Defending champions Inter Milan conceded more ground in the Serie A title race after playing out a disappointing 1-1 draw with Fiorentina on Saturday.

Serie A champions Inter Milan shot themselves in the foot once again in the race for the Scudetto with a 1-1 draw against ACF Fiorentina at the Giuseppe Meazza. This was the Nerazzurri’s fifth draw in seven games, and they have again ceded ground to rivals AC Milan at the top of the table.

With destiny not in their own hands anymore, Inter had to win on the night. Meanwhile, Fiorentina showcased their European credentials proving to be formidable opponents. La Viola were defensively solid on the night and even took the lead in the 50th minute thanks to Lucas Torreira.

Their joy was short-lived as Denzel Dumfries equalised for the Nerazzurri five minutes later. Fiorentina continued to press and almost stole the game late on courtesy of Jonathan Ikone. But Samir Handanovic was alert and made an excellent double save to secure his side a point.

With AC Milan securing a win over Cagliari, Inter are now six points off the top with a game in hand. With just nine games to go, it remains to be seen if Simone Inzaghi’s side can put up a late run of form to turn the tide. Given their recent performances, one would be hard-pressed to bet on Inter at this moment in time. The Hard Tackle looks at how the Inter Milan players fared on the night.

Samir Handanovic: 5/10

The veteran had a rather busy night and was subject to several long-range shots. He had little chance of saving Lucas Torreira’s opener and also helped his side scrape a point with an excellent double save late on from Jonathan Ikone. He was also a bit slow and struggled to distribute the ball from the back.

Danilo D’Ambrosio: 6/10

The Italian replaced Stefan de Vrij in the starting lineup and kept things simple. He adopted a safety-first approach and was rather solid if not decisive. D’Ambrosio made a couple of forward forays, but they eventually came to nothing. He also earned himself a yellow card for a reckless challenge in the second half.

Milan Skriniar: 6/10

The Slovakian ace started the game at the heart of the Inter Milan defence and had a busy night. He largely led the defence well and also was at hand to block several shots.

Alessandro Bastoni: 6/10

Bastoni struggled to cope with Fiorentina’s pace on the flank and struggled to make any impact going forward himself. It was a sub-par performance by a player who has been excellent the last few weeks.

Denzel Dumfries: 7/10

The Dutchman was a solid presence on the right flank and made several marauding runs upfield. He was easily Inter’s best player and grabbed the all-important equaliser in the 55th minute. The goal saw him join an elite list of defenders who have managed to score and assist four goals apiece this season.

Nicolo Barella: 5/10

With Marcelo Brozovic out, the onus was on Barella to seize the initiative in the middle of the pitch. While the midfielder got his positioning right, he was unable to do much when handed the ball and struggled to play a decisive role. If there is an Invisible Man movie coming up, Barella has a real good shot at playing the starring role.

Hakan Calhanoglu: 5/10

The Turkish international took some time to come to terms with his role as a regista. However, he failed to kick on and produced little of substance going forward. Calhanoglu’s set-piece delivery was also not at its best.

Arturo Vidal: 5/10

Replacing Brozovic is no easy task and Vidal, to his credit, did bring energy to the Inter midfield. While he did struggle at times, Vidal managed to win several duels and had a golden opportunity to win the game late on that he missed.

Ivan Perisic: 6/10

The Croatian international looked jaded and also failed to have the rub of luck on the night. He grabbed the assist for Dumfries’s goal but struggled to make an impact otherwise. His passing was wayward and he faded into oblivion as the game went on.

Edin Dzeko: 5/10

The veteran produced Inter’s only shot on target in the first half and struggled to make an impact. He was heavily marked on the night and found no way past the Fiorentina defence that barely gave an inch.

Lautaro Martinez: 5/10

His recent run of good form appears to have been a faux pas as Martinez once again lapsed into a player who lacked bite on the field. He largely dropped deep and struggled to trouble the Fiorentina defence. His lack of confidence was apparent in the way he crumbled when put under pressure. But he appeared to have won a penalty but saw VAR overturn it.

SUBSTITUTES

Joaquin Correa: 5/10

Correa almost was the hero on the night but saw his shot deflect off Cristiano Biraghi and go wide. Correa showed little otherwise.

Alexis Sanchez: 6/10

The Chilean was Inter’s best attacker of the night and produced yet another impactful performance off the bench. Given Dzeko and Martinez’s struggles, Sanchez should be a shoo-in for the upcoming clash against Juventus.

Federico Dimarco: N/A

Dimarco replaced Bastoni in the second half, but his impact was limited to just long passes to Robin Gosens.

Robin Gosens: N/A

Gosens was surprisingly brought on late despite Inter needing all three points. The German international had little time to make an impact but still managed to put in two threatening crosses on the night.

Felipe Caicedo: N/A

Caicedo was brought on in stoppage time as Inzaghi threw the kitchen sink at Fiorentina. The Inter manager’s aim was far off as Caicedo struggled to make any impact in the limited time.

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