Defending Serie A champions Inter Milan slipped up in the title race again on Friday, playing out a goalless draw against Genoa.
Inter Milan’s poor run of form continued as they failed to take advantage of yet another slip up by AC Milan in the race for the Serie A title. Simone Inzaghi’s side have now failed to win their last three league matches on the spin.
The goalless draw against a relegation-threatened Genoa leaves Inter two points behind Milan in the second spot in Serie A. The Nerazzurri still have a game in hand and yet have their destiny in their own hands. However, given that they have taken just one point from the last nine available, Inzaghi’s men have squandered an excellent opportunity to pull away and afford themselves some breathing space.
Inter, to their credit, dominated the proceedings at the Luigi Ferraris Stadium but lacked the killer instinct to finish off the game. Since Edin Dzeko’s goal against Napoli, Inter have mustered 53 shots without scoring a single goal. The lack of cutting edge continues to pull the Nerazzurri back into a title race with little margin for error.
8 – Inter have kept the clean sheet in eight successive meetings against a single opponent for the second time in their Serie A history – also against Reggina (11 in a row between 2003 and 2008). Wall.#GenoaInter
— OptaPaolo ? (@OptaPaolo) February 25, 2022
Danilo D’Ambrosio and Nicolo Barella both had excellent opportunities, but failed to land their attempts on target. In the end, Inter had to settle for a point. With the semi-finals of the Coppa Italia against AC Milan to come, the Nerazzurri will need to pull up their socks and rediscover their best form soon. The Hard Tackle looks at how the Inter Milan players fared on the night.
Samir Handanovic: 6/10
The veteran goalkeeper had little to do all game as the visitors controlled possession and fashioned chances for themselves. Genoa were limited to just one shot on target all match and Handanovic ensured that it was well saved.
Danilo D’Ambrosio: 5/10
The Italian started in Milan Skriniar’s stead and produced a mixed bag of a performance on the night. D’Ambrosio struggled against Genoa’s pace on the wings and will be glad that the home side did not push him too hard. He also squandered an excellent opportunity to give his side the lead and saw his header come off the crossbar.
Stefan de Vrij: 7/10
The Dutchman was a colossus at the back and held the fort whenever Genoa forayed forward. He was tactically aware and organised the defence well. Stefan de Vrij also made several good challenges and showed off his passing ability as Inter sought to play out from the back.
Alessandro Bastoni: 7/10
The Italian makes a huge difference to the Inter backline when available and it was on show once again. Genoa found little joy on their right flank thanks to Bastoni and were forced to try their luck on the other wing.
Denzel Dumfries: 5/10
The Dutch international cannot be faulted for a lack of effort as he ran up and down the right wing all night. While he did stop some Genoa counter-attacks, Dumfries also suffered from a lack of end product from his own forward forays.
Nicolo Barella: 6/10
The UEFA Euro 2020 hero kept things tidy in the middle of the pitch and recycled possession with intent. However, he lacked the usual decisiveness in his decision making and was unable to breach a dogged Genoa defence. Barella had an excellent opportunity to win the game in the 80th minute but blazed his strike over from 15 yards. He was taken off in the second half for Matias Vecino.
Marcelo Brozovic: 6/10
The Croat has been Inter’s midfielder orchestrator this season and more of it was on show at the Luigi Ferraris. He distributed the ball well and also made several defensive tackles. But Brozovic was not at his best and also made quite a few clumsy challenges.
Hakan Calhanoglu: 6/10
The Turkish international did his best but made some poor decisions in the final third. He produced two shots but failed to hit the target with either of them. He delivered the ball excellently from a corner, but saw D’Ambrosio’s header strike the crossbar.
? | FUORI
— Inter ??? (@Inter) February 25, 2022
Ivan Perisic: 6/10
The Croatian wing-back was a force on the left and made several forays upfield. But he lacked the cutting edge in the final third and failed to make the right decisions when in good positions.
Alexis Sanchez: 6/10
The Chilean has been in good form of late but failed to make a mark against Genoa. He struggled to get a single shot on target and was taken off for Lautaro Martinez in the second half.
Edin Dzeko: 6/10
The Bosnian striker struggled to make the difference on the night and was largely ineffective up front.
Lautaro Martinez: 6/10
Martinez replaced the poor Sanchez and was an instant upgrade over the Chilean. He mustered three shots on the night but failed to find a way past Salvatore Sirigu.
? | DI TESTA!
— Inter ??? (@Inter) February 25, 2022
Arturo Vidal: 6/10
The Chilean added energy to the Inter midfield but offered little otherwise.
Federico Dimarco: N/A
He replaced Ivan Perisic late on but did little of note.
Matias Vecino: N/A
The Uruguayan made his much-awaited return from injury but failed to stand out in the time afforded to him.
Felipe Caicedo: N/A
Caicedo was Inter’s last throw of the die, but he did little to impact proceedings.