is that Conte’s team will, at least, be at home. When Inter played Shakhtar away from home earlier in the group games the match finished 0-0. However Inter will also need Real Madrid to beat Borussia Monchengladbach in their final game, and Real will need to go for the win to assure qualification anyway. Madrid will be at home for that game.

Spotlight on Romelu Lukaku

Romelu Lukaku is the one player that just keeps scoring the goals and rescuing Inter and he did so yet again in the Champions League. Inter will be hoping that the Belgian international will be able to perform at 100% when they take on Shakhtar in a crucial final game of the group stages.

Italian media have been praising Lukaku this week and the player himself has admitted that his time at Inter so far has been the best of his career- in short he is enjoying his football and it is really showing on the pitch. Lukaku has scored seven goals in just 8 league matches this season and overall has netted 45 goals in just 63 games.

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Antonio Conte’s European woes continue

When Inter was drawn into Group C alongside Real Madrid, Borussia Moenchengladbach, and Shakhtar Donetsk, it was quickly labelled the group of death, and with good reason. Zinedine Zidane’s men may no longer have Cristiano Ronaldo, but were just coming off a La Liga triumph, while the Bundesliga side boasts one of Europe’s most dynamic frontlines. Shakhtar, by contrast, has always demonstrated they can compete, regularly qualifying for the knockout stages.

Regardless of the tough opposition, Antonio Conte’s men entered the group as favourites to progress alongside Real Madrid. The Nerazzurri possess a resolute backline, including the likes of Samir Handanovic, Milan Skriniar and Stefan de Vrij, and can count on Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez for firepower.

Nicolo Barella’s progression has helped them significantly in the middle of the park, while Achraf Hakimi’s summer arrival offered Inter some much-needed quality from out wide. Despite this, Inter has struggled to get its European campaign off the mark and are currently staring down the barrel an early exit. Antonio Conte’s side are languishing dangerously at the bottom of Group C, winless after four games, and will need nothing short of a huge turnaround to progress.

Beyond winning its last two games, Inter will need some help around Group C, giving them an outside shot of qualifying to the knockout stages. While Inter’s struggles have almost definitely condemned them to an early exit, they are indicative of a greater pattern at play: Antonio Conte continues to falter in Europe’s elite competition.

Dating back to his days at Juventus, the veteran tactician has struggled in the Champions League, failing to make deep runs into the competition. As it stands, Conte’s European record is nothing short of abysmal: 11 wins, 12 draws, and 11 losses for a 32% win ratio. At this level, that is simply not good enough.

Inter has invested significantly in moulding its roster to fit Conte’s preferred 3-5-2 and has since been left empty-handed. Dethroning Juventus may be a step too far, but even then, the Nerazzurri were unable to muster a serious title threat, faltering at crucial stages last season. The Bianconeri are largely a side in transition and have demonstrated their own vulnerabilities in recent seasons, yet Inter could not capitalize.

Beyond their struggles to contend, Inter’s recurring issues in the Champions League are concerning. Should they fail to qualify, that would be three consecutive group stage exits for them, two of which have come under Conte. While Group C is understandably difficult, Inter can do much better than two points from four games.

In many ways, Conte’s outdated 3-5-2 has cost them. Gian Piero Gasperini has since revolutionized the back three, urging his men to go forward and has shown the rest of Italy that a little courage can go a long way; a lesson Conte has not learned.

The former Azzurri boss has not adjusted his conservative setup, despite its clear limitations as it relates to the Champions League. Inter’s buildup play has become far too predictable and easy to defend against. Rather than committing another man forward, Conte persists with his 3-5-2, with Inter struggling to create regular chances.

The case of Christian Eriksen is another concern. Conte has failed to integrate the former Spurs maestro into his eleven, reducing him to a supersub. The Danish international would add some much-needed quality in the final third and inject some fresh ideas into the side, but alas, he doesn’t fit Conte’s 3-5-2. Despite featuring rarely, Eriksen continues to make an impact with Denmark on the international level, dictating proceedings in the final third. The midfielder is rumoured to be on his way out from Inter once the window reopens.

