Since returning to the Champions League in 2018, Inter Milan have never managed to reach the round of 16. In question, poor performance against supposedly weaker opponents. Can they finally put an end to this famine?
The reception of Sheriff Tiraspol was to be the “easy” game for Inter Milan in this Champions League campaign. But the insane feat of this little Transnistrian club on Real Madrid’s lawn three weeks ago is enough to challenge the Nerazzurri. This type of trap match, Inter Milan has struggled to negotiate since its return to the Champions League, during the 2018-2019 season. However, after an inaugural defeat against Real Madrid and a painful draw in Ukraine against Shakhtar Donetsk, Simone Inzaghi’s men would be well inspired to win on Tuesday to start their European season. Especially since the Nerazzurri have not tasted the round of 16 in this competition since 2012 and an elimination against Olympique Marseille. An eternity for a club of this stature.
It must be said that since 2018, Inter Milan has hit the jackpot. In the group of death three years ago with Tottenham and FC Barcelona then Tottenham again, in 2019, this time accompanied by Borussia Dortmund and finally Real Madrid and Borussia Mönchengladbach last season. Despite everything, 5 small victories in 20 games played in the queen competition for three years is far too little.
And paradoxically, it is the confrontations against the supposedly inferior teams that have cost Inter Milan’s place in the round of 16 in the last three editions. In 2018, Inter Milan failed to beat PSV Eindhoven at home. The following season, Slavia Prague came to hold the Nerazzurri in check at San Siro. Finally, last year, Inter broke their teeth twice at Shakhtar Donetsk (twice 0-0). Rebelote this season against these same Ukrainians. “Shakhtar are an unpredictable team so considering everything we’ve created we should have scored. We hit the crossbar and their goalie made great saves», Declared Simone Inzaghi, after the meeting. In absolute terms, there is no shame in conceding a draw on the lawn of this Ukrainian team, well-established in European games. But Inter Milan, reigning Italian champions, must now be able to impose their law, even against the most eye-catching teams in this competition.
Inter rather well placed in the league
Dominating their opponents, Inter Milan has been doing quite well in the league since the start of the season. Despite the first defeat of the season conceded this weekend against Lazio (3-1), Inter are third in Serie A, behind AC Milan and the untouchable Napoli. While these two teams do better from an accounting point of view, Inter are probably the team with the most content in the game. The Nerazzurri have already scored 23 league goals this season. This is the first time since the start of the 21e century that the Interists present such a total after eight days of the championship.
From a tactical point of view, Simone Inzaghi opts for a 3-5-2, which is essentially the same pattern as that used by her predecessor. But this Inter-there offers a more polished and offensive football than Inter de Conte which relied rather on a game of rapid transition with Lukaku as a fulcrum. The departure of the Belgian towards Chelsea is for the moment perfectly compensated by the Bosnian Edin Dzeko, author of 6 goals in 8 matches of Serie A. ” It’s a very different team but still just as strong. Today she has found another balance that allows her to be as effective even without Lukaku“, Analyzed Gian Piero Gasperini, the coach of Atalanta, also champion of the beautiful game. Defensively, the Nerazzurri kept the Slovak wall Milan Skriniar as well as the experienced De Vrij and the promising Bastoni. Simone Inzaghi’s men therefore have more than enough staff to finally get out of the C1 hens.
A surprising but much inferior opponent
Certainly, Sheriff Tiraspol is at the origin of one of the most violent shocks felt in football Europe in recent years. Seeing Real Madrid fall in their garden facing a club unknown to the general public, few people had prepared for it. It is, however, unlikely that the Moldovans will achieve the double blow. Especially since they benefited from a maximum of success on the lawn of Real Madrid who shot on goal more than 30 times against only 4 attempts on the Tiraspol side. However, mistrust remains on the internal side. “They didn’t win two games by chance. We know that we are going to meet an enthusiastic team that defends low but also knows how to exploit blocks.“, Develops a Simone Inzaghi, aware of the stake:”Tomorrow is a crucial game for us“. Nevertheless, the workforce of the Sheriff, although remarkable for tenacity and solidarity, does not really have enough to make the Nerazzurri shudder for whom victory is the only possible alternative this Tuesday evening.