Five Things We Learned From Inter This Week: “Is Christian Eriksen Finally Starting To Gel With Antonio Conte?”

Five Things We Learned From Inter This Week: “Is Christian Eriksen Finally Starting To Gel With Antonio Conte?”
February 2, 2021 10:30
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After last week’s disappointing 0-0 at Udinese, Inter were keen to seize the initiative against rivals Milan in the Coppa Italia.

A fiery affair at San Siro eventually saw Inter prevail through a last minute Christian Eriksen free kick which allowed Inter to book a semi-final date with Juventus.

In league action, Inter trounced Benevento 4-0 on Saturday night with Romelu Lukaku and finally Lautaro Martinez amongst the goals.

Here is what we learned this week from the boys in blue and black.

1. Is Christian Eriksen Finally Starting To Gel With Antonio Conte?

Christian Eriksen scoring a last minute free kick in the derby on Tuesday evening felt like a watershed moment in his Inter career.

Cometh the hour cometh the man and all that jazz right?

The Dane seamlessly bit stand in keeper Ciprian Tatarusanu and was subsequently mobbed my his teammates.

Seeing how his teammates reacted was almost metaphorical for how everyone at the club has felt towards Eriksen in the sense that they just want him to succeed.

It became clear in Saturday’s game with Benevento that Eriksen’s confidence has seemingly been lifted following his midweek heroics. This can perhaps now be a building block for the Dane to truly kickstart his Nerazzuri career.

In his role as a regista, Eriksen was instrumental in controlling the game and gives Conte an alternative to Brozovic in that role.

Perhaps Inter being short on cash has given Eriksen an unlikely chance at finally making it work at San Siro?

2. The Return Of The Frog

It was good to see Andrea Ranocchia get some game time against Benevento and it is safe to say that he put in an excellent performance.

Seeing the man who was dubbed as one of the club’s great recruitment mistakes during the ‘banter era’ come of age and be a key member of the dressing room is excellent.

Although he may not be playing much, a man of his experience, know how and knowledge of the club is a vital component in Conte’s squad.

Since the arrival of Luciano Spaletti and the emergence of the current back three, the pressure on Rannochia has been lifted greatly so when he does appear in games as a rotation option he rarely puts a foot wrong.

Excellent performance against Benevento from him and so good to see after years of inconsistency.

3. The Proposed Edin Dzeko – Alexis Sanchez Swap Very Illogical

Although this deal seems to be dead in the water for the time being, it is certainly worth touching on given its sheer randomness.

It appears that Edin Dzeko’s time in the capital is up with rumours of a fall out with his manager Paulo Fonseca doing the rounds in the Italian media.

Since Antonio Conte’s arrival at Inter, the Bosnian has been continually linked with the club and it isn’t hard to see why given his great track record and his style of play fitting Conte’s perfectly.

However, at 34 and the prospect of losing Alexis Sanchez, the only player capable of breaking the lines at times, in return is not a good deal.

Andrea Pinamonti being included in the deal as well as a potential cash injection to subsidies wages makes no sense so thankfully this deal falling through for now is a good sign.

Inter are in need of back up for Romelu Lukaku but it makes no sense to give away a player in the style of Alexis Sanchez to do so. Especially when it leaves Inter out of pocket. An alternative must be looked at if the price is right.

But that does not mean Eder!

4. Romelu Lukaku vs Zlatan Ibrahimovic

This mighty battle on Tuesday evening reached boiling point as the two men went at each other’s throats.

An angry verbal tirade between the two as the first half ended saw cautions dished out and social media explode.

This time Lukaku emerged victorious as Ibrahimovic struggled to contain his emotions and was sent off for a lunge on Aleksandar Kolarov which allowed Inter to reverse the scoreline and progress in the Coppa.

It was good to see two gladiators collide and it was even better seeing Lukaku prevail over the eternal Ibrahimovic.

Since his arrival as a replacement for Mauro Icardi, Lukaku has been exemplary for the club and is fast tracking his way to legend status. Wins in key battles like this will only enhance his glowing reputation.

5. Inter Back On The Trail But They Must Not Lose Focus

Inter put behind them the frustration of last week’s draw at Udinese by winning the derby and thumping Benevento.

With Juventus keen for revenge in Coppa action on Tuesday and league wise they have a beleaguered Fiorentina on Friday evening, Inter must not slow down.

Leaders Milan face bottom side Crotone at home before a trip to Spezia, giving them a seismic advantage in terms of fixture difficulty which places the pressure Antonio Conte’s men going into the derby the following week.

With Lazio at home also taking place before the final derby meeting of the season on the 21st, Inter must not let up one bit of they want to reach their goal of silverware.

Times have changed for both Milan clubs but it cannot be that the red side taste Scudetto gold first.

Intensity must be kept up and Conte must use the deep squad which is an advantage they have over their crosstown rivals.

These next two weeks are the most important yet of this season.

By Jake Smalley

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