Milan Skriniar and Stefan de Vrij were the only positives as Inter Milan were held to a goalless draw by Udinese at Stadio Friuli on Saturday.
Coming into the match on the back of the big win over Juventus last weekend, expectations were naturally high from visitors Inter Milan. However, Udinese defended diligently and apart from a rare giveaway in the first half, which fell to Lautaro Martinez, who had his shot saved brilliantly by Juan Musso, the Zebrette hardly gave an inch.
In fact, there were times when it looked like Udinese could break the deadlock, but the game eventually petered out to a goalless draw. It ended up being a big missed opportunity for Inter Milan, who could have gone level on points with AC Milan following the Serie A leaders’ 3-0 loss to Atalanta. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Antonio Conte’s men.
Samir Handanovic: 6/10
In what was one of the easiest outings of the season for Handanovic, he was forced into just the one regulation save all evening by Udinese. Misplaced just one of the 20 passes all game, mostly keeping things simple when playing out of the back.
Milan Skriniar: 7/10
A solid effort by Skriniar, who kept Kevin Lasagna quiet throughout the game. Won 4 of the 5 duels he contested, but the majority of the night was spent in building up play from the back, something he excelled at completing 91 per cent of the 111 passes he attempted while being majorly camped in the Udinese half.
Stefan de Vrij: 7/10
Much like Skriniar, de Vrij produced a professional display, keeping the backline organised while also being precise with the ball at his feet. The Dutchman lost possession just five times, completing 95 of the 100 passes he attempted. Imperious in the air, in particular, de Vrij won each of the 4 aerial duels he contested.
Alessandro Bastoni: 5.5/10
While his central defensive partners were on song, Bastoni endured somewhat of a nervy outing on Saturday against Udinese. The Italian international was caught out of position at times and there was one occasion when he was weak in his effort to contain Lasagna. Otherwise, there was very little to fault Bastoni’s performance.
Achraf Hakimi: 5/10
A game to forget for Hakimi, who was a constant outlet down the right flank once again but did very little of note when he had the ball at his feet. The young wing-back failed to complete any of his six attempted crosses, with his decision-making leaving a lot to be desired as well. Needs to do better.
Nicolo Barella: 6/10
? | 29' – OH MY!
— Inter (@Inter_en) January 23, 2021
An evening of hits and misses for Barella. While the Italian international saw a lot of the ball, he was lacking his usual incisiveness when in possession and lost the ball a staggering 22 times. Came close with a dangerous-looking volley. However, that was as good as it got for him against Udinese, as he failed to create any meaningful chances.
Marcelo Brozovic: 6/10
Much like Barella, Brozovic blew hot and cold in the middle of the park. While he hardly misplaced a pass, his usually threatening set-piece delivery was nowhere to be seen. Behind the ball, though, the Croat was his reliable self, completing 3 interceptions and winning 3 tackles.
Arturo Vidal: 5.5/10
Vidal was as Vidal usually is. The Chilean’s combative approach meant that Udinese never got on top in the midfield battle, but he is still clearly lacking the sharpness when on the ball, which is not letting him link up with the front-men as well as he can.
Ashley Young: 5/10
Not as involved as Hakimi on the right flank, Young flitted in and out of the game on Saturday. In fact, the veteran Englishman attempted just 19 passes all evening, creating no chances. Hardly tested defensively, the game simply passes him by.
Romelu Lukaku: 5.5/10
A rare game wherein Lukaku was just not a factor. His notorious first touch resurfaced on Saturday against Udinese, as he misplaced an astonishing 10 of the 25 passes he attempted, although he did play in 3 key passes. Aimed just 1 shot all game and needs to step up.
Lautaro Martinez: 6/10
? | 23' – BIG CHANCE
— Inter (@Inter_en) January 23, 2021
Martinez was handed Inter Milan’s best chance of the game, but he was superbly denied by Udinese goalkeeper Juan Musso. Apart from that one moment, the Argentine struggled to get into the game and managed just 13 touches on the ball all game. Not what one expects from Martinez.
Ivan Perisic: 5/10
On for Young, Perisic was as involved as the Englishman before him despite being on the pitch for just 20 minutes. However, he did nothing of note with the ball at his feet, as the match meandered to a goalless draw.
Alexis Sanchez: 6/10
Provided an injection of energy after replacing Martinez, Sanchez linked up well with Hakimi and Lukaku, but could not manage to make the difference.
Stefano Sensi: 5/10
Sensi would regard himself as being quite fortunate, as he could have easily been sent off for a pull on Lasagna. Ineffective otherwise.