Inter are sitting at the top of Serie A because Antonio Conte started prioritising defensive solidity, an Italian media report has argued today.
Tuesday’s papers highlighted the Nerazzurri’s devastating attacking numbers, with Conte’s side set to break various all-time goal-scoring records this season.
Despite this, La Repubblica’s print edition has argued everything started improving for Inter when Conte fixed their defensive problems ahead of the 3-0 win at Sassuolo on November 28.
The report suggested Conte was following the instructions of Italy’s 1982 World Cup-winning coach Enzo Bearzot, who always argued the first rule of success in football was to not concede.
Inter have a water-tight defence now, having conceded just one goal in their last six league matches, which has been pivotal to them opening up a four-point lead over AC Milan at the top of Serie A.
The Nerazzurri had conceded 13 goals in their first eight league games prior to facing Sassuolo, compared to just 11 in the following 15 matches.
Alessandro Bastoni and his growth as a player has been fundamental in this, as has the rebirth of Milan Skriniar and the playmaking abilities of Stefan de Vrij.
The emergence of both Christian Eriksen and Ivan Perisic has also helped Inter out of late with both players having turned things around for themselves at the club in recent weeks.