Terzo Tempo – Games of 90 Minutes
Inter played Benevento in what seemed to be a very weird game. Inter played so well and so dominantly in the first half, besides the little defensive slip up which led to the oppositions goal. The first half consisted of doing almost everything right, everyone was involved in the turning of the ball, Icardi coming in deep to meet Brozovic and the other midfielders and even our shot stopper got very involved in forming the triangle to facilitate Miranda and Skriniar’s job. In the first half we saw perfect triangles which made it very easy to move up and down the field.
Now, the problem with this game was that they only played soccer for 45 minutes. You cannot expect to win against top tier teams by playing half the game like a champions league team and the other half like an amateur team, they will be picked apart if they would have performed against a stronger team the way they did in the second half. In the second half they seem to have really taken their foot off the gas they had to keep going and be able to use this game as a way to deliver a message. The moral of the game is that you cannot be completely successful if you’re only going to perform half the game, they needed to stay on the front foot and not lean back and take it easy once they picked up the lead.
The first goal came in the 19th minute, Brozovic played a ball into Nagatomo who kept it in and gave it to Candreva who delivered a lovely weak foot cross for Brozovic to finish. What I find excellent about the goal is Brozovic is awareness of where Icardi was going to run. Icardi likes to make holding runs, which means a small burst of speed and a quick break leaving defenders ahead of him resulting in him being alone. Brozovic was able to pick up on that and he continued his run to connect on a beautiful header. The fact that Brozovic was able to understand what Icardi likes to do shows me that there is clear chemistry and communication in the locker room, a crucial component to any successful squad.
The second goal was a phenomenal set piece with both Croatians standing over the ball, Perisic faked his shot and Brozovic just tucked away where it just wasn’t reachable. What really impressed me is Icardi’s ability to be able to complete his back heel with his back to the net at the top of the 18 to feed Brozovic who would’ve surely finished his break away opportunity. It was very nice to see Icardi contribute in the turning of the ball and click so nicely with Brozovic, throughout the game it’s like they knew exactly where one another would be.
Overall, Inter played well enough to pick up the three points which is all that matters at the end of the day, the only criticism I have about today’s game is that they need to play the way they played in the first half for 90 minutes. On a positive note, it was nice to see a midfielder contributing to the score sheet which is exactly what Spalletti wanted.