Achraf Hakimi produced a match-winning performance as Inter Milan sealed a 3-1 victory over Bologna on Saturday night.
Inter Milan maintained pressure on league leaders AC Milan with a firm 3-1 win over Bologna at San Siro on Saturday, thus extending their winning run to three games in all competitions.
The hosts were the dominant team for the most part of the game, creating some early chances while looking solid defensively. However, it was the midfielders who ran the show, with Marcelo Brozovic, in particular, emerging as one of the best performers on the night.
Bologna, in contrast, struggled to make an impact going forward. They were no slouch, though, as they did attempt a few shots on goal, testing Samir Handanovic, but they really had no answer to Achraf Hakimi’s onslaught.
While Romelu Lukaku scored the all-important opener, it was the Moroccan who scored a brace and emerged as the Man of the Match, effectively deeming Emanuel Vignato’s second half strike as a mere consolation for Bologna. Here, at The Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over the Inter Milan players following their comfortable 3-1 win over the Blucerchiati.
Samir Handanovic: 6.5/10
Handanovic had to be on his toes as Bologna tried to test the Inter Milan ‘keeper from distance on more than one occasion. He kept his composure and made routine saves, though the Slovenian could have done very little to prevent Emanuel Vignato from scoring the only goal for the away side in the second half.
Milan Skriniar: 7.5/10
Milan Skriniar played well against Bologna, providing the solidity on the right side of the Inter Milan defence. His build-up play with Hakimi helped Inter ease the transition while the Slovak was also competent in dealing with the threat of Musa Barrow.
Stefan de Vrij: 7/10
Stefan de Vrij’s presence at the heart of Inter’s three-man backline was essential in preventing Rodrigo Palacio from making an impact in the game. The Dutchman did his job well for the most part.
Alessandro Bastoni: 7/10
Alessandro Bastoni produced yet another competent display in defence, particularly as the game progressed. His ability to read the play, combined with his discipline and aggression made it difficult for the Bologna attackers to create any clear cut chances inside the Inter Milan penalty area.
Achraf Hakimi: 9/10
Achraf Hakimi was, without a doubt, the best player on the night for Inter Milan. The Moroccan international silenced his critics with a remarkable performance on the right flank that saw him make a host of marauding runs into the opposition area. His expertise with the ball at his feet along with his ability to take on defenders made life difficult for Aaron Hickey.
Hakimi was ultimately rewarded for his performance with two goals, both of which stemmed from an equally impressive finish. This performance should give the right-back a much-needed boost following a rough start to his Inter career.
Arturo Vidal: 7.5/10
Arturo Vidal was impressive in midfield as he became a key figure in the team’s second line of press. His aggression, positional understanding and leadership helped the Nerazzurri dominate the proceedings, with the Chilean international most notably spreading the ball out wide that led to Hakimi’s second goal of the night.
Marcelo Brozovic: 8/10
Marcelo Brozovic once again emerged as the lynchpin in the Inter Milan midfield. He distributed possession all around the park, barely allowing Bologna to put any kind of pressure. The Croat even set up Hakimi’s first goal with a delightful pass over the top.
Roberto Gagliardini: 6.5/10
Roberto Gagliardini was perhaps not as impressive as his teammates in midfield. He had less of the ball and was mostly seen marauding in and around the left-sided channel. Struggled in navigating through the half-spaces.
Ivan Perisic: 7/10
Ivan Perisic was nowhere near as influential as Hakimi on the opposite flank. He did, however, provide the cross that led to Romelu Lukaku’s opener, even though the Belgian did miss the first bite at the cherry. Defensively, Perisic was decent enough, responding well to Bologna’s right-sided overload.
Alexis Sanchez: 6.5/10
Alexis Sanchez put in a good shift in the attacking role alongside Lukaku. However, one could expect better productivity from the Chilean international, who did have a few opportunities in the final third.
Romelu Lukaku: 7.5/10
Lukaku scuffed his first attempt on goal from the Perisic cross, but showcased marvellous composure to find the back of the net in the second attempt. Aside from that, the Belgian worked hard for his team, dropping team and instigating some of the counter-attacks. He will be disappointed to have not scored a second goal.
Nicolo Barella: 6.5/10
Replaced Vidal to provide some freshness in midfield shortly after Hakimi scored the third goal for Inter. Looked charming as ever with the ball, helping his side maintain pressure.
Matteo Darmian: 6.5/10
Matteo Darmian came in for Hakimi in the 71st minute, adding more defensive strength on the right flank as Inter were always 3-1 ahead. It was a smart sub by Antonio Conte.
Lautaro Martinez: 6/10
Replaced Lukaku during the final phase of the game, providing more energy and dynamism in the final third for the home side.
Danilo D’Ambrosio: N/A
A late replacement for Bastoni. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.
Christian Eriksen: N/A
A late replacement for Sanchez. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.