The Giovanni Trapattoni led 1988-89 Scudetto winning Inter dei record side, is widely considered one of the very best teams the club has ever assembled.
This was a side featuring legendary Germany duo of Lothar Matthaus and Andreas Brehme alongside Riccardo Ferri, Walter Zenga, Giuseppe Bergomi among others was already a force to reckoned with.
However it was the surprisingly flourishing partnership of Aldo Serena and Ramon Diaz that propelled the team to great heights. As the 29th day of the Serie A came around, Inter were in fantastic position to potentially secure the Scudetto in the following round at home against Napoli.
However in order to do so they needed to secure back to back wins against the reigning champions from Naples as well as Bologna. Having lost only once that season, the Nerazzurri were certainly more confident of the two sides.
The home-side Bologna were a mid-table team looking to regain their winning touch. Going into the match against Trapattoni’s men, the Rossoblu found themselves in the middle of a terrible slump where they had gone eight matches without a win.
Considering the form of either side, Luigi Maifredi’s men had a tall order of restricting the Nerazzurri. With this in mind, Maifredi chose to play a traditional 4-4-2 formation to allow his side to play a low-block on defense, soak up as much pressure as possible and snap into attack on counter-attack opportunities.
In goal he put Nello Cusin, with Marco Monza, Marco Di Marchi, Stephane Demol and Renato Villa in defense. In midfield Massimo Bonini joined Ivano Bonetti on either wing with Eraldo Pecci and Paolo Stringara as the defensive midfielders behind attacking duo Lorenzo Marronaro and Giuseppe Lorenzo.
Expecting a defensive approach, Trapattoni opted to start the match with a 3-4-3 with Walter Zenga in goal, Guiseppe Bergomi, Giuseppe Baresi and Riccardo Ferri in defense. In midfield Andrea Mandorlini was joined by Andreas Brehme, Lothar Matthaus and Gianfranco Matteoli. Rounding off the attack were Aldo Serena, Ramon Diaz and Alessandro Bianchi.
As the game got underway, both sides started cautiously. Neither team pressing higher up the pitch, instead defending deep in their own half and using the front men to apply pressure on opposition center backs as they tried to bring the ball forward.
The midfielders closed down the lanes quickly and forced the attack to build through the wings. Inter pushed forward via Andreas Brehme’s left side to provide width to the attack and look for a Serena and Diaz combination in the middle.
As always, Matthaus was dictating the flow of the Nerazzurri attack and pushing the ball forward through the middle, however, because of the tight spaces one of the two strikers had to drop deep get past the Bologna defenses.
The game remained in the balance through the majority of the first half with Inter retaining possession. The Nerazzurri’s patience in attack was starting to pay dividends. This due to Serena and Diaz’s telepathic partnership in attack coupled with their brilliant ability to anticipate each other’s movements, and was causing Bologna’s defense all sorts of problems.
Benefiting from the extra defensive attention by Bologna on the Nerazzurri’s attacking partnership, Matthaus often found ample space around the edge of the box, completely unmarked. Around the thirty-minute mark, one of his lethal right footed shots from outside the box beat the goalkeeper.
However a defenders diving attempt caught the ball on the hand, awarding the visitors a penalty which was comfortably converted by Matthaus to give Inter a 1-0 lead going into half-time.
In the second half, the Serena-Diaz partnership stole the show. Aldo Serena’s size was a perfect complement to the smaller yet speedy stature of Ramon Diaz. Bologna, looking for the equalizer, committed more men in attack which allowed more space for the wingbacks and attackers to exploit in counter-attacks.
The pace on the wings allowed Inter to transition to attack at blistering pace, often catching Bologna defenders out of position. It didn’t take long for Trapattoni’s men to score their second goal. Which came around the fifty-three-minute mark when, after receiving the cross from the right wing, Serena controlled the ball and headed it in the direction of Ramon Diaz who was completely unmarked, as all defenders had swarmed to Serena to prevent a shot on target.
But the duo didn’t stop there. Being wary of the constant threat from either striker, Bologna defenders were double-teaming Inter strikers, often leaving the others wide open. Just ten minutes after the second goal, as Diaz brought the ball inside the box attracting defenders towards him, he found Serena wide open with only the goalkeeper to beat.
He tucked away the shot to bottom left corner to give Nerazzurri a comfortable 3-0 lead. Being down by three at home didn’t sit well with Bologna and they pressed forward looking for goals to try and crawl back into the match.
However, this approach caused further problems at the back as their defenders were unable to keep up with the constant movements and passes of Serena and Diaz. The partnership led to fourth and fifth goals for the Nerazzurri as both strikers scored two goals each.
As the game was winding down, the imminent loss was weighing on Bologna and the team seemingly had given up and switched off already. Gianfranco Matteoli added a six goal for Inter as he ran all the way from defense to attack completely unmarked and completed the counter-attack by tucking the ball underneath the on-rushing goalkeeper to complete the demolition of Bologna with a resounding 6-0 win away.