Midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan once again showed how important he is for Inter Milan with his display against Empoli yesterday.

This is the view in today’s print edition of Rome-based newspaper Corriere dello Sport, via FCInterNews. The newspaper deem the Armenian to be an “irreplaceable” cog in the Nerazzurri machine.

Mkhitaryan did not grab the headlines with a man of the match goalscoring performance yesterday as he had done against AC Milan in the derby the previous weekend.

However, that should not detract from any assessment of the 34-year-old’s contribution.

The veteran former Roma, Arsenal, and Manchester United midfielder played a key role in keeping Inter ticking over.

Against a fired-up and energetic Empoli team, Mkhitaryan provided the element of composure that the Nerazzurri needed most.

Time and time again, the Armenian got his foot on the ball with the right touches to keep the tempo of the match at Inter’s tempo. And he also showed his eye for a dangerous pass on several occasions.

Mkhitaryan Key For Inter Vs Empoli – Along With Calhanoglu

Mkhitaryan was a decisive element in the midfield battle for Inter yesterday at the Stadio Carlo Castellani.

But the 34-year-old was not the only one in this respect.

Holding midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu also had a virtually flawless outing on his return to the team from injury.

Like Mkhitaryan, Calhanoglu did not pop up with any goals or assists on the day. But he hardly needed to.

The Turkish international showed his full range of passing all match long, and used it intelligently to set a tempo that largely kept Empoli at arms length.

For the Corriere, both of Mkhitaryan and Calhanoglu were worth 7/10 scores for their performances.

The experienced pair helped Davide Frattesi settle in during his first ever start for Inter. It may have just been business as usual, but there’s no reason to underestimate that.