Inter silence doubters as Martinez secures victory in last minute nail biter #103

Score:Inter Milan 1 Napoli 0

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San Siro
Milan Italy
Following an unacceptable draw to last place Chievo Inter welcome second place Napoli. The last time Inter faced Napoli they drew the match giving each side a point. Overall the matches against these two have ended in a draw. Napoli have been strong this season despite struggling to make up ground to compete with red hot Juventus who have been undeafted all campaign. Inter on the other hand are struggling to get crucial wins in the typical December curse. Going into this match Napoli are the stronger side as they are a more solid squad compared to Inter’s hit and miss play. Inter in this match have their work cut out for them. They will need to first keep Napoli’s chances limited as they use the whole pitch to their advantage. The only place where Inter may excel in getting the ball is in the air as Napoli struggle to win aerial duals. Also they can use another Napoli weakness to their advantage to prevent some of their chances by drawing offside situations which is one thing they struggle to avoid. Inter themselves have things they need to work on as they have had issues getting things going as of late. They need to get back in the rhythm of finishing scoring chances as they’re getting sloppy with that. Also defense wise they need to stop getting careless in the back twenty minutes of the match allowing other teams to get points of their own. Hopefully Inter wake up and bring home those three points because how they’ve been performing as been completely unacceptable. In the first half Inter took control of the ball and the possession early along with creating scoring chances while despite lack of possession Napoli held their own with creating chances of their own. Both sides tried to get on the board but the half would end with both sides at a draw. In the second half both sides continued the pressure on each other but Napoli took the slight lead in the possession and scoring chances. But late in the match is where things turned around for Napoli as a red card sent Koulibaly off the pitch. As the match was heading towards a draw the bull Lautaro Martinez lands a shot to the lower right corner of the goal and with that Inter come away with the three points they so desperately needed.

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Inter stick with the 4-3-3 formation that they’ve been using over recent weeks. In goal is key starter Handanovic. On defense this week are some position switches along with players as well. On left back returning to the lineup is Asomah. In the middle is the pairing of Skriniar and Devrij who do a great job together. Returning to the right back position for Vrsalijko is D’Ambrosio. On the defensive mid moving to the positon of left wingback is Mario who has been a decent addition to the squad again after not being in it for so long. In the center is epic Brozovic who as been on a performance slump as of recently. On right wingback is Valero who as been struggling all season to do anything substantial for the team and here they should’ve started Vecino. On the attacking side of things on the left wing is Perisic who scored the only Inter goal in the match against Cheivo. In the middle is the scoring machine Icardi who hasn’t been given room to do his magic in this current formation. On the right wing is Politano. This again is a bad use of some of these players abilities especially Icardi as he’s better solo. In my opinion this a terrible lineup. They need to keep an eye out for Insigne who is good at scoring chances along with assist he is good at pitch reading as well. If they don’t isolate him it could spell disaster.

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Following the players taking their positions and people placing their bets this match gets underway in the heart of Milan. Seconds into the half Icardi from a long range hits the post getting saved in the top center of the goal getting this match into full swing. Minutes later Politano connects a left footed shot from the center of the box goes over the crossbar Inter seem to have taken advantage early with possession and creating chances. Two minutes later Milik gets the first chance for Napoli with a shot from the left of the box with the left foot but the ball goes over the crossbar. After the fifteen minute mark Insigne takes an attempt from the left of the box but is saved in the lower right corner of the goal. Seconds later Asomah misses a left footed shot from outside the box. Now things are heating up as both sides are hungry for those much needed three points. After the twenty minute mark Perisic gets a left footed shot blocked from the left of the box. With seventeen minutes left in the half Piotr misses a left footed shot to the left of the goal. Mario minutes later are trying to get his boys Inter on the board with a left footed shot from outside the box but his attempt is blocked. Shortly after Ruiz misses a left footed shot from outside the box with the ball going over the crossbar. Mario two minutes later takes a header from the center of the box following a cross from Politano is saved in the center of the goal. A minute later Milik takes a header of his own from the same position but the ball goes over the crossbar. Inter have done a great job defending this half and creating chances. In the final minute of this Inter dominated half Mario gives one last chance to get Inter on the board before the half ends with a right footed shot from outside the box but it misses to the left of the goal with that the half ends 0-0. If Inter can maintain their momentum in the second half there is no reason why they can’t salvage at least a point.

 

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After the break this match resumes with both sides on fire and wanting the win. Nine minutes into the half Brozovic takes a shot from outside the box with the right foot his shot misses to the right of the goal. Minutes later Insigne gets Napoli their first chance of the half with a right footed shot from outside the box but the ball is blocked. A minute later Inter make their first subbing of the match with Vecino coming on for Valero. Following the subbing Jose of Napoli connects a right footed shot from outside the box is saved by Handanovic in the center of the goal. After the seventieth minute Mertens after coming on the pitch takes a shot from the left of the box but it misses to the left. A minute later Inter make subbing number two with Balde replacing Perisic. Two minutes later Insigne from outside the box takes a shot with the right foot but it goes over the crossbar. In the eightieth minute things started to work in Inter’s favor as Napoli took a slight lead in the possession and scoring chance game as Koulibaly got two yellow cards in a row which meant a red dropping Napoli down to ten men. Minutes later after that incident Inter make their last subbing of the match as Martinez replaces Mario. Icardi takes a header shortly after from the center of the box is saved in the lower left corner. Minutes later Politano gets a left footed shot blocked from outside the box. Insigne from the center of the box takes a right footed shot is blocked as well. In the ninetieth minute Inter broke the deadlock as Martinez lands a left footed shot from the center of the box lands in the lower left corner of the goal giving Inter the 1-0 lead. With that the match ends with Inter coming away with those much needed three points.

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This was a much needed win for Inter despite the match coming down to the wire. Inter still have a lot of things to work on. They need to still work on finishing scoring chances they had so many chances that they took but were unable to capitalize on them. Defense wise they were the most consistent side blocking chances along with Handanovic making some phenomenal saves. But still the offense needs work and when it comes to substitutions as well. Some of the subbing they make is mind boggling. But today the subbings were spot on the players came on when it mattered the most especially with Martinez replacing Mario and Balde replacing Perisic those were subs that helped them out at the end especially the goal from Martinez solidifying the win. The man of the match goes to Asomah who did a great job defending the ball by blocking chances and helping pass the ball to team mates for assist. In only three days time before the winter break Inter will have one more matter of affairs as they travel to take on sixteenth place Empoli. The last time these two sides faced each other was back in the 2016/17 season where Inter won the match 2-0 this match should be a good one to watch. 

 

Man of the Match: Asamoah 

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By the numbers
Inter Milan
Possession 50%
Shots 12
On target 5
Passes 551
Pass success 85%
Napoli
Possession 50%
Shots 12
On target 4
Passes 558
Pass success 83%

Top of the table
Juventus 16-2-0 50pts
Napoli 13-2-3 41pts
Inter Milan 11-3-436pts
Lazio 9-4-5 31pts
Sampdoria 8-5-5 29pts
Bottom of the table
Empoli 4-4-10 16pts
Udinese 3-6-9 15pts
Bologna 2-7-9 13pts
Frosinone 1-7-10 10pts
Cheivo 0-8-10 5pts

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