Achraf Hakimi once again produced an impressive display as Inter Milan registered a clinical 2-0 win over Crotone on Saturday.
Inter Milan moved one step closer towards securing their first Serie A title since 2010 after sealing a comfortable 2-0 victory over Crotone on Saturday. The Nerazzurri could now bag the title at the end of this weekend’s round of fixtures, should Atalanta fail to win their game against Sassuolo on Sunday.
The Nerazzurri did not have much luck during the initial phases of the game, struggling to offer much penetration despite controlling possession. Although they did create multiple scoring opportunities in the final third, there was a lack of end product, notably hitting the woodwork twice, with the two teams drawing a blank at halftime.
It was a much better second half for Inter, who found the deserved breakthrough in the 69th minute through substitute Christian Eriksen. The goal assured their dominance in the game, though it needed a last-minute counter-attacking goal from Achraf Hakimi to add that extra layer of security in their lead.
Here, at The Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over the Inter Milan players following their comfortable win over Crotone this weekend.
Samir Handanovic: 6.5/10
Samir Handanovic had to make one early, routine save to keep out a rather tame effort from Adam Ounas. It was the last real shot on target for Crotone, who struggled to pose any real threat in the final third. The Inter Milan goalkeeper had to remain alert throughout the game, but it was a well-deserved clean sheet at the end.
Juventus won Serie A nine times in a row.
But Inter's 2-0 victory at Crotone means they cannot retain the title.
Their reign is over. pic.twitter.com/QpR4g1AUMK
— B/R Football (@brfootball) May 1, 2021
Milan Skriniar: 7/10
Milan Skriniar once again fared well on the right-hand side of the Inter Milan backline. His ability to read the game saw him neutralise potential opportunities for Crotone. He was also quite useful in the build-up play, keeping things neat and tidy with passing out from the back.
Stefan de Vrij: 7/10
Operating at the heart of Inter’s three-man backline, Stefan de Vrij was rock solid in defence, using his imposing aerial presence to good effect. In fact, the Dutchman won three headed duels while also providing the security in the build-up play, notably attaining an incredible pass completion rate of 98%
Alessandro Bastoni: 7/10
Alessandro Bastoni was another player that remained solid at the back for Inter, keeping things quiet and dealing with the threat of Crotone. His driving runs out from the back were an integral part of the Nerazzurri‘s approach play as well, completing 69 passes with an accuracy of 93%.
Achraf Hakimi: 8/10
Achraf Hakimi was by far the most impressive performer for Inter Milan, as predicted in our match preview. The former Borussia Dortmund star was a menace down the right-hand side, making darting runs into the final third, linking up well with attackers. His pace, trickery and attacking prowess made life difficult for the Crotone backline, with the right-back capping off his display with a goal.
Achraf Hakimi makes it 15 goals/assists in 26 Serie A starts this season
In terms of tactical fit as a wing-back in Conte’s system, value for the money at £36m & impact on the entire team to help win the title – arguably the signing of the summer 2020 transfer window pic.twitter.com/nGsC1yzN2T
— Premier League Panel (@PremLeaguePanel) May 1, 2021
Nicolo Barella: 7/10
Nicolo Barella took his time settling into the game for Inter Milan. The Italian could not offer much penetration, especially during the first half. However, he was hugely involved in the approach play, particularly down the right hand side of midfield, notably bagging an assist for the second goal scored by Hakimi.
Marcelo Brozovic: 7/10
Marcelo Brozovic controlled the game in the middle of the park, using his composure and positional sense to good effect. The Croat most notably completed 93 accurate passes and was the hub of the Inter Milan midfield, although he also provided three key passes in the final third. A calm, composed performance from the experienced star.
Stefano Sensi: 6.5/10
Stefano Sensi was given the nod ahead of Christian Eriksen, and while the midfielder fared well for the most part, he should have been much more effective in front of goal. He found two excellent goalscoring opportunities, but failed to make use of them. He was eventually subbed off around the hour mark.
Matteo Darmian: 6/10
Matteo Darmian was given a start at left wing-back in light of his recent performances for Inter. Unfortunately, the former Manchester United man did not enjoy a particularly impressive afternoon up against the Crotone backline, failing to provide any real penetration going forward. He was replaced midway through the second half.
Romelu Lukaku: 7/10
Romelu Lukaku fared well in the final third, using his physical presence to hold the ball up and making things easier for his teammates on the attacking side. He did drop deep as well, helping out in the defensive side of the game before registering the assist for Eriksen’s opener. Would have preferred to score, though.
20+10 – Romelu Lukaku is the first player able to score 20+ goals and deliver 10+ assists in a single Serie A season since Opta started to collect this data (since 2004/05). Polyhedric.#CrotoneInter pic.twitter.com/n7KceOGd0X
— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) May 1, 2021
Lautaro Martinez: 6/10
Lautaro Martinez had a relatively quieter game for Inter Milan, as he was not offered much space and time going forward. Hit the woodwork once, but the Argentine simply was not able to cause enough problems for the Crotone backline and was subbed off midway through the second half.
Christian Eriksen: 7.5/10
Christian Eriksen replaced Sensi in the 65th minute in order to add more creativity in the middle of the park. The Dane made a noticeable impact on the proceedings, scoring the all-important opener in the 69th minute of the game.
Alexis Sanchez: 6.5/10
Alexis Sanchez added more energy and dynamism in the Inter Milan attacker after replacing Martinez in the second half. An impressive shift from the former Man United star.
Ivan Perisic: 6.5/10
Ivan Perisic offered an assist for Lukaku’s goal in the second half, shortly after coming on but it was disallowed by VAR due to offside. Offered more penetration than Darmian nonetheless.