Inter have lost some of the defensive solidity which was their calling card under Antonio Conte, having conceded more than a goal a game under Simone Inzaghi this season.
This according to today’s print edition of Milan-based newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport, who argue that the Nerazzurri’s defensive vulnerabilities were on display in Saturday’s 2-2 draw against Atalanta at the San Siro.
Inter had the best defensive record in Serie A last season, with 35 goals conceded in the league the best record of any team and a crucial statistic behind their Scudetto triumph.
Under Conte, possession was not prioritized, and especially in matches against high-quality opposition the Nerazzurri were happy to rely on the individual ability of Romelu Lukaku and Achraf Hakimi to hit teams on the counter-attack while the rest of the team was focused on being difficult to break down close to their own goal.
Conte could rely on the impressive defensive trio of Stefan de Vrij, Alessandro Bastoni, and Milan Skriniar, and his defensive style earned the team their first Scudetto in eleven years.
All three key defenders are still in the team under Inzaghi and have been virtually ever-present this season, but the style of the team has changed around new arrivals and around the former Lazio manager’s ideas which are more oriented towards winning the ball higher up the pitch and playing with possession.
The Gazzetta highlight the fact that when Atalanta visited the San Siro last season, Conte’s team beat them 1-0 with 44% possession in a gritty display, while this season only a point was taken from an end-to-end encounter which saw possession virtually even, and both sides display both their abundant attacking qualities and some shakiness at the back.