Inter played Crotone in a a rather difficult away game. Crotone looked very threatening and looking to play directly off the the counter attack. Inter looked very shook for the majority of the first half which allowed the stadium to really jump behind Crotone making the job all but easy. This wasn’t their best game offensively but I think that they were able to win strictly because of the diversity and new personality that Spalletti has brought with him to Inter this season.
If we start by looking at the back line of D’Ambrosio- Skriniar-Miranda-Dalbert it’s clear that this is where we won the game today. I write this because of the way Crotone set themselves up. They sat fairly high in their own half which put a lot of strain on Borja and Gagliardini, hindering a lot of their creativity. Now, the back four are tested for the first time in the 8th minute. Crotone carries the ball and it becomes a one on one with Miranda who clearly steps up as a leader. Miranda takes the man on the inside putting himself between the man and his net, he then boxes him outside towards the touchline and clearly instructs Skriniar to hold the middle. With such a perfect defensive display, Miranda forces the opposition to take a poorly angled shot facilitating Handanovic’s job. This is one of many examples that drove Inter to claim their three points that they fought so hard for.
Another fantastic display today was that of our one and only, Milan Skriniar. The man has proved to be able to defend, shoot, win balls in the air and after today, he can score too. Skriniar is successful because he has such an imposing personality at only 22 which directly compliments his 6’1 stature(185cm). He scored his first goal today on his third attempt after swinging and missing a few times while surrounded by 3 white shirts and still being able to come out with the goal. The persevering personality shins incredibly bright in him and can really be something special for Inter this season and for seasons to come.
Another very interesting tactical point that was noticeable was Spalletti putting Ranocchia on in the last 10 minutes or so changing his formation to a 3 back with Candreva and Nagatomo on the wings. They played very well with three at the back because it gave the wingers the ability to jump forward to double up the lead. I think this is something Spalletti can use more often to solidify the back line and maybe hold a lead or depending on the wingers maybe even use it offensively with Dalbert on the left and Cancelo on the right when he’s healthy again.
If we look towards the offensive aspects of todays games, the most dominant Inter midfielder was easily Joao Mario. Joao Mario brings so much positivity and creativity to the game in so many different ways including on and off the ball. What really caught my eye was his movement off the ball today. Joao Mario moved in and out vertically always becoming an option for the defensive midfielders while also pulling out a Crotone center-back with him leaving wholes for our wingers to exploit. His vertical movement directly contributed to our second goal, you clearly see him go fairly deep in our half, pick up the dead ball, use his pace to burn the opposition and feed Perisic to double our lead.
The last piece to the offensive puzzle was somewhat misused today and that was the likes of Mauro Icardi. Icardi moved well off the ball but the problem was that the team wasn’t playing to his strengths. Icardi is not Messi or Ronaldo, he won’t take on three players and tuck it away nicely, he wants to get down and dirty in the box, in order to use him to his fullest, we need to bang more balls into the 18 yard and let him do what he does best; finish and clean up. Fortunately we did enough to come out on top even with a misused Icardi.