Welcome back. If you missed part one, please click here. If you did not, please pass go and continue.
Where did we leave it last time?
The last update left Inter recently beaten in the first Milan derby of the season. A match that would draw a lot of character out of manager Gianni Rosabosa and his team. Unusually little changed going into the next match. Which would be the final match of the group stages of the UEFA Champions League. The home tie against Tottenham was a dead rubber because Inter had already qualified out of the group as winners. This tie was used to bleed confidence back into the team. And boy did they bleed. A very astounding 5-0 win against Spurs saw Lemar, Martinez and Lukaku score. Infact Lukaku went on to bag a hattrick. Which is unheard of as far as I am aware
(do not correct me if I am wrong).
The rest of the month would see Inter win 4-1 at home against Parma before the winter break. And then beat Atalanta 2-1 away in a winter break friendly.
Reinforcements and departures.
The winter transfer window was not as quiet as I had hoped. Tottenham came in with a double swoop for Marcelo Brozovic and Lorenzo Pirola. For a combined £69.5m. We had already been sniffing around Serie A for a solid replacement. We made tentative enquiries for Brescia’s Sandro Tonali, but for some reason we somehow could not agree a fee. Yet somehow, we managed to get Sergej Milinkovic-Savic from Lazio instead. For £40m. We also managed to get Durham born Giovanni Reyna from German side Dortmund for £13.75m. The attacking midfielder will bring a bit of Italio-American spirit to the club, like that of the manager.
One night Two nights in Madrid.
The first knockout round of the Champions league saw Inter drawn against Atletico Madrid. With the first leg played at the Wanda Metropolitano. The form had been good leading into this match. Inter had enjoyed an eight match winning streak following the Milan defeat. The loss came in the quarter final of the Coppa Italia. Napoli away was always going to a tough ask. And the question was made tougher by playing some of the youngsters. The good form had continued despite the loss in the cup.
That first night in Madrid.
The match against Atletico at Madrid went on to see Stefano Sensi take centre stage he would score an all important away goal in the 30th minute. A cruel turn of events would see Atletico score in the last minute to equalise.
The second leg back at the Giuseppe Meazza would see the home crowd get behind the Nerazzurri from well before the kick off. The team settled very quickly with De Vrij scoring inside three minutes and Sergej scoring three minutes later. The tie was now in the hands of Inter. Sensi would once again turn the screw and turn the match into his orchestra. Every movement looked to be directed perfectly by the little magician. Sensi himself would score inside 30 mintes and Lukaku would make it four all before half time. The tie would then see Lukaku score another to make it 5-0 on the night and 6-1 on aggregate.
The second night in Madrid.
The second leg of the quarter final would see Inter visit Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu. Inter arrived with a 1-0 lead and knowledge that Raphael Varane was suspended for the match. This was due to him picking up a red card in the previous match.
After a nervy opening 25 minutes for both teams. Inter would break the deadlock following a Thomas Lemar goal. Romulo Lukaku would then double the lead for the night midway through the second half. The with the tie sewn up youngster Simone Rabbi would grab some important first team experience in a big match. Inter would win the tie 3-0 on aggregate.
Momentum can swing in both ways.
The win in that successful night in Madrid would become the fourteen match where Inter had gone unbeaten since the loss against Napoli in the Coppa Italia. The next match and the fifteen would be one of the biggest victories during the 2019/20 season. A 5-0 away win against Sampdoria would see Lukaku score a hattrick along with goals from Stefano Sensi and a goal from young winger Amad Toure. Toure was a £1.3m signing from Atalanta back in the summer. The boy (17 years old at the time) has a bright future.
It also included a 2-0 away win against Juventus, albeit earlier in the streak. This match would see Inter leapfrog Juventus at the top of the table and see Juventus have a mini wobble.
The eighteenth unbeaten match in a streak of twenty would see Inter win 1-0 away to Juventus in the Semi final of the Champions League. Lemar would score the goal to sink the zebra of Turin.
Derby day can bring such colour to a city.
The second Milan derby match of the season would be the filler of all fillers in the Semi Fianl sandwich of meeting and beating Juventus. But this was no ordinary Derby day. This match could see Inter crown themselves as Champions of Serie A. The battle at the Giuseppe Meazza (not the San Siro) saw both teams throw blow after blow at each other. Nico Barella was the warrior who would take a chance and see it slay the red side of Milan. His goal would also bring the title to the Nerazzurri.
Apart from the Parma match which came out of the blue. The domestic league form would continue to be strong.
Strong hand in Istanbul.
I never believed that I would get to the champions league final in my first season at Inter. Yes, the squad was strong, but I still felt we lacked a bit of depth and quality to succeed in the latter stages of the competition. We rode a crest of luck against a defensively sound Juventus and somehow blew both Madrid teams apart. The final would see Rosabosa’s Inter take on Tuchel’s PSG. This PSG side oozed quality in the starting eleven but for some reason lacked any shade of obvious talent on the bench.
Rosabosa went on record to say before kick off on final day that he felt his side could win but he felt his side needed luck to go toe to toe for the 90 minutes. And that if they pushed PSG to extra time then Inter would emerge victorious.
Needless to say, the match was a very even affair. And neither side found luck or an opening to score during the 90 minute. Both sides would see their defences showing that neither side were prepared to lose. The 30 minutes in extra time was no different. Penalties in Istanbul. That has a distinct ring and familiarity.
Martinez, Lemar and Eriksen would all score for Inter. Cavani, Mbappe and Veratti did not score for PSG. Handanovic would prove to be the difference. Which would mean Inter would get their “hands” on the cup.
Is it the end of the season or the beginning of the next?
The date is 30/05/2020. Gianni Rosabosa is speaking to the media. “This has to be a foundation. A starting point we can build upon.” Gianni goes on to say “At home, we will see Juventus regroup and become stronger. We at Inter need to be ready for their response. In Europe, we have to show that this was not a fluke”. “Our scalp is now more prominent. We have to raise our game and be ready to play like champions”
Join me, Gianni and the Inter team next time as we build for the future. Ciao for now! Enjoyed this post? Check out other Football Manager content at Dictate the Game .