Inter Milan’s 2022-23 Serie A campaign went from bad to worse as they suffered a deserved 3-1 loss away to high-flying Udinese.
Simone Inzaghi could only watch on as Inter Milan were thoroughly dismantled by an inspired Udinese side that took their chances to head home with all three points.
Chasing a third straight win in all competitions, Inter got off to a fine start with Nicolo Barella giving them an early lead in the fifth minute. However, that was as good as it got for the Nerazzurri as Udinese moved quickly to consolidate their dominance in midfield and throw the Inter backline into chaos.
Roberto Pereyra in particular was a thorn down Inter’s throats and made several darting runs that wreaked havoc. One such run led to Milan Skriniar scoring into his own net to draw I Fruilani level in the 22nd minute. Inter rallied and showed some fight but Udinese were a step ahead and looked the likelier to break the deadlock.
This came in the 85th minute when Jaka Bijol rose over everyone else to thunder home a header that sent the home fans into raptures. Inter pushed forward with all they had but were sucker punched in stoppage time as substitute Tolgay Arslan added gloss to a famous win by securing his side’s third.
3 – This is the fourth time since 1994/95 that Inter have lost at least 3 of the first 7 matches of a #SerieA season: 1998/99, 2000/01 and 2011/12 the others (Inter did not finish in the first 4 at the end of the tournament in these 3 seasons). Trouble.#UdineseInter
— OptaPaolo ? (@OptaPaolo) September 18, 2022
This was Inter’s third loss in their first seven Serie A games and could see them end the week in the eighth spot, should other results go against them. Inzaghi’s side have only themselves to blame for the series of results and could very well already be out of the running for the Scudetto.
The Hard Tackle looks at how the Inter Milan players fared on the night.
Samir Handanovic: 4/10
The veteran goalkeeper produced two fine saves from Walace and Sandi Lovric to keep his side level in the second half. While he was not at fault for any of Udinese’s three goals, Handanovic failed to impose authority in the box and lacked the leadership to organise his backline. Inter can do worse than having Andre Onana take over as the number one.
Milan Skriniar: 4/10
It was far from a vintage performance from Skriniar who failed to calm down a panicky Inter backline. The Serbian star saw the ball ricochet off him into the net to draw Udinese draw level in the 22nd minute and tried his best to make amends. However, it was just not his day and the best he could manage was a shot that went well wide in the 82nd minute.
— OptaPaolo ? (@OptaPaolo) September 18, 2022
Francesco Acerbi: 5/10
The veteran struggled against Beto and Deulofeu and was caught out of position several times. He failed to marshall the defence around him and yet looked the best in a back three that appeared to lack conviction. Why exactly he was taken off for Stefan De Vrij while Inter should have been chasing a winner is debatable.
Alessandro Bastoni:3.5 /10
The Italian defender struggled against Roberto Pereyra and earned himself an early yellow card for his troubles. Bastoni also forced Marco Silvestri into a fine save before being taken off in the 31syt minute as Simone Inzaghi rang in the changes.
Denzel Dumfries: 5/10
The Dutchman got into some fine positions but lacked the finishing touch. He twice failed to make the most of Federico Dimarco’s delivery and often saw his forward forays turn up empty-handed. It was a night filled with all effort and no joy for Dumfries.
Nicolo Barella: 5/10
The Euro 2020 star got off to a bright start and gave his side the lead in the fifth minute. His thunderous free-kick gave Silvestri no chance and handed Inter just the start they were looking for. Barella blew hot and cold on the night but could have had an assist to his name had Edin Dzeko’s 55th-minute strike not been ruled out for offside. The Italian ace’s inability to maintain the same high standard of performance over the course of the 90 minutes remains a persistent issue.
— Inter (@Inter) September 18, 2022
Marcelo Brozovic: 5/10
If Brozovic was last weekend’s hero for Inter, this time around he chose to don the costume of the invisible man. He still managed to stand out as one of Inter’s better players on the night and almost drew his side level in the 90th minute with a sweetly struck strike. Brozovic also picked up a yellow card on the night for a rather hard tackle on Walace.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan: 3/10
The Armenian never quite got going on the night and earned himself an early yellow card following a tackle on the irresistible Pereyra. Mkhitaryan struggled to gain a foothold in the middle of the park and Inzaghi was left with no option but to pull him in the 31st minute.
Matteo Darmian: 4.5/10
The Italian full-back started in the left wing-back position on the night and was largely reliable when defending. While he did ping in a couple or so crosses upfield, Darmian struggled to make an impact going forward. Pereyra’s constant forays also had Darmian on his toes, especially so given Bastoni and Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s inability to cope with the Udinese star. Darmian picked up a yellow card for a poor tackle on Rodrigo Becao in first-half stoppage time before being taken off for Danilo D’Ambrosio in the second half.
Edin Dzeko: 4/10
The veteran striker had his moments but failed to hit the target consistently. He flashed wide on a couple of chances and linked up well with Barella and Dumfries. He rounded the goalkeeper expertly in the 55th minute and appeared to have restored Inter’s lead, however, the goal was ruled out for offside. Dzeko made way for Joaquin Correa in the 67th minute.
Lautaro Martinez: 4/10
The Argentine did not get as involved as he would have liked and was largely limited to playing a supporting role to the likes of Dzeko and Barella. Martinez had a brilliant opportunity to equalise in the 90th minute but could not find the back of the net after Silvestri spiked Marcelo Brozovic’s well-hit strike.
Roberto Gagliardini: 4/10
While the Italian was better than Mkhitaryan, it is hardly a barometer to be compared to on the day. He never quite got going and was largely a passenger as Udinese seized control in the midfield.
Federico Dimarco: 5/10
He did well to limit Pereyra on occasions and provided a couple of good deliveries for Denzel Dumfries. Unfortunately, the Dutchman could not connect and the chances went begging. Dimarco was certainly one of Inter’s better players on the night and an upgrade on Bastoni.
Danilo D’Ambrosio: 4/10
He replaced Darmian in the 67th minute but failed to get going.
Joaquin Correa: 3/10
He came on in the 67th minute for Dzeko as Inter looked for inspiration off the bench. Just what it will take for Inter to classify signing the attacker as a flop remains to be seen.
Stefan De Vrij: 3.5/10
He replaced Acerbi in the 82nd minute but added little solidity to an out-of-sorts Inter defence. In fact, Udinese scored twice after De Vrij entered the fray.