It is no wonder that Roberto Mancini has such a strong record when it comes to domestic Cup competitions, the 10-time Coppa Italia winner- six as player, four as Coach – fielded one of his strongest Inter XIs at San Siro last night.
In doing so, he also debuted what Nerazzurro fans will btt娱乐场e hoping to become the new look Inter front line, as Lukas Podolski and Xherdan Shaqiri started alongside Mauro Icardi, with Mateo Kovacic playing just behind these three in a 4-2-3-1 formation.
Ever since the marquee signings at the start of this month, the general consensus was that the two ex-Bayern Munich players should start either side of the frontman, with Kovacic playing behind. Immediately against Sampdoria, Inter had a more attacking feel to them and looked to take the impetus.
Just 10 minutes into the game, Shaqiri found Icardi through on goal on the counter-attack forcing Nenad Krsticic to bring down the Argentine. The subsequent red card was a bit harsh, but it could be easily argued either way. As expected the Blucerchiati got a lot tighter being down to 10 men.
For a few years now in such s赌场注册网址ituations, Inter have failed to take advantage. One of the main reasons for that has been the lack of creativity through the middle ever since the departure of Wesley Sneijder. Time and time again, the Serpenti have run out of ideas while attempting to break down stubborn defences.
This seemed to be the case once more after the sending off, but as the game wore on the front four got used to playing with each other and began to exploit gaps. Icardi’s missed penalty meant that the game was still tied at half-time, but once into the second period it was one-way traffic with Inter creating recurring opportunities.
One of the main things to note was the movement of the full-backs throughout the game. Dodo and Danilo D’Ambrosio got forward often and the former in particular had a very good game after having been benched for the previous few. He won the penalty in the first half and was very good on the overlap providing Podolski options out wide.
In the middle the partne永利网投rship of Gary Medal and Zdravko Kuzmanovic did well to contain Samp’s limited attacks. But it remains to be seen how they manage against more formidable opposition not hampered by being a man down. Mancini was keen to stress on this: “I think we can do even better. Once the team is more compact they'll be able to play with even more quality.”
It is no surprise then that Inter are eager to recruit in this area. Mario Suarez was thought to be a target but he seems likely to stay at Atletico Madrid. Lucas Leiva is the other man who Mancini has talked about, but doubts remain over his departure from Anfield as well. The last name that has been linked is Thiago Motta, but sealing a return of the Italy international seems an even more complex operation.
Nonetheless the performance against a Sampdoria side that is riding high in joint-third spot was certainly encouraging after the dour display seen at Empoli on the weekend. The Ko-Po-Sh-Ic connection is vital for Inter’s hopes for this season and also in ensuring that the team returns to playing attacking football for the first time since the departure of Leonardo in 2011.
it will all be about consistency, and with some relatively easier fixtures on the horizon, Mancini will be looking to kick-start this Nerazzurri side for the second-half of the season.