Score: Sassuolo 2 Inter Milan 1
After coming off of a crucial win against Udinese last week Inter welcome 12th place Sassuolo in their final home match of the season. In the first half of the season Sassuolo gave Inter their second loss of the season. Inter hope to make sure that doesn’t happen again as the hunt for the final CL spot is still for the taking as Inter sit one point behind Lazio for that position. But one thing is certain is that Inter are secured in a Europe spot as they sit nine points above their derby rivals Milan who last season overtook Inter by a point to sneak into that spot. Sassuolo however look to at least take over the eleventh spot as they sit one point behind Genoa after secured safety last week. So they at least are looking to finish in a better position. Despite being a middle table team Sassuolo are a team you don’t want to fall asleep on as in Inter’s past six matches with Sassuolo they have won five of those six matches. Sassuolo are undefeated in nine of their last ten matches. Also they have won in both half and full time in five of their last seven matches against Inter. Though Sassuolo don’t have many key strenghths they do however have a few that Inter need to keep an eye on. Sassuolo are great at taking scoring chances but they do however struggle to finish those chances. Also if Sassuolo get the lead they do a phenomonal job at defending that lead which can be costly so Inter need to make sure they don’t get any sort of momentum going. Sassuolo do have a hard time maintaining posssession of the ball which Inter can use to their advantage as they play possession style football and do a great job at keeping the ball in the opponents half of the pitch. But Inter still need to work not being caught offside which has been costly in way of scoring chances. Also Inter will need to protect all areas of the pitch as Sassuolo favor using the whole pitch to their advantage. They also attempt crosses a lot along with using through balls as well. Defensively they play aggressive and teams play aggressively towards them as well. If Inter focus on these things they can win this match. In the first half both sides opened up multiple scoring chances and both teams did a great job defending. Despite Inter dominating the half Sassuolo would strike first to cause madness as they took the lead. Sassuolo going into the second half go with a 1-0 lead over Inter. In the second half both sides continue opening chances Sassuolo midway through the second half get another goal putting them up 2-0 to make things worse. Despite Inter getting a consolation goal the damage was already done and Inter lose this one 2-1. With this their CL spot hopes have been slashed as they gift Roma qualification to the champions league.
This week Inter stick with the 4-2-3-1 formation but there are a few player switches and position switches to mention. In goal is none other than now tied for first in clean sheets Handanovic. On defense on left back replacing Dalbert is top defender D’Ambrosio. In the middle is Rannochia who is getting his second start ever since the start of the season in a row. That is followed by a player who has been a crucial part of this teams defense that is Skriniar who Inter should give a contract extension to at the summer transfer window. Capping them off on right back is Cancelo. On defensive mid is the dynamic duo of Brozovic and Vecino. Brozovic has done a great job recently in helping with defending and creating scoring chances and assisting where posssible along with Vecino. On attacking mid on the left wing is Perisic who is tied for tenth in assist in Serie A competition. In the center is Barcelona loanee Rafinha who is still possibley hoping to get signed by Inter for the long term as he’s shown great interest in staying at the club earlier in the season. Capping of on the right wing is Candreva who also shares the tie for tenth in assist with fellow teammate Persic. Up top the Inter scoring beast Icardi who leads second in goals this season with 28 goals. This is a solid lineup but as mentioned earlier Sassuolo are a team you don’t want to fall asleep on especially players such as Duncan, Missiroli, and Beradi who are good at taking scoring chances and will put the pressure on Inter. Defensively they need to keep their eyes on Acerbi who is good at cutting through teams offenses like butter. If they keep these players in check they can possibly win this match which is crucial as the final CL spot is still up for grabs.
After the players are announced and the players take their spots this match gets underway. Minutes into this must win match win for the home side Inter visitors Sassuolo look to draw first blood early as Simone takes a header after a cross from Rogerio from the center of the box misses to the right of the goal. Even though things look to be even Inter are owning possession of the ball in hopes of getting momentum and scoring chances going. Close to the fifteen minute mark Sassuolo step up again as Duncan takes a left footed shot from the left of the box misses to the left. Even though Inter are dominating early on Sassuolo is leading in chances and don’t look to be easing up. After the twenty minute mark Inter get their first chance of the half as Brozovic takes a left footed shot of his own from outside the box is close but misses to the right. Shortly after Berardi takes a left footed shot from the center of the box is blocked. Twenty five minutes in the deadlock is broken as Matteo takes a left footed free kick goes in the lower right corner of the goal giving Sassuolo the 1-0 lead. Two minutes later Inter look to bring things back on even terms as Perisic takes a header from the left of the box misses to the left. Seconds later Berardi takes a left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Sassuolo are giving Inter a run for their money despite Inter owning posession. Brozovic with fifteen minutes left in the half takes a right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the lower right corner of the goal. Inter really need to step up and take chances if they hope to get back into this match. Berardi shortly after takes a right footed shot from the right of the box is saved in the lower right corner of the goal after a through ball from Simone Berardi wasnt playing he was look to draw blood. Minutes later Inter would slowly start to heat up as Rafinha takes a right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the center of the goal. Moments later Candreva takes a right footed shot of his own from outside the box is saved in the left corner of the goal. This match is so far evenly split with Inter dominating the ball while Sassuolo are leading in scoring chances. Before the half ends Inter have one final chance to even things up as the Inter scoring beast Icardi takes a right footed shot from the center of the box is saved in the lower right corner with that the half ends Sassuolo up 1-0. Inter need to start taking more chances and hold Sassulo offense to a stand still if they have any hopes of coming back into this match or else with Sassuolo history may repeat itself yet again.
