Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Inter Milan 1-1 Napoli: What Were The Main Talking Points As The Nerrazzuri Are Forced To Settle For A Point At The San Siro?

Tom Dunstan in Editorial, Serie A 17 Mar 2024

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Although Inter Milan might have been seeking an immediate response on Sunday night, the Nerrazzuri were forced to settle for a late 1-1 stalemate at the San Siro.

Crashing out of the Champions League in midweek and suffering real European heartbreak, it appeared that Simone Inzaghi’s side were firmly on course to making it 11 Serie A victories on the bounce.

With ex-Manchester United defender Matteo Darmian opening the scoring just moments before the half-time break, Inter dominated large spells here.

However, although Inzaghi’s men might still hold a remarkable 14-point buffer at the top of the Serie A table, Inter suffered more late frustration as Juan Jesus headed home from close range with just nine minutes left on the clock.

Missing out on what they had billed as a golden opportunity to make a statement against the defending champions, Inter should be relishing a fortnight break over March’s international break.

In a showdown between two Italian icons, we have taken a look at the main talking points from Sunday’s battle at the San Siro.

A week to forget for Inter

Crowned Super Cup champions back on January 22nd as they clinched a 1-0 victory against Napoli out in the Middle East, Inter Milan were certainly smelling the chance to make another statement here.

However, although Inzaghi’s men might have dominated large spells and been unlucky not to have left that San Siro with maximum points, they have certainly endured a week to forget.

Although Sunday’s hosts might have suffered Champions League final heartbreak against Manchester City last season as the English giants got their hands on a maiden European crown, Inter were tipped to mount another genuine charge this time around.

Despite arriving at Atletico Madrid holding a slender 1-0 lead following a first-leg victory at the San Siro, the former Lazio boss saw his high-flying squad suffer a major Champions League collapse on foreign soil.

Hit with penalties frustration in the Spanish capital and missing out on the chance to book a quarter-final ticket, Inzaghi had been hoping that his squad would be able to claim an immediate response here.

The Nerrazzuri are still cruising to another domestic crown

While Inter Milan might have suffered a downbeat week at the San Siro, the Nerrazzuri have embarked on a remarkable domestic flurry this season.

Although Inzaghi’s side might have eventually had to settle for a bronze medal finish among Italy’s elite last year, Sunday’s hosts are cruising their way to a history-making 20th Serie A crown.

Despite being disappointed here as they were forced to settle for a 1-1 stalemate, Inter head into March’s international break holding a stunning 14-point buffer over the chasing pack.

Suffering just a single defeat from any of their 29 Serie A appearances this season and dropping points on just five occasions, the runaway leaders have also broken plenty of records.

Relishing an extended break over the next fortnight, Inter will be next seen on April 1st when they welcome relegation scrappers Empoli to the San Siro.

Napoli have a real battle on their hands in the European chase

While Napoli might have made real history last season as they secured a first Serie A crown since 1990, the defending Italian champions have come crashing back down to earth this time around.

Although the Azzurri might have turned to new boss Francesco Calzona last month in an attempt to steady the ship in Naples, Sunday’s guests have come under increasing scrutiny.

Heading into March’s international break remarkably sat 31 points adrift of Inter Milan in this year’s title chase, Napoli also have a real uphill battle on their hands in order to punch another crucial European ticket in 2024.

Watching their Champions League adventure come to an end in midweek as they suffered a 4-2 aggregate defeat against Spanish heavyweights Barcelona, Calzona’s squad have only continued to show a string of glaring inconsistencies this season.

Winning just a trio of their previous 12 appearances across all competitions – a run that stems back to January 13th – Napoli face another stern examination when they welcome Atalanta to the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona following March’s interval.

Match Report

Inter Milan: Sommer, Pavard, Acerbi, Bastoni, Dimarco, Mikhitaryan, Calhanoglu, Barella, Darmian, Thuram, Martinez

Subs: Dumfries, Sanchez, Frattesi, Bisseck, Buchanan

Napoli: Meret, Di Lorenzo, Rrahmani, Juan Jesus, Olivera, Traore, Lobotka, Anguissa, Politano, Raspadori, Kvaratskhelia

Subs: Simeone, Rui, Ngonge, Lindstrom, Cajuste

Goals: Inter Milan: Darmian (43’) – Napoli: Juan Jesus (81’)

Yellow Cards: Inter Milan: Pavard, Barella – Napoli: Lobotka

Red Cards: N/A

Referee: Federico La Penna

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom has spent the past six years as one of our senior writers and betting experts. Alongside working with numerous publications from across the globe, Tom also graduated from the University of Falmouth in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Digital Media.
Spending almost the past decade working in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada, he has also spent time featuring in sports radio. Tom can be followed on Instagram - @iamtomdunstan

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