Inter Milan faced Juventus knowing they needed the three points to get closer to the Champions League next season. And while they couldn’t accomplish that goal, at the very least they managed to escape with a point against the newly-crowned Serie A champions, Juventus. An early goal from Radja Nainggolan gave Inter an early lead, but The Old Lady equalised thanks to a second-half strike from Cristiano Ronaldo.
Contrary to what anyone could have imagined, Inter were the better side overall. The Nerazurri side had more possession (54% against Juve’s 46%), more shots on goal (six to four) and generated more corner kicks (10-4). Their sense of urgency was clear right from the start, and they opened the score in the seventh minute thanks to Nainggolan. The Belgian blasted an impressive volley from outside the box that sneaked into an impossible angle for Wojciech Szczesny. Inter kept dominating and generated the best chances throughout the entire first half, but they couldn’t increase their tally.
Meanwhile, Juventus looked surprisingly passive on the attacking end. Cristiano Ronaldo looked like the side’s biggest threat, but the Portuguese lacked company during the first 45 minutes. Inter went leading by one into the break, but they could’ve easily added at least one more goal. Mauro Icardi, Stefan de Vrij and Ivan Perisic all had chances. However, no one was able to capitalise them. And Inter would suffer from those inaccuracies in the second half.
Juventus wake up after the break
Juventus showed signs of life after the break, but Inter came firing as well. Perisic had a golden chance to score in the 58th minute but his long-range effort sailed just wide over the goal. Juventus would take advantage of Inter’s mistakes and Ronaldo found the back of the net in the first clear chance he had all game long. Following a beautiful backheel from Miralem Pjanic, Ronaldo blasted a low shot from the edge of the box that left Samir Handanovic helpless. Out of nowhere the game was 1-1, but the scoreline would not move again afterwards.
The final 30 minutes showed a lot of intensity, but neither side created enough to potentially deserve the winning goal. And while Inter will feel they did enough to get the three points, taking a draw against the reigning champions isn’t exactly a bad result. Although the spectrum of how good (or bad) the result will be should be determined once the Sunday matches are over.
Inter: Handanovic (6); D’Ambrosio (5), de Vrij (7), Srkiniar (6), Asamoah (5); Vecino (5), Brozovic (6); Politano (7) (Joao Mario (-), 80′), Nainggolan (7) (Borja Valero (-), 74′), Perisic (7); Icardi (6) (Martinez (-), 82′)
Bench: Padelli (GK), Ranocchia, Cedric Soares, Dalbert, Miranda, Gagliardini, Candreva, Keita Balde
Juventus: Szczesny (6); Joao Cancelo (5), Bonucci (7), Chiellini (6), Alex Sandro (6) (Spinazzola (5), 49′); Cuadrado (5), Pjanic (7), Emre Can (6), Matuidi (5) (Matheus Pereira (-), 86′); Bernardeschi (5) (Kean (5), 60′), Cristiano Ronaldo (7)
Bench: Del Favero (GK), Pinsoglio (GK), Barzagli, De Sciglio, Rugani, Caviglia
Goals: Nainggolan (1-0, 7′), Cristiano Ronaldo (1-1, 62′)
Referee: Luca Banti
Yellow Cards: Perisic (INT); Cuadrado, Chiellini, Kean (JUV)
Red Cards: None
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