Inter Milan laboured to a goalless draw with Shakhtar Donetsk in Ukraine in what is turning out to be another difficult European campaign.
Inter Milan have failed to progress out of the UEFA Champions League group stage for three seasons and have already put themselves in a difficult spot for this campaign. After opening their journey with a late defeat to Real Madrid, they have now dropped more points after a goalless draw with Shakhtar Donetsk.
The Serie A champions could not make the best of the few chances they got on the night against their Ukrainian opponents, who looked hungrier for three points. For the most part, the Inter defenders were kept on their toes, barring a few bright moments from their attackers, who got themselves in dangerous positions.
Nicolo Barella was unfortunate after his shot hit the crossbar, while Edin Dzeko fired one over. Denzel Dumfries should have done better to score from a scramble, as Inter generally failed to be clinical in front of goal. They next face Sheriff, who achieved the upset of the season by beating Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeau.
The Serie A side have to find form soon and should be thanking their stars after other rivals have so far failed to cement their place up top. After taking just one point from their opening two games, this game was Inter’s chance to build momentum. With a double header against Sheriff coming up, Simone Inzaghi should be aiming for six points.
Here’s how Inter Milan players fared during their goalless draw against Shakhtar Donetsk.
Samir Handanovic: 5/10
It was not one of Handanovic’s best nights, who was shaky at best during the game. His distribution was awful, and he will find it difficult to nail down his place if performances like these continue.
Milan Skriniar: 7/10
Inter Milan’s best player on the night, Skriniar stood strong against Shakthar’s attackers. The Slovak was aggressive in his style and commanded the backline well. He made that brilliant challenge to dey Pedrinho a possible goal at the very beginning of the second period.
Stefan de Vrij: 5.5/10
Stefan de Vrij failed to find his usual rhythm at the backline, although following Traore’s early injury, the troubles on his side were far less.
Alessandro Bastoni: 6/10
Unlike de Vrij, Bastoni looked very comfortable in his position and sturdy enough to face up challenges. There were a few visible lapses in his game, but he should be able to iron those out for the next league encounter.
Denzel Dumfries: 4.5/10
His predecessor Achraf Hakimi was effective because he made the best out of possession. Dumfries barely created anything when he had the ball and was largely ineffective. He should have scored from a penalty box scramble. The Dutchman also forced Traore off with a bad looking injury.
If Shakhtar posts a requests for signatures to get the match against Inter replayed because of Dumfries’ tactical foul, i guarantee you game ends 0-0 again
— David Amoyal (@DavidAmoyal) September 28, 2021
Nicolo Barella: 5.5/10
Barella looked like he might create something, but his colleagues’ lack of support rendered him ineffective. Hit the crossbar, which was his highlight of the game.
Marcelo Brozovic: 6/10
He was able to control his area well and break up play whenever necessary. Credit to him for keeping the Shakhtar attack under control. Was surprisingly taken off.
Matias Vecino: 5.5/10
As much as the result shows, it was not that bad a day for Inter Milan midfielders. Vecino kept things ticking with some neat passing, but other than that he was not impactful in the final third in any way.
Federico Dimarco: 4.5/10
Shakhtar attackers Dodo and Tete recognised Dimarco as the weak link in the Inter defence and constantly attacked on his side, giving him plenty of problems. He could be deemed fortunate in the end as nothing transpired of those moves.
Edin Dzeko: 3/10
When Inzaghi substituted his senior striker just shortly after half-time, it was not surprising at all after an awful evening in front of goal. Dzeko missed two glorious opportunities to give his side the lead, fluffing his chances.
Lautaro Martinez: 3.5/10
Martinez played second fiddle to Dzeko in an attacking sense, constantly dropping deep to receive the ball. Even after Dzeko’s departure, he wasn’t showing anything different in the final third as Inter Milan found goals hard to come by.
Hakan Calhanoglu: 4/10
Calhanoglu was brought in to add some creative impetus to the style of play and did fine, but hardly made an impact.
Joaquin Correa: 4/10
A big doubt before the game, but Correa somehow made it to the bench. Inzaghi would have hoped for at least one goal from the Argentine.
Alexis Sanchez: 4/10
Sanchez failed to create any clear cut chances, but Inter were playing much better with him on the pitch.
Roberto Gagliardini: N/A
Sent in to shore up the midfield as Inzaghi did not want to concede late in the game. No real impact on getting a rating.