Inter played Chievo away from home in what seemed to be a game that Inter was ready to take on very lightly which is why at many points it looked like Inter was playing their game in a nonchalant manner which meant that they were psychologically unprepared for a red hot Chievo with a new coach.
Spalletti lined up in a 4-3-3 which saw Vrsaljko on the right, Skriniar and De Vrij in the middle and D’Ambrosio on the left, in the midfield three, was Joao Mario, Brozovic and Nainggolan and the front three consisted of Perisic on the left, Politano on the right and Icardi centrally.
Overall, this game was very off in regard to the way Inter started from the first minute allowing a shot on goal only in the first 28 seconds, something that is very uncharacteristic of this squad. Even after this happened, Inter didn’t react to it properly and still continued to underestimate the quality of their opposition. With the current starting 11 things looked like they were going to hold up fairly well but the problem was that the substitutes that came on didn’t impact enough in the control and dictation of the game.
Vecino for Nainggolan was the first change in the 67th minute and in this case the shape remained the same but even at that, there was a large decrease in the turning over of the ball, but nothing drastic enough to change the game and solidify in the back. It was when Lautaro Martinez came on for Politano were everything changed and the actual shape of the entire team changed. Spalletti reverted back to a 4-4-2 with Martinez and Icardi up top. What Spalletti was going for was to try and pick up the second goal which would have sealed the game. Borja Valero then came on for Joao Mario which was a very neutral substitute considering Borja’s ability to really calm everything and everyone down.
What Spalletti should have done to solidify and close out the game is revert to a 4-2-3-1 as per usual which would leave the whole in the midfield for the ten and force Icardi into the box and let the attacking midfielder do the work and act as the link. As for the Politano subtitution, Inter was leading which means no matter how much you want to close the game out with the second goal you need to defend the lead. Keita for Politano would have been a better option especially considering the difference between Lautaro and Keita’s defensive work rates.
In conclusion the December curse lives on but Inter is still in third place, all they had to do was hold out for a couple of minutes to pick up full points but in the end they left Interista’s around the world with a very sour Merry Christmas.