Inter Milan’s defenders have been more than a “wall” at the back this season, as coach Simone Inzaghi has made them potent extra attackers.

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

It would be fair to say that Inter’s defenders do their main job well.

The Nerazzurri have played 34 matches this season. And a clean sheet against Atletico Madrid on Tuesday means that they’ve kept their opposition from scoring in 21 of them.

This is of course down to the work of the entire team.

From the pressing of the strikers to the heroics of keeper Yann Sommer when called upon. The coach’s tactical work and the discipline of the midfielders and wide players.

But there is certainly a big role for the defenders.

Inter’s wide defenders have found solutions for many pacey, skilful forwards and wingers. And in the penalty area, the Nerazzurri have rarely been physically outmatched.

Not Just Clean Sheets – Inter Defense Also Extra Attackers Under Inzaghi

As the Gazzetta note, however, Inter’s defenders don’t just keep the opposition quiet.

The Nerazzurri backline also has a vital role in the team going forward.

This has always been a key facet of Inzaghi’s style. The coach used the same 3-5-2 formation at Lazio, and the defenders played a similar role.

Inzaghi’s tactics emphasize the creation of passion combinations with positional overloads. So having defenders enter dangerous spaces is key.

And the 47-year-old had already begun work on this side of the game in his first season in charge of Inter.

Inzaghi has always made use of Alessandro Bastoni’s attacking prowess from the left.

And in two seasons under the ex-Lazio coach, Milan Skriniar became more of an attacking player than ever.

This season, Benjamin Pavard arrived to replace Skriniar. And the Frenchman has proved to be the perfect replacement – an even more natural contributor in attack from the right channel.

Then, the likes of Yann Bisseck and Carlos Augusto have also been key attackers from the defensive lined when they’ve played there this season.

Perhaps most notable of all has been the contributions from the central defenders.

Neither Stefan de Vrij nor Francesco Acerbi are exactly natural attacking players. Both are big, physical defenders with experience and great marking skills.

But under Inzaghi, even those two have had the chance to get forward and affect the attack.

It is not just the wide defenders playing as auxilary fullbacks. The central defenders have been able to step forward and use a pass or dribble to break down the opposition when apt.

And this season, none of this has been at the expense of Inter’s formidable defensive solidity.