Inter headed into their penultimate week of the season with the slightest sniff of the Scudetto. Fiorentina and Genoa stood in their way and they knew that any dropped points would allow Juve to win the title with two games to spare.
A frustrating 0-0 draw with La Viola at San Siro in midweek did the damage as even an emphatic 3-0 win in Genoa couldn’t stop Juventus lifting the title this weekend as they defeated Sampdoria 2-0 at the Allianz Stadium.
The draw with Genoa allowed Juve two more points to play with and despite them losing to Udinese, a seven point lead with two games left gave them the title.
With Napoli and Atalanta left to play for Inter it will be interesting to see if their approach switches to the upcoming Europa League.
Here’s what we learned this week from Inter.
Double Digit Draws Against Weaker Opposition Cost Inter The Title
Inter’s draw with Fiorentina was their tenth in the league this term.
The draw with the bottom half side wasn’t anything new as Inter have failed to finish off Cagliari, Lecce and Parma as well as conceding late equalizers to Sassuolo and to Fiorentina themselves in Florence.
It is impossible to expect perfection every game especially in a fragmented season in which since the restart the team have been playing pretty much every three days. However, if this team is to evolve, next season they must be stronger in finishing these games off if they are to go one better and achieve their target of winning the Scudetto.
Alexis Sanchez’s Passion Being Brought Into Question
For the second time in the last couple of games, Alexis Sanchez has been picked up on camera laying into Roberto Gagliardini and Antonio Candreva.
The Chilean has been seen on camera barking orders and complaining at the pair for shooting or misplacing passes which has brought up a debate among Inter fans of whether this is a good thing.
Having a go at your team mates is a strange topic. On TV it is 100% clear what is being said so it’s hard to read whether or not it’s being said in a harsh way or as a way of encouragement.
Also, it can be argued that it raises standards in the squad as no player wants to be called out by their teammates.
All in all, Sanchez has been Inter’s best player since the restart and on occasions when this has happened he has had a point, particularly when Candreva hit a 30 yard shot instead of playing a simple pass.
As long as it isn’t malicious there is nothing wrong with showing frustration and getting riled up as it shows passion and keeps your teammates on their toes.
Is Getting Sandro Tonali The Most Key Bit Of Business This Summer?
Sandro Tonali would be a signing for the future as well as now.
Inter are heavily touted as favourites for the Brescia midfielder’s signature and it seems 100% certain that he won’t be staying to help Brescia in what looks like Serie B next term.
The club’s owner Massimo Cellino also revealed he has promised Tonali he could leave in the summer should the right offer come in.
Milan have also been linked with the highly rated youngster but is he really worth going all in for?
A left sided wing back must be Inter’s priority with Ashley Young the wrong side of 30 and out of contract and Kwadwo Asamoah seemingly not in Conte’s plans.
The midfield is also stacked already but perhaps allowing Roberto Gagliardini, Borja Valero and Matías Vecino to depart could create room for Tonali.
Tonali has been talked of as being a once in a generational midfield talent and it’s no doubt that he has been excellent in his debut Serie A season despite playing for a side starting at relegation.
However, Inter need to sort the wing back situation first and could do with sanctioning a few more midfield departures before adding to the engine room.
Squad Rotation In The Last Couple Of Games?
Napoli and Atalanta aren’t the easiest final two fixtures.
Napoli have been strong since the restart following their Coppa Italia win and Atalanta are wanting to finish second.
Antonio Conte, despite claiming that it didn’t matter where Inter finished, won’t want to finish fourth but he must surely have one eye on the upcoming Europa League next month.
Inter are guaranteed Champions League football next term and they also have a real chance of winning the Europa League so perhaps tinkering with his side could help Antonio Conte keep players fresh.
Winning The Europa League Would Cap Off A Season Of Progress
A lot of discussion over the last few weeks has been of whether or not Inter have progressed this season.
When Antonio Conte replaced Luciano Spalletti last summer and signed the likes of Romelu Lukaku and Nicolo Barella, big things were expected.
A flying start was halted by Juventus and Gonzalo Higuain and a poor draw at home to Slavia Prague saw Inter’s Champions League campaign fall at the group stage again.
Inter have secured their return to Europe’s elite competition and also had a stab at the Scudetto which they haven’t done for a number of years but one feels that winning the Europa League would be concrete demonstration of real progress.
Inter have a proud history in the tournament when it was known as the UEFA Cup and their frustration at departing last year’s competition early to Frankfurt will want to be avenged.
Inter also will improve their coefficient with a strong performance in the tournament which would allow them easier draws in the Champions League which they can certainly say they haven’t had the last two campaigns.
Inter should go all in on winning the tournament as it would bring much needed silverware and point towards the season as being a success.