Inter started off with their usual 4-2-3-1 once again not making any changes to the formation that has provided so much success so far this season. While Torino went with a 4-3-3 system deploying one defensive midfielder (Rincon) to keep Borja in check and man mark him throughout the game.
They had two very good inside forwards in Ljalic and Falque who cause the defence many problems when cutting inside on their favoured foot, although Skriniar kept Torino’s star man largely in check for the whole game and limited his danger.
In the first half Spalletti once again showed his tactical versatility by changing up his style completely and suffocating Torino with a high press. Inter exploited a man oriented press to put Torino’s defenders under pressure and force them into mistakes, this worked perfectly due to the limited technical ability of the Torino defence. This led to many chances which unfortunately were squandered.
Inter’s shape when attacking in the first half was also very clever and intriguing. The two full backs were instructed to cut inside when Inter had the ball instead of trying to overlap and the wingers stuck to the byline. This confused the Torino defence and took advantadge of the natural laziness of the Torino wingers who struggled to track the full backs runs. This opened up lots of spaces which are highlighted above in red and enabled Inter to create many chances.
In the second half Torino gained more confidence due to the score staying as a draw and started to push forward more. They took control of the game and pushed the Inter players backwards, most notably Borja Valero who dropped back to form a 3 man midfield and stop Torino from accomplishing superiority in the midfield and overloading it. The full backs pushed forward to provide the width while the two inside forwards cut inside and opened up half spaces down the wings.
Then when Inter regained superiority the full backs started overlapping as normal and contrary to the first half providing the width. This left Inter vulnerable to counter attacks and opened up many half spaces down the wings. This led to the two wingers pushing wider than usual and trying to keep the width to hit Inter on the break. This succeeded most notably in the Torino goal which was a result of Nagatomo being caught to high up the pitch.
Inter delivered a very solid performance albeit they tired quickly mostly due to the lack of rotation. They were the overall superior team and deserved a lot more than a draw but they were let down by a lack of clinical finishing. Once again a very good tactical performance from Spalletti who had obviously meticulously planned for the game and tried to exploit Torino’s every weakness.