Tactical Analysis : S.S.C. Napoli 3-0 F.C. Internazionale Milano

Tactical Analysis : S.S.C. Napoli 3-0 F.C. Internazionale Milano
December 5, 2016 13:07
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Date : 02/12/2016
Venue : Stadio San Paolo
Competition : Serie A 2015/2016, Matchday 15

Inter left the city of Napoli with a bad taste in their mouths, as the Partenopei took complete advantage of Stefano Pioli’s defensive tactics for the second year in a row, not allowing him to get revenge on their last year’s 5-0 win against Lazio.

Inter’s defense

In our last tactical analysis, we were curious if the nerazzurro coach would implement such heavy man-orientations against a much more fluid and talented side such as the one coached by Maurizio Sarri.

The answer, eventually proved to be yes.

The result was a match in which Napoli dominated, finding easily and continuously the free man in order to progress their play.

But, why?

In order to understand the reasons behind Inter’s defensive problems, firstly we would have to see which were their tasks and how they executed them.

It was pretty easy to see once again, that the two Inter midfielders the two wingers as well as Icardi and Banega, were all defending against who was in front of them. Meaning that, if midfielder A had an opponent in front of him and one behind, he would mark the one in front of him leaving the other one for the next line of defense (the defensive line).

The above mentioned way of defending of course, might be Pioli’s short-term solution for dealing with Brozovic’s defensive problems (that we had analyzed previously, here), but also a quick and easy to be understood solution for the team, given the lack of time given to him and the need for results.

However, what we just described combined with Napoli’s very fluid team, where constant movement to create passing lanes and rotation of positions is common were not the only reasons of Inter’s loss, as either a team that pressed aggressively and collectively high up the pitch, forcing the opposition towards the wings, or a more passive one with a deep defensive line that used it’s forwards as a third line of defense protecting the midfielders, would have minimized or at least reduced the amount of danger the nerazzurri faced.

And it was something that unfortunately for the nerazzurri fans, Inter didn’t do.

But because no words can describe it better than the actual footage, to finish this week’s tactical analysis, here are some videos with only some of the many times Napoli found a way to unlock Inter’s defense.


Pioli’s man oriented defense, combined with the lack of pressure up front and a high line that as a result was unprotected again and again, led to a structure-less Inter that had no chance of winning against Sarri’s well-oiled Napoli.

For more Inter and non-Inter related Tactical Analysis, you can find me on Twitter, @ThanosChelas.

By Thanos Chelas


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