Terzo Tempo – The Best Defence Is Offence
Inter played Chievo away from home in what seemed to be a rather routine three points until the last five minutes or so. Spalletti implemented his standard 4-2-3-1 which saw Karamoh slot in for Candreva for a second consecutive time and of course, Borja Valero slipping in to fill in the place of Gagliardini. From the first minute of the game, Inter saw themselves slightly on the back foot but as the game took its course, Inter picked it up and brought the game right back to the receiving team.
Inter played with the same tactics they did as last game but there was one slight thing that they tried which was fairly risky. What’s important to note about the back line is that when the wing backs are deep in the offensive area the center backs play passive with the idea of containment and pushing the strikers outward. However when they are in line, either Skriniar or Miranda would step up out of the line and pinch into a tackle. It payed off most of the time but the problem is that if they play this way against Juventus next week, Douglas Costa or Dybala will have the time of their lives. The back line should have stayed in line and not felt the need to commit so aggressively, leave the commitment to Brozovic and Borja Valero so that even if they do get beat, theres still another line to protect Handanovic.
With regards to the midfield, Brozovic, once again, is the anchor of this team defensively and offensively he has a crucial role in the team especially going forward. Brozovic’s greatest tool is his healthy mind because when he’s in the form that he is and feels good about his performances he acts as a filter that can either soak and contain the opposing teams offence or be used as an outlet to turn the ball into the open spaces to get a counter attack going. Rafinha does a great job and receiving Brozovic’s passes in the empty space which gives him time to turn and either carry or complete and distribute the passes out wide to the overlapping wingbacks or the slightly centralized wingers like Karamoh and Perisic.
The problem with the game was the fact that the game was fairly competitive and went back and forth, after Inter scored their goals, Spalletti made very defensive changes removing Karamoh for Santon which logically drops the back line to a five back. This reverts the mentality of the team to play a very sponge like game in regards to soaking the offensive to play out the counter but this is a very late game tactic and Spalletti may have called upon it to early directly after the second goal. He should have instructed his players to keep going forward because at the end of the day you can’t concede if you have the ball; the best defense is and will always be offence.