Inter played Empoli in a game that was incredibly dull, the entire team looks absolutely exhausted which is why it was so important to be able to fight through the contest and pick up the full three points along with maintaining the clean sheet.
Spalletti opted to line up in a 4-3-3 which saw Vrsaljko, De Vrij, Skriniar, and Asamoah at the back. In the midfield they had to make due without a crucial Brozovic which saw Joao Mario, Borja Valero a little deeper, and Vecino. Vecino and Joao Mario both had permission to roam very freely which was very noticeable today, Joao Mario carried very heavily while Vecino did a lot of work off the ball. The front three consisted of Keita Balde on the left, Politano on the right led by Icardi in the middle.
The main concern throughout this game, especially in the final third was just the fact that everything is so generic it almost looked scripted for the entirety of the game. Every attacking motion consists of a few passes to open up space in the midfield then sending it wide. The problem is that with this “New Icardi” being built by Spalletti, you lose an incredible conversion option which is why firstly Icardi hasn’t scored from open play since the Roma game, and secondly Inter has been scoring much less.
The second issue that really dulled out the game was that as the game progressed goalless, Inter grew more and more frustrated. This also became more and more noticeable as each individual grew more frustrated. The result of this was that the backline began to launch long balls forward as if their lives depended on it instead of maintaining patience and believing in the system trying to be given to them by their coach.
Another problem is that this team just does not believe in taking shots from outside the box. This specific team trait is what separates the good teams from the great teams and in order to take that step to becoming a super power in the world as they once were. Empoli demonstrated an excellent display of defence which was what directly complimented the frustration building. On numerous occasions though, the Inter midfield and wingers had very strong shooting opportunities but they chose to try and look for perfect across the box passes for the tap ins all the time.
In conclusion, the game was dull for 90 minutes but Inter was able to pick up the full points while maintaining a clean sheet which is crucial in going into the new year.