Inter Milan – Match report vs Juventus 08/03/2020

In a clash that saw 1st play 3rd, Juventus ran out 2-0 winners over Inter Milan in a closely fought battle at the Allianz Stadium. Inter Milan set up in Antonio Conte’s trademark 3-5-2, looking to press Juventus in their 4-3-3 high up the pitch, attempting to win the ball in advanced areas.

A close first half ended in a stalemate, before a scrappy Aaron Ramsey goal in the 54th minute and a brilliant finish by Paulo Dybala in the 67th minute put the game to bed as Juventus look toward winning another Scudetto. Being limited to only one shot on target, Inter really did not produce any clear cut chances throughout the game.

Ratings

  • A1 – Very good, could play higher
  • A2 – Strong potential to play higher
  • B1 – Good, strong player at level
  • B2 – Potential to be strong player at level
  • C – Average for the level, rewatch
  • D – Below average in this match

Alessandro Bastoni

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Italian
  • Age: 21
  • Date of birth: 13/04/1999
  • Current Club: Inter Milan
  • Career: Atalanta (Y), Inter Milan, Atalanta (L), Parma (L)
  • Position: Centre Back
  • Preferred foot: Left

Bastoni started on the left of a back 3, acting as an impromptu left back when Ashley Young attacked. He looked composed on the ball, carrying it forward and attracting pressure before either playing a short pass into a central midfielder or a long sweeping diagonal pass to Antonio Candreva on the right side.

Defensively Bastoni looked astute, reading the play and positioning himself to either apply pressure to the oncoming attacker or intercept any passes going in behind him. The only downside to Bastoni’s defensive style is that he is incredibly aggressive, which could be a positive, however it can sometimes lead to him being bypassed too easily such as Juventus’s second goal. Paulo Dybala played a slick one-two that left Bastoni in the dust allowing the Argentinian to poke to ball into the bottom corner.

At 20 years old Bastoni has a lot of room to grow, however I believe Bastoni could be a top quality left centre back in the future, pairing great defensive prowess with some excellent skills on the ball.

Rating – A2

Milan Skriniar

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Slovakian
  • Age: 25
  • Date of birth: 11/02/1995
  • Current Club: Inter Milan
  • Career: MSK Zilina (Y), Zlate Moravce (L), Sampdoria, Inter Milan
  • Position: Centre Back
  • Preferred foot: Right

Starting on the opposite side to Bastoni, Skriniar was the second part of the defensive trio that also featured Stefan De Vrij. Skriniar provided balance to the aggressive Bastoni, choosing to drop a bit deeper and read the game instead of stepping out to apply pressure.

Skriniar’s ability to read the game and time his tackle is what set him apart in this game, constantly cutting out Juventus’ attacks. When Juventus would attack down his side, he would take a step back, read the play then make his decision as to whether he would apply pressure to the ball or position himself to cut out a future pass. Another facet to this is Skriniar’s ability to recognise space vacated by his teammates and to cover it, plugging a potential gap before it can be spotted by the opposition.

I think it is clear to see why Skriniar is highly sought after by top European clubs, showcasing all of the qualities that are few and far between nowadays even in a defeat.

Rating – A1

Nicolo Barella

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Italian
  • Age: 23
  • Date of birth: 07/02/1997
  • Current Club: Inter Milan
  • Career: Cagliari (Y), Como (L), Cagliari, Inter Milan
  • Position: Centre Midfield
  • Preferred foot: Right

Nicolo Barella started on the left side of a central midfield trio alongside Mattias Vecino and Marcelo Brozovic. This was a quieter game from the Italian, hardly impacting the game at all.

Barella showcased a few good qualities during the game, mostly his defensive work-rate. He constantly found himself supporting Ashley Young and Alessandro Bastoni in the left back position, successfully breaking up Juventus attacks. Getting himself involved defensively, Barella showed that he is an aggressive tackler, throwing himself into tackles and doing everything he can to win the ball back. Sometimes that led to conceding fouls, but most of the time it disrupted the Juve attacks.

As previously mentioned, Barella had a quiet game but showcased that given time he could grow into an excellent defensive midfielder.

Rating – A2

Lautaro Martinez

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Argentinian
  • Age: 22
  • Date of birth: 22/08/1997
  • Current Club: Inter Milan
  • Career: Racing Club, Inter Milan
  • Position: Striker
  • Preferred foot: Right

While Inter Milan struggled to create any real clear cut chances, Lautaro Martinez showed that he possessed all of the rest of the qualities for a top striker other than the finishing touch. Playing on the left of a partnership with Romelu Lukaku, Martinez floated across both sides of the pitch trying to involve himself as much as possible.

The first thing that struck me when watching Martinez is his sheer athleticism. With Inter constantly pressing Martinez showed an excellent ability to accelerate time and time again, doing everything he could to disrupt the Juventus backline. Along with this he showed that he can use his body strength well to protect the ball as well as buying fouls.

Martinez also showed that he can play both ways as a striker, being able to run the channels in behind the defence as well as playing with his back to goal. His ability to drop between the lines and link play was a key part in the few attacks that Inter managed to build. A further quality that he possesses is his movement off the ball, when the ball was at the feet of either wing-back, Martinez always managed to find himself a yard or so of space, even if the ball didn’t find him.

Overall it was obvious that Martinez is a top quality striker, possessing all of the qualities needed to excel at the top level, even if chances were few and far between.

Rating – A1

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