Inter Milan took a giant leap towards playing in their first Champions League final in over a decade and are asking themselves: do we dare to dream?
A masterful display against local rivals AC Milan saw Simone Inzaghi’s men win 2-0 to take a huge advantage into the second leg which will also be Inter Milan‘s home tie.
Adding to the success in Europe was also a win over Roma in Rome to keep their charge for the top four on track too.
Here are the key takeaways from Inter’s week.
1) Do We Dare To Dream?
Inter’s season has been truly pazza.
Double figur league losses, including defeats to the likes of Spezia, Empoli and Monza, have seen Simone Inzaghi‘s position as coach put under severe pressure.
To balance their horrendous league form, Inter have made it to a second successive Coppa Italia final, won the Supercoppa and now find themselves just 90 minutes away from the Champions League final.
Their recent form over the last half a dozen games has been excellent and they really couldn’t have asked for a better time to hit the straps and show up.
Do we dare to dream?
2) Alessandro Bastoni Colossal
Alessandro Bastoni is still a player learning game by game. Having just turned 24, it is easy to forget just his young he is.
His form since Inter’s Scudetto win hasn’t quite been perfect and he has even seen himself relegated to the bench at times.
On Wednesday evening, he was absolutely at his best.
He was sublime in the tackle, carried the ball excellently and gave Junior Messias zero pocket change.
Bastoni when on this form is a truly outstanding player. He is truly the complete package of a modern defender.
3) Henrikh Mkhitaryan Repaying Simone Inzaghi’s Faith
A player who was seen as being perhaps past his best when he arrived this summer is certainly having an Indian summer.
The Armenian former Roma attacking midfielder has been given real faith by Simone Inzaghi and his excellent performance against Milan showed real repayment of that.
Not too long ago it would’ve been very hard to imagine an Inter side without Marcelo Brozovic playing from the start which is also further credit to Mkhitaryan as he has been able to keep the Croat out the side even since Marcelo’s return from injury.
His goal could make him an immortal figure among the Curva should Inter make the final and do we dare to dream much less say it, even further.
4) Nicolo Barella Proving Inter Milan Chose Right
At one stage, Inter were looking to sign Sandro Tonali from Brescia.
Whilst Antonio Conte preferred to sign an ageing and past his best Arturo Vidal to partner the already emerging Nicolo Barella, Tonali has gone on to establish himself with rivals Milan.
It is without doubt that you can clearly state that Barella and Tonali are the most talented Italian midfielders in their age range but Inter certainly have the better of the two.
Tonali is a good footballer but Barella’s ability to impact games and grab them by the scruff of the neck sets him apart.
His passion and drive is unmatched and when up against each other directly as they were on Wednesday it was clear to see that Inter were better off to have Barella in their ranks.
5) Simone Inzaghi A Clutch Coach?
Carlo Ancelotti has won the Champions League with both Milan and Real Madrid on multiple occasions yet his league record isn’t quite sublime with him only winning five league titles in his entire career as a coach.
Is Simone Inzaghi perhaps the second coming of this man?
His ability to get a team up for a clutch game is unmatched and in his second season at Inter it has perhaps gone a notch further.
With a Coppa Italia in his pocket already and two Supercoppa titles, the former Lazio coach could well have another Coppa and dare we say it even a Champions League trophy to add to his ridiculous knockout cup collection.
Whilst the latter is very premature given there is still a huge 90 minutes to come before Inter can even contemplate a final, Inzaghi’s record in cup competitions is simply a joke.
With a knockout win ratio in his career of over 75%, is there a concrete argument now that this man deserves a go at Inter next year regardless of what happens between now and the end of the season?
Whilst serious budgetary constraints must be taken into consideration, who do you feel is most likely to take the job and who would you want?