Former Manchester United duo Ashley Young and Alexis Sanchez disappoint as Inter Milan suffer a shock 2-1 defeat to Sampdoria.
Inter Milan’s run of nine consecutive wins in Serie A came to an end as they slumped to a 2-1 defeat to Sampdoria on Wednesday. The loss served as a huge dent to the club’s title challenge as they failed to make the most out of AC Milan’s potential defeat to Juventus, which eventually did happen.
The visitors went into the game with Romelu Lukaku missing from the starting lineup. And they unsurprisingly failed to make any real impact in the final third, which was combined with Alexis Sanchez’s missed penalty, frustrating Antonio Conte. Inter’s woes were further deepened by Antonio Candreva converting a penalty in the 23rd minute, thus giving Sampdoria the lead against his parent team.
The Nerrazurri worked hard in search of an equaliser but were once again pegged by Keita Balde Diao’s goal seven minutes before half-time. Sampdoria could have even added a third early on in the second half but their efforts were saved by Samir Handanovic. Inter’s efforts, on the other hand, were rewarded by a 65th minute goal from Stefan de Vrij from a set-piece.
Conte even introduced Lukaku from the bench, but it was not enough to get the better of the Sampdoria defence for the second half. Here, at The Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over the Inter players following their disappointing defeat at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris on Wednesday.
Samir Handanovic: 6/10
It was a disappointing game for Samir Handanovic in between the sticks for Inter Milan. The veteran goalkeeper only managed to lay a finger on Keita Balde’s close-range effort for the second goal while failing to deny Antonio Candreva for the opener. He did make one good save, though, to deny Jakub Jankto in the second half.
Milan Skriniar: 6.5/10
Milan Skriniar marched forward with the ball, as usual, providing excellent ball progression. He even attempted a shot on goal, shortly before the referee awarded a penalty to Inter early on in the proceedings. Defensively, his imposing presence offered his side the advantage in terms of aerial duels.
Stefan de Vrij: 6.5/10
Stefan de Vrij’s well-placed header midway through the second half offered a glimmer of hope to Inter Milan. Defensively, however, the Dutchman could have done much more, in regards to his positional discipline, especially for Sampdoria’s second goal.
Alessandro Bastoni: 6/10
Alessandro Bastoni was nowhere near competent enough to deal with Mikkel Daamsgard, who provided the assist for Sampdoria’s second goal. It was reflective of his underwhelming display in the Inter backline, with the defender particularly failing to provide any real edge in the build-up play despite being given the license to march forward.
Achraf Hakimi: 7/10
Achraf Hakimi was simply one of Inter’s best performers in the game. The ex-Borussia Dortmund wing-back offered a lot of attacking threat on the right flank, often camping himself in the opposition half. His crosses, in particular, made life quite difficult for the Sampdoria defenders, but his efforts were not reciprocated by his attacking teammates.
Nicolo Barella: 6.5/10
Nicolo Barella handled the ball while trying to block Lorenzo Tonelli’s header, forcing the referee to award a penalty to Sampdoria. The midfielder had a decent game otherwise, providing the necessary work-rate, although it was not enough to unsettle the opposing backline in this game.
Marcelo Brozovic: 6.5/10
Marcelo Brozovic also deserves a lot of blame for allowing Daamsgard to rip through Inter’s second line of press and provide the cross for Keita Balde. Aside from that, it was business as usual for the Croat, who orchestrated the game from the base of the midfield – distributing the ball and helping Inter maintain the pressure.
Roberto Gagliardini: 5/10
Starting ahead of the likes of Stefano Sensi, Christian Eriksen and Arturo Vidal, Antonio Conte’s decision to start with Robert Gagliardini completely backfired. Indeed, the midfielder was completely ineffective in the middle of the park and was effectively taken off around the hour mark.
Ashley Young: 4/10
Ashley Young had a couple of good moments in the attacking third, one of which stemmed from Sanchez’s missed penalty, hitting the woodwork. His defensive game, however, was far from ideal as it allowed Candreva to run rings around the Inter Milan backline on the left flank.
Lautaro Martinez: 6/10
Lautaro Martinez showed sparks of his brilliance, at times, with some clever touches and excellent close control. He even forced Emil Audero to make a good save in the second half. But, for large periods of the game, the Argentine simply was not consistent or effective enough to make any real impact on the proceedings.
Alexis Sanchez: 6/10
Sanchez’s early missed penalty proved to be costlier than expected for the Nerazzurri. The ex-Manchester United forward was lively for the most part but failed to provide the final end product needed to make a difference.
Ivan Perisic: 6/10
Ivan Perisic replaced Ashley Young at the start of the second half in order to provide a bit more oomph going forward. Unfortunately, the damage was already done, with Sampdoria netting two goals in the first half.
Romelu Lukaku: 6/10
Romelu Lukaku replaced Gagliardini around the hour mark, as Conte opted to go all out in search of a breakthrough. While Inter did score shortly after his introduction, the Belgian himself struggled to make things happen in the final third.
Christian Eriksen: 5/10
Struggled to influence the game after coming on for Sanchez during the final phase of the game. Looks set to be on his way out of San Siro, with Arsenal reportedly emerging as shock favourites.
Danilo D’Ambrosio: N/A
A late replacement for Skriniar, who was hooked off after making a rash tackle on Thorsby. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.
Arturo Vidal: N/A
A late replacement for Barella. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.