Inter secured a 3-0 win over city rivals Milan in the Supercoppa on Wednesday and Richard Hall reflects on what to expect from the Nerazzurri in Serie A after their triumph in Riyadh.
The setting may not have been as hostile and as dramatic as San Siro, however, the Derby Della Madonnina always provides a sense of majesty even when played abroad.
This time, the Supercoppa Italiana was played in Saudi Arabia and the King Fahd International Stadium was at least more modern. It was a night that had more than just the implications of a single game. Yes, this trophy was important but as both Inter and Milan are chasing Napoli in Serie A, this was a match that would give the victors momentum in the domestic campaign.
Both Inter and Milan have won recent Scudetti and with Napoli so far ahead in the table, the teams playing out the Supercoppa were looking to get one up on their city rivals. Of course, the season’s first silverware would be important, but it would also be a huge confidence boost going back into Serie A.
With the trip to Saudi and the rigours of the season, both teams had to make some changes but when the line-ups were announced, both sides looked strong.
Inter scored twice early on, thanks to the ever-improving Federico Dimarco and the never ageing Edin Dzeko. Milan never recovered, and the Nerazzurri scored again late, thanks to poster boy Lautaro Martinez. The win was emphatic and saw Inter do what they have failed to do at points in the season. They started quickly and were not afraid of top-class opposition and what is more important, they were clinical.
The Italian press was as scathing to Milan as they were kind to Inter. ‘Super Inter’, Milan crushed,’ shouted the Gazzetta Dello Sport. ‘King of Cups’ claimed Corriere Dello Sport as they hailed Simone Inzaghi’s fourth win in this competition, also with a headline of ‘Milan Flattened’. Tuttosport led with ‘Inter show’ and claimed ‘Milan crisis’, perhaps somewhat dramatic on all parts, but as you can see, this game was more than just the Supercoppa, it has set the tone for the rest of the campaign and perhaps even more so as the manner of Inter’s victory showed that they look like favourites to chase down Napoli.
For Inter, things are positive. Dimarco, an Inter fan, is really changing the mould of what a modern full-back should be, not only because of the goals and assists he gets whilst still managing to defend. He was immense again against Milan and is a massive asset for the club, he said last night after the game that “The emotion is indescribable. Scoring in the derby, in the final of a Supercoppa, it’s just wonderful,” he told Sport Mediaset. “We had this hunger to win, we proved that on the field tonight with a deserved victory.”
Edin Dzeko was also superb and claimed man of the match, his form continues to impress, and despite being of a certain vintage, his goals have helped a team that has missed Romelu Lukaku. The 36-year-old has provided 11 goals and four assists, prompting Gazzetta Dello Sport to ask the question, ‘Why wait to renew his contract?’
They are right, his decision-making and ability to find space have been tremendous for Inter this term and as his game does not rely on pace, there is a strong argument that he has more years left in him.
Inter are ten points behind Napoli and the next three games for the leading side are (on paper) simple ones. The Nerazzurri will have to pull out performances like the one against Milan from now until the end of the season if they are to catch Luciano Spalletti’s team. However, they are still in the Coppa Italia after beating Parma and they have Porto in the Champions League.
They also have a lot to be optimistic about, with players returning from injury and good squad depth. Perhaps the win in the Supercoppa will give them the belief that this can be a successful season.
One Comment on “What to expect from Inter in Serie A after Supercoppa triumph”
If Napoli get deducted Points, then an open road to the title. Same as during Calciopoli.
The only way they can win.