Inter Milan can no longer hide behind the tag of “underdogs” as they are keeping pace with Man City and Real Madrid this season.

This is the view in today’s print edition of Milan-based newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport, via FCInterNews.

Last season’s run to the Champions League final by Inter came as a surprise to many.

As did the fact that the Nerazzurri went toe-to-toe with Premier League giants Manchester City in that final. Even if it was the Cityzens who prevailed, it was only narrowly in a very even match.

That final changed perceptions – and expectations – for Inter ahead of this season.

But even relative to that, the Gazzetta argues, the Nerazzurri have exceeded all the predictions and assumptions.

No Longer Underdogs – Inter Now On Par With Man City & Real Madrid

Inter have translated the momentum and confidence of reaching last season’s Champions League final into a dominant league campaign.

The Nerazzurri are nine points clear at the top of the Serie A table at the moment. With a game in hand, no less.

And all the numbers bear out the degree to which Inter have been on another level from the rest of the Italian top flight.

The Nerazzurri have an eye-watering +47 goal difference.

The Nerazzurri have kept fifteen clean sheets in Serie A.

And there have been just three draws, and one solitary loss in the league after 24 matches played.

That is form that’s on par with – and in fact even better than – European giants City and Real.

Moreover, as Inter’s impressive round of sixteen first leg win over Atletico Madrid this week underlined, Simone Inzaghi’s team are no longer underdogs in Europe.

The Nerazzurri may have only won that match 1-0. That leaves things reasonably open in the second leg in Madrid.

But the performance was more emphatic than that scoreline suggests, considering the chances that Inter created.

And it means that Inter, along with City and Real, are one of just three teams left unbeaten in the Champions League this season.

There will not be even one team on the continent who will view this Inter side as a kind draw in the Champions League. That is for certain.