Samir Handanovic was the hero as Inter Milan and Atalanta played out an entertaining 0-0 draw in the Lombardy derby on Sunday.
Defending Serie A champions Inter Milan’s eight game-winning run ended on Sunday as they played out a thrilling 0-0 draw away to Atalanta. La Dea have now become the first team to deny Inter a win in Serie A home and away this season.
The Nerazzurri have a two-point lead over AC Milan at the top of the table following the share of teh spoils. Atalanta hold onto the fourth spot and have a slim one-point lead over fifth-placed Juventus. More importantly, they also have a game in hand.
Inter played 120 minutes earlier this week against Juventus in the Supercoppa Italiana and the effects of the same were clear to see. Their players looked tired and lacked the usual energy and intensity they bring onto the field. They could still have secured all three points had Edin Dzeko been more clinical in front of goal.
While the game might have ended goalless, it was not low on entertainment. The proceedings were end to end as both sides looked to take home all three points. Inter went the closest to winning the game as Danilo D’Ambrosio hit the post late.
— OptaPaolo 🏆 (@OptaPaolo) January 16, 2022
Samir Handanovic was also called into action several times and rose to the challenge to keep Atalanta at bay. The teams sharing a point appears the right result given how the game played out. For now, Inter’s unbeaten streak goes on. We look at how the Inter Milan players fared on the night.
Samir Handanovic: 8/10
It was a captain’s performance by the veteran Slovenian who was at hand to deny Atalanta when needed. Mario Pasalic, Luis Muriel and Matteo Pessina were all gifted with good opportunities but could not find a way past the Inter Milan goalkeeper, who certainly earned his pay on the night. A memorable way to mark his 350th appearance for the club.
🧤 | HANDA
— Inter 🏆🇮🇹 (@Inter_en) January 16, 2022
Danilo D’Ambrosio: 6/10
D’Ambrosio started on the right of the Inter back three and gave a good account of himself. He offered defensive solidity and also provided a punch going forward. The Italian was handed an excellent opportunity to win the game late but the chance went begging.
Milan Skriniar: 6/10
The Slovakian centre-back led the rearguard with panache but failed to offer anything going forward. It was a solid yet unspectacular performance by Skriniar who was not afraid to get stuck in when needed.
Alessandro Bastoni: 6/10
In recent weeks, the Italian’s performances have certainly raised the bar regarding expectations. Bastoni failed to meet them this week and was unable to make any standout moves. There was a nervy moment when Muriel dispossessed him, but thankfully, Atalanta could not make it count.
Matteo Darmian: 6/10
The Italian veteran was solid as expected in defence and held his line well. However, Darmian offered little going forward and was rightly taken off for Denzel Dumfries in the 66th minute.
Nicolo Barella: 6/10
Barella looked sharp but failed to reach the levels he has set for himself. However, the Italian international was one of the better players on the night and looked up for the game.
Marcelo Brozovic: 6/10
At times, the Croat was uncharacteristically sloppy and almost cost his side dearly in the first half. While Brozovic helped keep the play ticking, he lacked the usual contributions that set off Inter Milan attacks.
Hakan Calhanoglu: 5/10
The Turkish ace was poor and lacked his usual incisiveness in the attack. His quality on the set pieces was also found wanting. Calhanoglu looked tired, and it is to be expected given his midweek exertions.
Calhanoglu plays against a real team and ghosts… really strange I don't think I've ever seen that before
— Giova🏄♂️ (@Romagnesta) January 16, 2022
Ivan Perisic: 6/10
Perisic was solid defensively but lacked the usual zeal going forward. However, he rallied his teammates and kept trying all game. He can perform better, but it was good enough given the circumstances.
Alexis Sanchez: 4/10
The hero against Juventus in the Supercoppa Italiana, the Chilean channelled his Manchester United days in a toothless display. He barely threatened the Atalanta backline and was disappointing on the night.
Edin Dzeko: 4/10
The 35-year-old looked tired from the word go and struggled to make much impact. He was guilty of missing two gilt-edged chances that could have given his side the lead on the night.
Have had the chances for sure , Edin Dzeko should score with the header from the Dumfries cross.
— Josh Bunting (@Buntingfootball) January 16, 2022
Arturo Vidal: 6/10
Vidal replaced Calhanoglu in the 67th minute and immediately offered more solidity in the middle of the pitch. While he did make mistakes, he provided more than the player he replaced.
Denzel Dumfries: 6/10
The Dutchman certainly offered more attacking output over Darmian but at the cost of defensive solidity. His profligacy in defence almost cost Inter dear, but Atalanta failed to capitalise.
Joaquin Correa: 5/10
Correa came on for Sanchez and was better than the Chilean going forward. He was not afraid of getting stuck in and helped Inter defend from the front. However, he offered precious little going forward.
Lautaro Martinez: 6/10
The Argentine is Inter’s creative tour de force, and it showed. While he was unable to break the deadlock, he still managed to cause Atalanta several problems with his movement. Whether the tide could have been breached had he been brought one earlier is debatable.
Stefan de Vrij: 6/10
He replaced Bastoni in the 82nd minute and did what he does best, offer defensive solidity.