For how they played and, above all, how they returned to play after a three month stop, Inter and Atalanta would be entirely worthy of being compared to the word scudetto. Unfortunately for the Goddess twelve points of detachment are too many. But Inter, now less than six, is not at all cut off from the sprint for the title. The reasons are at least three.The first: Inter, who got rid of Sampdoria in just over half an hour to drop after the hour of play, is used to starting strong, has an easy schedule and most likely he will steal points from both Juventus and Lazio, which starts again from Atalanta in Bergamo.
The second: Conte and his team deserved the Coppa Italia final which, 90 percent, would have won against a semi-ghostly Juventus, showing that they were better prepared than the Bianconeri from a physical-athletic point of view.
The third: the conditions of the leaders, between injuries and out of shape players, are such as to make you think that you can stumble at every game. Furthermore, the direct clash with Lazio is destined to offer other advantages.
Inter Milan, therefore, that I saw running even after the defeat of Turin, is proposed as a third uncomfortable well knowing that the specialty of Contefar from being the dry game (he lost twice with Juventus and once with Lazio), it is continuity. All the more so if the section to be traveled is less long than the outward or return leg.
Against Sampdoria the nerazzurri were without Brozovic, Sensi and Vecino, that is, of an essential midfield (the Croatian) and two very valid alternatives. Conte, not only did he not lose heart, but – as already seen in the Italian Cup – he built his team to put Eriksen in the best condition. So Gagliardini and Barella became the medians in front of the three-way defense, the outsiders (Candreva and Young) constantly raised almost to the level of the Dane, able to dialogue the ball on the ground with his attacking companions (Lukaku and Young).
It was no coincidence that the first goal came from a great Inter action, after just ten minutes, with an essential exchange Lukaku-Eriksen-Lukaku, useful to definitively open the badly positioned defense against Blucerchiata (Ranieri started with the 3-5-1-1 to move to 4-5-1 at 35 ‘).
In truth, Skriniar had contributed to the construction of the maneuver with a vertical launch in Lautaro and the Argentine who got rid of the opponent by serving Lukaku with a heel strike.
All very beautiful and all very easy, also because, beyond the Interistic merits, it must be underlined – as Lele Adani masterfully did on Sky – that Sampdoria totally missed the ultra-offensive pressing, allowing Inter to restart.
Inter, even before the second goal and, therefore, well before suffering the hint of a comeback from Ranieri’s men, he was wrong to have fun without affecting the game too much. In fact, although there is only one team on the field, the only two serious occasions to double were only by Candreva (shot on 26 ‘) and Lukaku (high shot on 28’).
The second goal therefore came late (33 ‘), but the wait was fully justified by the beauty of the maneuver conducted on the horizontal axis Lukaku, Candreva, Lautaro called to score by two steps.
Game closed for everyone, even more if we consider that Eriksen, at the beginning of the second half, penetrated the area, attracted Audero to the near post and served Lukaku who, as the great Brera would write, disproportionately out.
Shortly after (52 ’) Sampdoria scored. On a corner that should have been harmless, de Vrij left too much space for Colley’s header and, on the post Thorsby, lost by Gagliardini, has put in.From that moment, although not substantially changing, the game offered Sampdoria a theoretical draw. Ranieri smelled it and returned to the three-way defense to push with the outsiders. However, the ball remained almost always at Inter and Eriksen, for me the best, invented an opportunity kicking a ball from right to lap that sent Audero into confusion. Then in the final, with substitutions completed and with the rhythm that has dropped to peak, Moses (who took over from Candreva) missed a comfortable pass close to the door for Sanchez (substitute of Lautaro).
To say that Inter suffered in the final game is certainly too much (a shot out and a free kick rejected by Handanovic, the production of Sampdoria), even if in such situations, the killer’s shot must never be overlooked. Indeed, predicting that the energies would fail, it had to be anticipated without too much delay.
Gol: 10 ’Lukaku, 33’ Lukaku; 7 ‘s.t. Thorsby
Assist: 10 ’Eriksen, 33’ Candreva
Inter: Handanovic; Skriniar, de Vrij, Bastoni; Candreva (from 28 ‘s.t. Moses), Gagliardini, Barella, Young (from 28’ s.t. Biraghi); Eriksen (from 36 ‘s.t. Borja Valero); Lukaku, Lautaro (from 38 ‘s.t. Sanchez).
Sampdoria: Audero; Bereszynski, Yoshida, Colley, Murru; Thorsby, Bertolacci (from 37 ‘s.t. Vieira), Linetty (from 37’ s.t. Askildsen); Ramirez (from 24 ‘s.t. Depaoli), Jankto (from 24’ s.t. Leris); La Gumina (from 31 ‘s.t. Bonazzoli).
Ammonites: Bertolacci (S), Lautaro (I), Thorsby (S), Gagliardini (I), Vieira (S)
Referee: Maurizio Mariani (of the Aprilia Section)