Inter Milan striker Marko Arnautovic had a mixed evening against Lecce, with some missed chances but a glorious backheel assist.
The good and the bad balanced out in the player ratings for the match across Italian media, as highlighted by L’Interista.
Arnautovic started on Saturday evening in the absence of Inter captain Lautaro Martinez, out with an injury.
The Austrian had already started against Bologna in the Coppa Italia during the week.
That Coppa match had seen Arnautovic start alongside Martinez. On Saturday, it was French international Marcus Thuram who the former West Ham United and Stoke City veteran partnered.
Arnautovic had a fairly clear brief.
The 34-year-old used his physicality, height, and tactical understanding to act as a focal point for the Nerazzurri’s attack.
And Arnautovic did manage this. Against a couple of very strong defenders in Federico Baschirotto and Marin Pongracic, the Inter striker did not lose his battle.
The Austrian won a couple of important fouls and was able to find teammates when he won the ball.
Mixed Evening For Marko Arnautovic Vs Lecce
Arnautovic was not just on the pitch for holdup play, though. Ultimately, the 34-year-old also had the task of scoring goals, as the striker.
And Arnautovic was not able to do that.
It was not as though there weren’t chances for the Austrian to find the back of the net.
Inter created quite a few opportunities. Arnautovic also had the right movment and runs to get on the end of a few of them.
But whenever the striker would get in a good position, he fluffed his lines.
But this did not mean that there was no end product from Arnautovic.
The 34-year-old did manage to assist midfielder Nicolo Barella for Inter’s second goal.
Moreover, he did so with a brilliant bit of invention – a perfectly weighted backheel that was straight into the midfielder’s path, bamboozling the Lecce defenders.
There may not have been a goal from Arnautovic. But he did find a way to be decisive in the end.