Lautaro Martinez and Edin Dzeko scored while Nicolo Barella impressed as Inter Milan played out a thrilling 2-2 draw against Atalanta at San Siro.
Inter Milan started the game with a bang, as Lautaro Martinez found the back of the net just five minutes in to hand them the lead. However, Atalanta ramped up the pressure on the champions soon after and even though the Nerazzurri posed a threat on the break, the visitors looked the likeliest to score. Eventually, Ruslan Malinovskyi levelled things up for La Dea with a stunning effort from distance.
Stefan de Vrij had a great chance to restore Inter’s lead but failed to make the most of it. At the other end, however, Rafael Toloi did not make the same mistake as he tucked away a rebound after Malinovskyi’s strike was saved to put Atalanta in front heading into the break.
The second half saw some thrilling moments unfold as Malinovskyi came close again with an effort that struck the inside of the post before Edin Dzeko equalised for Inter Milan with a simple tap-in. Substitute Federico Dimarco, then, could have won it for the home team, but shockingly missed from the penalty spot in the 85th minute after a handball from Merih Demiral.
There was more drama in the game as Roberto Piccoli then thought he had won it for Atalanta in the 88th minute but VAR chalked off the goal as the ball had gone out of play in the buildup, sparking protests from their players. The two teams ended up sharing the spoils in what was an exciting, end-to-end affair and here are our player ratings for the Inter Milan stars.
Samir Handanovic: 5/10
Not good enough from the Inter Milan captain. Completely beaten for the opening goal, culpable for the second one as he parried the ball into Toloi’s path to score. Should have done better for the ruled out third goal as well. Time for the Nerazzurri to look for a replacement?
Milan Skriniar: 5.5/10
Not his assured self on the evening as the Slovakian looked uncomfortable under the pressure from Atalanta. Wasn’t fast enough to close Malinovskyi for the first goal, played Toloi onside for the second goal, conceded a free-kick that almost led to a goal. Did win a few important headers but well below his best.
Stefan de Vrij: 5/10
Wasn’t quick enough to close down Malinovskyi quickly enough to stop him from taking the shot that led to the second goal. Should have done better with a chance at the other end.
Alessandro Bastoni: 5/10
Not at his best. Picked up a yellow card very early in the game for a tug on Matteo Pessina, which meant he had to walk the disciplinary tightrope and was withdrawn early in the second half.
Matteo Darmian: 5/10
Given the nod ahead of Denzel Dumfries, Darmian struggled to make an impact on either end of the pitch. Was occupied dealing with the threat of Robin Gosens which meant he hardly had a presence going forward. Atalanta enjoyed a lot of joy on his side and was eventually taken off.
Nicolo Barella: 7/10
Costacurta: "Every now and then Barella seems like Neymar out there: playing with such clarity and confidence. He is one of those midfielders who can play in all of the best clubs in the world."
Amazing amazing player. pic.twitter.com/gTzLcKWyWY
— FedeNerazzurra (@FNerazzurra1908) September 25, 2021
Easily one of Inter Milan’s best players on the park. Stunning cross to set Martinez up for the opening goal and then played a part in the equaliser in the second period as well. Full of energy in between and everything positive the hosts conjured up went through him. Has now set up five goals in the new season.
Marcelo Brozovic: 6/10
A mixed outing for the Croatian international who did well in phases to cut down attacks and release the Inter forwards with nice-looking forward passes while there were times when he found it hard to cope with the visitors’ midfield.
Hakan Calhanoglu: 5/10
Not good enough from the summer signing who found it hard to come to grips with the pace and intensity of Atalanta in the middle of the park. Did not contribute much going forward either. Misplaced a pass that led to a great counterattack breaking down.
Ivan Perisic: 5.5/10
Provided a good outlet on the left side but was not always able to back it up with quality end product. Showed some improvements in his game defensively, but needs to do more going forward.
Lautaro Martinez: 7/10
Got Inter Milan up and running with a stunning strike early in the game. Continued to pose a threat going forward to the Atalanta defence even though he did not always get the support from some of his teammates. But was also guilty of spurning a couple of decent half-chances.
— Naglesman🇮🇹 (@Bandarcage) September 25, 2021
Edin Dzeko: 6.5/10
Had a role in the first goal and then scored the second goal to salvage a point for his team. However, the Bosnian could have had one or two more if he was a bit more clinical. Worked very hard off the ball.
Denzel Dumfries: 6/10
An improvement on Darmian after replacing him in the 57th minute. Made a few decent forward runs.
Matias Vecino: 6/10
On for Calhanoglu in the 57th minute. Helped Inter gain better control of the midfield.
Federico Dimarco: 5/10
Sent on for Bastoni in the 57th minute. Produced some dangerous crosses but hit his penalty onto the crossbar, spurning a great chance to win it for Inter.
Alexis Sanchez: N/A
On for Martinez with less than ten minutes left. Created a chance for Dzeko, which he failed to take.
Martin Satriano: N/A
Replaced Barella in the 89th minute.