Inter will head into the upcoming international break still unbeaten after Marcelo Brozovic’s first half double led his side to a tough 2-1 victory against newly promoted Benevento at Stadio Ciro Vigorito on Sunday.
Inter started the encounter on the front foot as an unlikely source gave the Nerazzurri the lead in the 19th minute. Marcelo Brozovic nodded home uncontested from Antonio Candreva’s cross to score his first goal of the season.
The Croatian international then doubled his tally and his side’s lead three minutes later with an exceptional free kick into the top-right corner.
The Stregoni struck back minutes before the interval through bright spark Marco D’Alessandro to score their first home goal since promotion to Serie A.
Despite a more end-to-end second half, Inter made sure they left the encounter with all three points to continue their unbeaten start to the season.
Benevento still in search for first points
Despite troubling Inter throughout the match, Benevento came up short yet again, as they stay rooted to the bottom of Serie A without a single point.
It has been a very difficult start to the season for the newly promoted side as they have had to deal with injuries and their captain Fabio Lucioni failing a drugs test.
The home side created most of its chances when falling 2-0 down as it managed to strike the bar before D’Alessandro got it back into the match.
D’Alessandro caused Inter problems with his skill and pace, and his good performance saw him score Benevento’s first home goal of the campaign.
The international break comes at a much needed time for the Stregoni, who clearly need to address multiple areas before they tackle Hellas Verona in a couple weeks.
Spotlight on Brozovic
So far this campaign, it has been either Mauro Icardi or Ivan Perisic stealing the headlines, but in this match, Brozovic made the difference for the Nerazzurri.
The Croatian put in a man of the match display operating in that No.10 role that so far has not been cemented.
Spalletti has rotated between using Joao Mario and Brozovic in that position, but after that standout performance, the 24-year-old looks to be the better option.
Bar his two goals, he was also creating chances, as he slipped in a cute through ball for captain Icardi in the first half but the Argentine was ruled offside.
The midfielder’s biggest problem has always been consistency. While it is obvious he is very talented on the ball and can pop up with an impressive goal from time to time, he needs to put in similar performances on a regular basis.
Mario to replace Candreva?
Although Candreva provided an assist for Brozovic’s first goal, his performances so far this season have been sub par.
Mario replaced the Italian international in the 52nd minute after it looked like the winger picked up an injury during play.
Too many times crosses are being delivered into the box without any real quality and it seems that there is not much else to the Italian’s game at this current moment.
If the 30-year-old does not improve his performances, it is likely that Spalletti could call upon Mario to start on the right hand side.
The Portuguese international played his trade out on the right side at his former club Sporting Lisbon, while also playing in that position for Portugal.
Spalletti will have time to think about this option over the course of the international break before his side’s big clash with AC Milan in the Derby della Madonnina.