Inter - Sassuolo

After a couple of days with extreme chaos and rumors after Massimo Moratti resigned as honorary president it was nice to return to actual football related topics.

Inter and Mazzarri went to Cesena with the press talking about four crucial games and an ultimatum about getting 12 points or else..from president Thohir. All unconfirmed of course. Not much to write about from the first half. If not for the penalty I doubt Inter would have scored, that was the only shot on goal. And as it turned out Mauro Icardi’s penalty goal in the 30th minute was to be the only goal in the match.  But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

The first half showed an aggressive Inter pressing high with Medel and Hernanes being the best on the pitch. It wasn’t pretty but I can live with ugly as long as it gives three points. Inter had a very hard time creating any real chances in the first half, lost way too many balls and Icardi-Palacio don’t seem synced at all at the moment. In the 30th Hernanes chipped the ball beautifully to Palacio in the area who was pulled down by goalkeeper Leali who got a red and Icardi scored the penalty. That meant 60 minutes of Inter being a man more on the pitch. Sadly though that was not really visible. Cesena came close to equalizing several times in the minutes after the penalty. And what is most striking with this Inter team is how mentally fragile it is. The Inter players seem terrified of conceding a goal, more so than going for a match winning goal.

The second half was an orgy in missed passes and an insane amount of offside calls (2 Inter goals rightly disallowed for offside), the Cesena back line had done their homework and handled the runs from Palacio and Icardi with ease. The threat to Cesena came from an inspired Hernanes who finally seems to be fit and looking like his old self again. So I guess that in combination with the three points is the silver lining of the evening. Apart from that there really is not much to take away from this game. Defensively Inter look shaky and Mazzarri will have to work on the set pieces, every set piece from the opponents is dangerous and Handanovic had to really work for his money this evening.

While Kovacic had a much better game than the last one (thank God) Mazzarri still needs to find a solution to him and Hernanes being on the pitch together. Both players are divine with the ball at their feet but both of them wait for the ball to arrive at their feet and taking runs without the ball does not come naturally for either one of them. Which is a pity, because they both made great efforts defensively chasing the ball back and trying to speed up the passing offensively. Hopefully the three points will give the team some calm but there is no doubt that this team is nowhere close to being a top flight team, neither mentally nor playing wise. Athletically many players are struggling as well, Palacio most of all. But this is not surprising considering his last two long seasons for Inter and then a world cup and injury which made him miss the preseason. Hoping that he will return to being his old self again soon. I for one am worried about the coming match against Sampdoria who seemed solid today, what about you readers? What are your thoughts on the game?