Matias Vecino’s late strike salvaged his Inter team a point in a 1-1 draw with AS Roma at the San Siro on Sunday night.
The Giallorossi broke the deadlock just after the half hour mark courtesy of Stephan El Shaarawy. The Italian took advantage of Davide Santon not dealing with a long ball being played over the top of the defence to beautifully dink his effort over the onrushing Samir Handanovic.
After going behind, Inter had to come out more aggressive in the second half – and that they were. The home side’s captain Mauro Icardi came very close to levelling the scores, but his effort was denied by the post with just over 15 minutes remaining.
However, the Nerazzurri’s pressure finally cracked the visitng defence, with Vecino heading in substitute Marcelo Brozovic’s brilliant cross from close range in the 86th minute.
The 1-1 score line means Luciano Spalletti’s team have now gone six league games without a victory and drop to fourth in the league table. Eusebio Di Francesco’s team’s form is not much better, having not gained victory in their last five encounters across all competitions.
Roberto Gagliardini very poor in midfield
In the first 45 minutes, Inter failed to really get into any sort of rhythm and it certainly did not help them when Gagliardini was seen giving the ball away countless times in the middle of the pitch.
When receiving the ball from his centre-backs, his positioning was poor. Roma midfielders were able to be right on the Italian’s first touch and gain possession back easily for their side.
Brozovic replaced the 23-year-old at half-time and the change definitely had an effect on the team.
The midfielder’s place in the starting XI is certainly under threat now and this is not the first time the Inter faithful have been accustomed to these sort of performances from their young midfielder.
Di Francesco’s tactical change punished
With just over 15 minutes remaining, Di Francesco elected to take off goal scorer and attacker El Shaarawy and replace him with defender Juan Jesus.
This meant Roma had no interest in trying to get a second goal and put five at the back to see out the game.
However, in doing this they invited attacks upon themselves and Inter certainly pilled on the pressure until the final whistle.
Inter were afforded more space to look up and get deliveries into the box, giving them the opportunity to punish Di Francesco’s change of tactics.
It was definitely a game of attack against defence in the latter stages of the second half and ultimately, the away side just could not hold on as Vecino found space in the Roma backline to score the all-important equaliser.
Both sides enduring poor run of form
Despite the entertaining match between the two Italian giants, it does not help either side’s cause in trying to cement their places to qualify for Champions League football next season.
The Giallorossi have not won since December when they defeated Cagliari at the Stadio Olimpico. Since then the side have not gained victory in their last five matches and a win over Inter would have seen them level on points with a game in hand to overtake Spalletti’s team.
Di Francesco’s men will look to get back to winning ways against Sampdoria Wednesday night.
Like their opponents, Inter have also not won a league match since December. Spalletti’s 16 match unbeaten start to the season seems a distant memory as his team have now reached six league matches without a win, scoring only three goals in that stretch. The San Siro club have also dropped to fourth in the table courtesy of Lazio’s fine form, which has seen them go ahead of them into third.
The time for Spalletti to change things around starts with their next fixture away against relegation battlers SPAL this coming Sunday. This is a real opportunity for Inter to gain back ground on leaders Napoli and Juventus as they look forward to games against SPAL, Crotone, Bologna, Genoa and Benevento. Spalletti cannot afford to drop any more points from these matches if they have aspirations of challenging the league frontrunners, but more importantly it would help their cause in trying to tie down Champions League qualification.