- Samir Handanovic
- Stefano Pioli
Stefano Pioli challenged his team to prove they are a ‘real’ team and they delivered by demonstrating incredible mental strength putting all talk of a mental slump in the trash following the heavy defeat against Roma last week, after a historic masterclass at the Stadio Sant’Elia.
Today Stefano Pioli managed to get his Inter to do exactly what he said they should do following the disappointing result against Roma at home. There was never any question about it despite a somewhat shaky start defensively to the match where Gary Medel was forced into making a brilliant goal line volley clearance to prevent Cagliari taking the lead. After that Inter’s midfield got into the groove where Kondogbia and Gagliardini outfought and outthought their Sardinian opponents affording space for the Ever Banega Show to start.
A brilliant pass to Ivan Perisic whose first touch equalled Banega’s chip pass for beauty and the Croatian had slotted home his 8th Serie A goal of the season. The Argentinian midfield maestro wasn’t done there though, curling home a lovely free-kick for his third of the season and Inter’s second of the day before Borriello brought the goal deficit back to 1 for the home team just before half time.
Stefano Pioli has often spoken about the importance of bouncing back mentally and it’s hardly difficult to imagine that De Boer’s Inter wouldnt have crumbled after Borriello’s goal but this is Pioli’s Inter. Immediately after the second half began Perisic gets his second after poor defending from Cagliari, before Mauro Icardi got fouled twice in the penalty area but was only awarded 1 penalty. Regular listeners to SempreInter.com’s Podcast StudioInter, will know from the latest episode that this was the first penalty Inter have been awarded since November 6th, so Inter should probably just be grateful when Satan experiences arctic condition in hell and the Nerazzurri get a chance to score from the spot.
Despite having converted his spot kick, the Inter captain had an off day missing an absolute sitter when watching his shot clip the bar and go over but he’s scoring again and he’s doing so in an away match which hadn’t happened for almost 6 months.
This was a great day for Inter and it ended in the best possible way when Roberto Gagliardini was finally able to score his first goal for Inter after a hard low drive from just outside the box found it’s way behind Cagliari keeper Gabriel. Smiles all around for the Nerazzurri as it’s back to winning ways but more importantly following today’s other results, Inter can overtake Atalanta when the teams square off next Sunday at 15.00 CET at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza. Until then Stefano Pioli can enjoy a week where he can boast that his Inter afflicted Cagliari their biggest home defeat of all time in the Serie A when faced against the Nerazzurri. Complimenti.