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After defeat in the Derby d’Italia, the Nerazzurri were back to winning ways putting Sampdoria to the sword. The victory showcased a solid defensive display but even more so Rodrigo Palacio’s performance caught the eye. His brace gave the Inter faithful something to cheer about that had been sadly missing in the last weeks.

Palacio said of the victory that “It was important to get back to winning ways. We played well and the result was the most important thing,” he told Sky Sport Italia. “This victory helps us and now we have more confidence going forward, focusing already on Sunday’s difficult game against Atalanta.”

This was something his coach Andrea Strammacioni also echoed when he explained his value to the side “His was the first name I said to the President in pre-season, the first man we decided to focus on. His season is worth double, he has matured so much and become a leader for this team.”

The importance of Palacio to the Inter game plan may have been bordering on over reliance and it was for this reason that when this morning he was ruled out with a thigh problem, the despair was evident. Diego Milito, Inter’s other main goal threat, has been out with a knee injury and now this fresh injury to Rodrigo will hamper Inter’s European ambitions.

The deep routed concern has obviously rocked the team as was evident in an interview with Alvaro Pereira “It is bad news for us,” he told Sportmediaset. “Things are going to get ever more difficult for us.“But we have to try and take things game-by-game.” The argument may stand as to why the Milanese outfit are so dependent on two veteran forwards and that it is a sign of their continued decline but there is still no doubt Inter will be worse of for their remaining games.

Next up this weekend is a trip to Atalanta and maybe the fans can hope that the enthusiasm of an ex player from Bergamo could help them through. Ezequiel Schelotto said that “I want to play so much against Atalanta. Many things have been said against me, but in football, sometimes you have to seize your dreams.”

Inter therefore face some tough games between now and the end of the season, Napoli, Lazio a cup semi-final (3-1 down after the first leg) against Roma are but some of the games. The hope will be that this loss will focus the rest of the players and perhaps more leaders will emerge in this difficult time. There is no doubting for instance the recent form of Mateo Kovacic but is he a match winner as yet?

If all fails there will be questions asked again this summer about why once again the Nerazzurri rely too heavily on aged players, especially when they have a superbly talented bunch of youth players well drilled by their former youth coach. Inter it seems will have to put faith in their ‘Dads army’ until the end of the season but according to various press sources this is nothing new, for they signed Taribo West at 35 didn’t they?

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