Denzel Dumfries scored his third goal in four matches as Inter Milan secured a narrow 1-0 win over Torino to wrap up their 2021.
Inter Milan extended their winning run in domestic competitions to seven games after securing a 1-0 victory over Torino. The three points helped them maintain their healthy lead at the top of the table, as Serie A reaches the halfway point of the season.
The league leaders were the dominant team in this contest, especially in the first half. But they weren’t at their usual best as they failed to constantly put pressure on the Torino defenders. In response, the opposition put up quite a fight, particularly causing danger from dead ball situations throughout the first 45 minutes.
But the Nerazzurri asserted control of the game around the half-hour mark when Denzel Dumfries found the back of the net with utmost precision. It was enough to put the hosts on the ascendancy, although a poor second-half display saw Simone Inzaghi’s men play on the backfoot.
They allowed Torino to create goalscoring opportunities, but Inter’s resolute defence was up to the task as they prevented the visitors from finding any clear cut chances. In the end, the home side did just enough to defend their narrow lead, although they were given their fair share of opportunities to extend their advantage, especially during the final phase of the proceedings.
Here, at The Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over the Inter Milan players in their narrow victory over Torino this midweek.
Samir Handanovic: 7.5/10
Samir Handanovic was one of the standout performers for Inter Milan in this defensive masterclass. The veteran goalkeeper was rock solid in between the sticks, notably denying Sasa Lukic with an excellent save in the second half. He remained alert throughout the ninety minutes even as Torino piled the pressure from set-pieces.
Handanovic had 8 long balls in the first half, 8 long balls in the second half ffs this playmaking session to go along with a new Inter record of 6 clean-sheets in a row for 6 wins #MyCaptain pic.twitter.com/wEnaC8FBm6
— Pazzo #19 🇮🇹🏆 (@_FCIM) December 22, 2021
Milan Skriniar: 7/10
Milan Skriniar had occasional troubles keeping with Marko Pjaca’s mazy runs out wide. But he was solid overall, denying any sort of space or freedom in possession for the Torino’s attackers while playing a crucial role in the build-up.
Stefan de Vrij: 7.5/10
Stefan de Vrij was the pick of the Inter centre-backs in this commendable defensive display. His leadership and game-reading abilities led to a quiet game for Antonio Sanabria. The Dutchman remains the beating heart of the Nerazzurri backline, even under the leadership of Inzaghi.
Alessandro Bastoni: 7/10
Alessandro Bastoni had a slow start to the game, but he settled into the proceedings with time. His athleticism and pace were vital in helping him keep up with Josip Brekalo. The Italian international also moved up the pitch whenever it was required, often offering numerical superiority in midfield during the build-up play.
Denzel Dumfries: 7.5/10
Denzel Dumfries’ precise effort around the half-hour mark led to Inter’s only goal of the game. Aside from the winner, the former PSV ace remained solid defensively, offering support to Skriniar at every instance. He has certainly improved after the dodgy start to his career at Inter, but with Matteo Darmian back from injury, it will be interesting to see if he can retain his spot in the first team.
Ongelooflijk hoe Denzel Dumfries zich aan het herpakken is. Meer en meer beslissend. Had ik niet verwacht. Nu zelfs goed voor een doelpunt met binnenkantje voet. Zet Inter op 1-0 tegen Torino.
— Willem Haak (@WillemHaak) December 22, 2021
Arturo Vidal: 6.5/10
Arturo Vidal was given a rare starting opportunity due to the absence of Nicolo Barella. The veteran midfielder offered the aggression that kept Torino at bay, although the Chilean international wasn’t exactly useful in the final third.
Marcelo Brozovic: 7.5/10
Marcelo Brozovic was the beating heart of the Inter midfield, as ever. The Croat controlled the game and offered stability in the middle of the park. But on a more impressive note, he instigated many counter-attacks for his team with his driving runs forward. He was vitally involved in the lead-up to Dumfries’ winner, even though the assist was awarded to Edin Dzeko.
Hakan Calhanoglu: 7/10
Hakan Calhanoglu was the creator-in-chief for the Inter Milan side that lacked their usual dominance in the middle of the park. The Turkish international offered a few majestic balls forward to create scoring opportunities for his team, but he also lacked fitness and consistency. As a result, he was subbed off midway through the second half.
Ivan Perisic: 6.5/10
Ivan Perisic wasn’t at his usual best as Torino remained strong defensively. However, the former Borussia Dortmund winger offered the thrust on the counter whenever it was required while offering adequate defensive support for Bastoni out wide.
Edin Dzeko: 7.5/10
Edin Dzeko wasn’t able to find the back of the net against Torino. But his overall contributions in the final third were commendable for a player of his age, as the forward took on defenders while excelling in link-up play, notably registering the assist for Dumfries’ winner. The Bosnian veteran has been one of the bargains of the season in Europe.
Assist by Dzeko on Dumfries’ goal- those were the replacements for Lukaku & Hakimi
— David Amoyal (@DavidAmoyal) December 22, 2021
Lautaro Martinez: 6.5/10
Lautaro Martinez was the spark in the Inter Milan forward. His bursting runs in the final third, coupled with his pace and dynamism caused all sorts of problems for the opposition defence. However, the Argentine lacked his scoring boots as he missed a few scoring opportunities. He lacked the thrusters in the second half, thus leading to his substitution.
Alexis Sanchez: 6/10
Alexis Sanchez lacked his shooting boots as he fluffed a few half-chances. Never really looked threatening in front of goal, despite providing excellent work ethic during the final phase of the game.
Matias Vecino: 6/10
Matias Vecino added more energy and solidity in the Inter midfield after coming on for Calhanoglu in the 69th minute. Did not do anything spectacular.
Stefano Sensi: N/A
A late replacement for Vidal. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.
Danilo D’Ambrosio: N/A
A late replacement for Dumfries. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.
Federico Dimarco: N/A
A late replacement for Perisic. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.