As Inter heads into a crucial stretch in the season, it may be time for Conte to reevaluate his roster and for the first time in his career, adapt. Inter can ill afford a trophyless season, let alone another early Champions League exit. As unlikely as it may be, Conte would be wise to shake things up and inject new life into his Inter side.

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Inter hit Torino for 4 as Antonio Conte’s men prepare for Real Madrid

What a game we witnessed at the San Siro as Inter came back from 2-0 down to beat Torino 4-2. The win has moved Inter up to 5th place and this was the clubs 4th unbeaten game in a row.

It is of course incredible to think that an encounter which featured six goals only had one in the first half and that came by the way of Simeone Zaza’s strike in injury time of the first half. Some nice one two interplay on the edge of the box led up to the goal. In truth it was hard for Inter to complain as they had been sluggish in the first half and Torino were the better team, indeed at home Inter had only managed one shot on target up until then.

The objectives for the second half were crystal clear for Inter and that was to pull a goal back as soon as possible. But again it was a stop start procedure to the game in the early exchanges of the second half which saw both Alessandro Bastoni and Ashley Young booked within 15 minutes of each other. But it was Young’s yellow card that counted more as he committed a foul on Torino’s Wilfried Singo. Though it was never intentional Young’s foot caught Singo in the chest and a penalty was awarded. Cristian Ansaldi made no mistakes from the spot and Inter were losing 2-0 with less than 30 minutes left.

However the key to the comeback was Inter scoring just two minutes after the penalty. Some good build up play saw Romelu Lukaku hit the bar, but a scramble in the area afterwards saw the ball fall to Alexis Sanchez who scored his first goal of the season for the Italian giants.

With Torino’s defence now being opened up at will Sanchez crossed the ball for Lukaku who simply couldn’t miss from what looked like to be inches out. Inter had pulled back to 2-2 in the space of three minutes and the visitors looked shell shocked.

By this time Lautaro Martinez and Ivan Perisic were brought on to bolster attack and the message was clear, Inter were going in for all three points. With just six minutes of the game left Torino gave away a needless penalty which Lukaku made no mistakes of tucking away. Inter were now leading 3-2 from 2-0 down and that was the Belgian’s seventh goal of the season so far.

A fourth was on its way and Lukaku who had a terrific second half was unselfish to lay the ball off for Martinez to score his first goal of the game rather than Lukaku going for his hat trick. A once nightmare of a game ended up being a dream for Inter who showed a lot of character to come through a difficult moment.

Antonio Conte’s thoughts on the Torino game

“I didn’t like the first half, as we basically didn’t play. I hope this can serve as a wake-up call, so we realise it’s a tough slog and we need to dig deep to make it as difficult as possible for our opponents. Too often, we either haven’t done that at all or done it too late.” Said Conte.

Conte added: “What changed in the final half-hour was the ferocity of our pressing. If you do pressing slowly, going through the motions, it won’t do anything. You need ferocity and the desire to work hard and win the ball back immediately. We scored four goals after that and could’ve had a few more.”

Next up Real Madrid in the Champions League

Attentions now turn to a huge game where Inter will face Real Madrid in the Champions League group stage match to be played at San Siro. These two teams have won the Champions League in the last decade five times between them. When the clubs met a few weeks ago in the reverse fixture the game ended 3-2 to Real.

If Inter lose this game they could be in real danger of not qualifying for the knock out rounds and come into this match in last place in their group with 2 points. Borussia Monchengladbach lead the group with 5 points which presently remains tight, but Inter really need a win to put them back in the mix.

 

Inter players fantasy points update

Romelu Lukaku was the star turn for Inter in the fantasy rankings and earned 12 points against Torino. Alexis Sanchez earned 6 and Lautaro Martinez took home 4 points.

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