Champions league disappointment at the hands of Real Madrid in midweek gave Inter the opportunity to focus on bouncing back with a win at Atalanta on Sunday afternoon.
Both sides came into the game on the back of defeats in the Champions League and were keen to make amends.
A fraught affair ended in a 1-1 stalemate after Lautaro Martinez’s strike was cancelled out by a first Serie A goal for Russian Alexey Miranchuk.
Here is what we learned from Inter’s trip to Bergamo.
Christian Eriksen Is Surely Gone In January
Despite failing to break down Atalanta for nearly an hour, there was still no sign of Christian Eriksen. Despite having to defend a lead and there being tired legs in the midfield, there was still no sign of Christian Eriksen.
Despite Inter being a team that currently lacks attacking threat and creativity from midfield, there is still no sign of Christian Eriksen.
The signing of Christian Eriksen, based on current trajectory, is perhaps the most bizarre since Caner Erkin.
Inter have on their hands a truly world class player who is proven at the highest level and is fully fit.
They are currently unable to create a number of decent chances in games and he is a player who can solve that.
However, the manager clearly has other ideas and yet another week has passed without any light being shed on Eriksen’s role at the club.
Hopefully Inter can get some money back for his services in the window and or Eriksen’s sake he can go to a club who give him a proper chance.
Matteo Darmian Looked Solid
Mateo Darmian arrived in the summer to little fanfare and more of a roll of the eyes.
He wasn’t in the category of stellar signing but so far, he is doing solidly.
His performance in Bergamo was one of assurance and defensively, he looked very relaxed and in control against what is arguably the league’s hottest attack.
Darmian is clearly better as a standard right back than as a wing-back, similar to D’Ambrosio, as his defensive ability outweighs his attacking ability, but he is more than just filling in.
It has been a really positive start so far from a man who looks like he will be a really useful squad player.
Lautaro Martinez Needs To Now Go On A Run
Lautaro Martinez ended his Serie A goal drought at the weekend and made it two in two for the week after his earlier goal against Madrid in the week.
This should give him a platform to go on a run of goals that his battling performances merit.
With Lukaku readying a return, a return to the goals for Lautaro couldn’t be more timely as Inter look set to enter the toughest spell of the season so far with some must win games now on the periphery.
The Argentine needs goals to breed his confidence and hopefully these two give him chance to kickstart his campaign.
He needs to ear mark Inter’s next Serie A game against struggling Torino as one to boost his tally.
Bastoni, Skiriniar & De Vrij The Best Back 3 Despite Leaking Goals
It was excellent to see Inter field their best three centre halves from the start for the first time all season.
Bastoni brings ball playing assurance, there is no defender more solid than De Vrij in the league and Skriniar plays with the heart of a lion.
Conte, albeit sometimes players need a rest, needs to start these three as much as possible because that could go someway towards addressing Inter’s issue of conceding goals.
Inter have conceded 50% of all the shots that have been on their goal this term and have conceded double what they had at this point last term.
Sure, Samir Handanovic could take responsibility for a portion of that with some soft goals beating him but the big picture is a consistent back four will bring confidence.
If Inter can stop letting in goals at such a rate it would certainly take a load of the manager’s mind and have him focus on the attack.
The Lack Of Tempo In Attack Is Truly Frightening
Inter’s lack of attacking tempo is their biggest achilles heel at the moment.
Their inability to show any conviction in attack, especially without Romelu Lukaku on the field, is a real concern and shows a lack of progression from last term.
Inter’s standard play book seems to be to tap it around the back and then a big lump up to the forwards who struggle to hold it.
The midfield lack any sort of creative guile and struggle to create any sort of openings for the attackers in terms of through balls and playing the wing-backs down the lines.
Without Hakimi starting on Sunday, Inter looked like they had no threat from out wide coupled with a sluggish midfield which led them looking like they had no way of scoring.
Luckily they ended up with something to hold onto through a moment of quality from Ashley Young in providing for Martinez’s header.
Overall, in terms of the big picture Inter really look devoid of the verve and front footed attacking style that gave fans and the press so much hope at times last term.
Perhaps Conte is killing them in training in terms of fitness so they’re tired? Is he playing to cautious?
One thing for certain is that the team need to show more front footedness if they are to beat teams and halt this silly run of draws if they want to show they’re a better team than last year.