Inter started off with their usual 4 2 3 1 making no changes from the team in Napoli which had given such a valiant performance. Nagatomo and Danilo started off at fullbacks with the usual midfield 3 retaining their place and once again Borja in the hole behind Icardi, yet against Sampdoria he dropped a bit deeper to prevent the midfieled from being overloaded. Sampodria started of with a very narrow formation with 4 midfielders and two strikers which Spalletti would eventually exploit. Murru and Bereszynski were tasked with providing the width and getting up and down the pitch. Torreira very impressively performed in the regista role screening the defenders and gaston was playing as an attacking midfielder with little defensive responsibility in behind the two strikers.
The way Spalletti set up in the first half once again showed his tactical fluidity and genius as his tasked his players with exploiting the wings perfectly. He asked the two wingers to hug the touchline and stay as wide as possible when we had the ball so that pinned back the opposition full backs which opened up half spaces between the two shuttlers and the full backs. Danilo then underlapped and exploited those half spaces giving us a numerical advantage on the wings, which was why most of our play was there. We also swung a lot of crosses in which were very dangerous and this strategy got the best out of the two winger who were dazzling and dangerous.
Sampdoria were trying to press us high up the pitch but our defenders dealt perfectly with it and bypassed the first line of the press with the quality of their passing while being very calm and composed and punting it up the pitch. This further shows the importance of ball playing defenders nowadays and press resistant midfielders to bypass the second line of the press.
When we had the ball we also tried to overload one side of the pitch which would create a half space on the other side for the Winger due to Sampdoria’s wingerless formation. This approach bore fruit in the second goal where the we overloaded one side of the pitch which opened up space for Candreva who then provided Icardi the goal with a cross.
Here you can see an example of Inter drawing the opposition towards one side of the pitch and getting the defence to get narrower which in turn left space on the other side for the winger.
You can see that Murru stepped inside which left heaps of space for Candreva to whip the ball in which eventually led to a goal.
When defending Spalletti went with a deep man oriented defensive block and he tried to overload the midfield which was were most of Sampdoria’s threat was. The shape while defending was reminiscent of a 4 1 4 1 with Gagliardini dropping into the anchorman role and Valero dropping to form a 2 with Vecino. The wingers then went narrow to avoid being overloaded in the centre of the pitch while Icardi was tasked with dealing with Torreira and the full backs with Sampdoria’s wing backs. We were very solid and compact and succeeded in closing out the spaces and stop Sampdoria from passing it through the middle. The players then got forward quickly on the counter and exploited the numerical advantage on the wings when we got the ball.
In the second half we dropped very deep to preserve our lead and we aimed to use possession to neutralize the opposition threat and keep the ball from them. This plan was quickly overpowered due to the success of Sampdoria’s subs who changed the game and due to inter players being drawn out of position. Sampdoria played with more width and the full backs bombed forward more due to the ingers getting inside and perofrming their defensive duties. The team simply got tired and where unable to execute the plan that Spalletti wanted.
Sampdoria’s first goal was due to some awful defending from Danilo who had caught out of position after an attack and failed to track back which left a big hole in the right side of the defence which Sampdoria exploited after a quick counter attack.
The second half was very disorganized and disjointed from the Inter players tactically due massively to tiredness after a very exhausting Inter game and Samp exploited this perfectly
The first 45 was another tactical masterclass from Spalletti who set up the team perfectly and exploited the opposition’s weaknesses. This undoubtedly required lots of analysis and detail, all the players performed in their roles and carried out the instructions perfectly and that led to the best 45 I have seen in a long time. The second half capitulation certainly wasn’t down to tactics as Spalletti had a obvious enough plan even though I think he messed up the substitutions but it was more down to tiredness than tactical deficiencies. All in all it was a very good performance in which Spalletti as always got his tactics spot on and we continue our amazing run.