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Rami Soufi On October - 23 - 2010

Inter Milan Win With Signs Of Weakness

Inter were able to record a precious 4-3 victory over Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League but they looked shaky towards the end of the match. The Nerazzurri jumped to a quick and seemingly comfortable lead courtesy of goals scored by Javier Zanetti, Samuel Eto’o and Dejan Stankovic. Eto’o scored two goals, including one from the penalty-kick, while Tottenham had their goalkeeper sent-off.

Despite playing over 80 minutes with a numerical advantage, the Nerazzurri could not take advantage to bury Spurs and end any potential come back by the English club. As a consequence, Spurs were able to mount a brave come back led by young emerging talent Gareth Bale who managed to score all three goals after tremendous surging runs and delightful finishing in case of the first two strikes while the last one was simply an emphatic finish. Inter were fortunate that the last two strikes came towards the end of the match leaving Tottenham with little time to tie the match.

Jose Mourinho’s Inter would have ended any resistance by the opposition once they were 4-0 up and would not have let their guard down to allow three goals by their opponents. What is more troubling is the manner with which the goals were scored as two of them came after Bale outran Inter’s defenders  and attacked from Maicon’s side. Maicon has been one of Inter’s heroic figures in the last couple of years yet he was left a mere spectator as Bale ran past everyone who attempted to stop him to finish in emphatic manner.

The Nerazzurri defensive line has looked shaky so far this season while the team’s killer instinct which was so evident last season appears to have deserted the team. The Nerazzurri will remain a dangerous team in Serie A and in the Champions League but if they keep playing at this level and making those mistakes then it will be hard for them to repeat as winners in both competitions. Samuel Eto’o has so far shouldered most of the scoring load with Diego Milito sidelined and performing below par prior to his injury.

Wesley Sneijder has yet to reach the form which made him one of the world’s most dangerous player last season at the club level and during South Africa 2010. Besides injuries and the inconsistent performances by certain stars, the departure of coach Jose Mourinho was a blow since he is renowned for his motivational skills and his great management of players. While Rafael Benitez is a decent coach, he does not come close to Mourinho when it comes to the Portuguese’s ability to get the best out of players and to effectively use psychological games to intimidate opponents.

One other factor which must be considered is the fact Milan have brought in Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Robinho while Juventus added Milos Krasic as well as others to their squad. While opponents added talented players, the Nerazzurri did not engage in any high profile signings and brought no one worthy of mention. Only youngster Coutinho has displayed some flashes of brilliance and showed glimpses of what he can do yet he is still too young and inexperienced to be a key figure in the squad. Inter might need to delve into the transfer market during January in order to bring in some reinforcements. If the star players do not perform to their best, then Inter will be dethroned on the domestic and European fronts.

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