Roma Academy Graduate Matteo Politano gives Sassuolo the shock lead at the San Siro
After the break the match resumes with Inter looking to get back into this match while Sassuolo look to end Inter’s Champions League hopes. Just like the first half Sassuolo look to start things off with a bang as Berardi takes a right footed shot from the center of the box is saved in the lower right corner of the goal. Minutes later Duncan takes a left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Seconds later Berardi takes a left footed shot of his own from the center of the box is blocked. Sassuolo is keeping pressure on Inter on not letting them get any breathing room. A minute later Inter look to finally bring things back on even terms when Rafinha takes a left footed shot after a headed pass from Brozovic from the left of the box is blocked. Seconds later Rafinha again look to bring hope to Inter with a left footed shot from the center of the box is saved in the center of the goal. Near the fifty five minute mark Claud takes a left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Near the sixty minute mark Inter make their first subbing of the match as the Inter youngster Karamoh comes on to replace Candreva. Shortly after being brought on the pitch Karamoh takes a left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. So far Inter are in trouble as the time is ticking by so do the hopes of the Champions League. With twenty minutes left to play Icardi takes a right footed shot from the center of the box is saved in the lower right corner. A minute later Inter make their next substitution as Eder replaces Vecino. Seconds later Sassuolo continue their onslaught when Berardi takes a right footed shot from outside the box lands in the top left corner of the goal giving Sassuolo for the lead as Champions league contiunes to slip out of Inter’s hands now a good 2-0 cushion as they pretty much have this match in the bag unless Inter can perform a miracle and at least get a draw because at this point a point is better than nothing. With fifteen minutes left Babacar looks to add to Sassuolo’s lead with a right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. In the seventy seventh minute Inter make their last subbing of the match as Valero replaces Rannocchia. With ten minutes left Inter finally get on the board as Rafinha takes a left footed shot from the left of the box lands in the lower right corner of the goal. Now making it 2-1. Minutes later Icardi takes a right footed shot from the center of the box is blocked but seconds later on a rebound takes a header from the left of the box is close but goes slightly to the right. With three minutes left to play Inter are trying to scrape a point as Eder takes a right footed shot from the center of the box is blocked. At this point the damage as already been done but in the final seconds of this match in one last attempt to get a point Brozovic takes a right footed shot from outside the left of the box goes o high. With that the whistle blows as history repeats itself with Sassuolo winning the match 2-1. With this Inter’s Champions League spot hopes are slashed.
These Faces tell a thousand words as Inter’s champions league hopes die
With this result Inter can kiss the CL bye bye as the Romans clinch their Champions League place with the loss. This is a crushing result as many fans could taste that spot only to have it fall through the cracks. But at least Inter are getting into Europe next season which is better than nothing. This match was split Inter dominated the posession while Sassuolo despite three fewer shots pretty much controlled that portion. Defensively Inter had a hard time defending Sassuolo’s advances especially covering their main score chance taker in this match Berardi. Also they struggled to create and finish scoring chances. As usual they also struggled with being caught offside which in turn ruins potential scoring chances. This continues to be one area they need to severely work on along with finishing scoring chances. But the positive is a chance at Europe next season can Inter be a threat the answer is possibly but this is a far cry from last year where Inter even failed to qualify for that and see their derby rivals in it instead of them. So this is a major plus on that front. The man of the match goes to Rafinha who scored the only goal for Inter today and who did a great job creating most of Inter’s scoring chances and did a great job assisting where needed. Next week Inter travel to Rome to take on forth place Lazio in their final match of the season. The last time these two teams faced off Lazio would hold Inter to a draw. The best Inter can hope for is another draw but a final win of the season would be even better to at least end the campaign on a high note. Who knows what will happen in this highly anticipated final match. Until next time as always FORZA INTER.
Man of The Match: Rafinha (3)
By the numbers
Pass Success 88%
Pass Success 68%
Top of the table
Juventus 29-4-3 91pts
Napoli 26-7-3 85pts
Roma 22-7-7 73pts
Lazio 21-8-7 71pts
Inter Milan 19-12-6 69pts
Bottom of the table
Crotone 9-7-20 34pts
Udinese 10-4-22 34pts
Cagliari 9-6-21 33pts
Verona 7-4-25 25pts (Relegated)
Benevento 6-3-28 21pts (Relegated)