Much like you, I wanted to see a very convincing win today. I was hoping that we came out extremely energized, and pinned Samp in their own half for a majority of the game. I would be happy with a 2-0 win. Well, I guess today is opposite day, because that's exactly what happened. They played exactly the way I hoped they wouldn't. Messy, sloppy, unorganized, confused, basically any negative adjective can be used to describe today's performance. I'm really starting to think this team has set its sights on trying to give me a triple bypass surgery.
I missed the first 30 minutes, because I had some trouble with my stream. When I got it working, I just tried to break it again. We did have an opportunity in the first minute, as Stankovic chipped the ball over the Samp defense but Crespo couldn't reach it. Besides that, the first 25 minutes were terrible. Repeated barrages from Samp gave us a taste of our own medicine. If it wasn't for JC, you could of added about 3 more for Samp. Talentino was destroying us, mainly The Matrix. Last week Torres caused him an array of problems, now this. I'm starting to think that the Matrix may have lost a step. Crespo almost connected with an Il Capitano cross, but again, could't reach it. Suazo's weak counter attack-strike was the last chance for Inter in the first half.
The second half started with more of the same shit. Cassano dazzled, laid the ball off to Bonazzoli who put it in the back of the net. However, it was correctly called back for offside. Then, in the 65th minute Talentino finally struck. He gained control of a Sammarco header, raced past two Nerazzurri defenders, and slammed the ball into the upper corner of the net past a desperate dive from JC. As expected, the Marassi went nuts. Cassano pointed to himself, then pointed to the ground, implying he wants to remain at Samp. Moments later, JC saved Inter's ass again. A Palombo well struck free-kick was pushed away by the Nerazzurri keeper.
Cambiasso hit a well struck volley, but it was cleared off the line by Campagnaro. That asshole. Finally, the savior Crespo equalized in the 76th minute. A terrific Stankovic cross found Crespo, who placed it beautifully into the corner. I felt like I was flashing back to his golden days. A little later, when Patty was substituted, he threw a shit fit. He refused to shake Mancini's hand, and then kicked some water bottles. Not sure what he so pissed about, he basically played the whole game. Despite playing like shit. In the final minutes, the injury bug struck again. Stankovic went down, and didn't get up.
The wheels may be starting to fall off.
Hernán Crespo (76)
Antonio Cassano (65)
Patrick Vieira (11)(Y)
Marco Materazzi (42)(Y)
Nelson Rivas (73)(Y)
Luis Figo for Maxwell (66)
Maniche for Patrick Vieira (81)
Pelé for Dejan Stankovic (84)
Emiliano Bonazzoli for Claudio Bellucci (42)
Paolo Sammarco for Gennaro Delvecchio (64)
Leonardo Miglionico for Pietro Accardi (80)
JC: 6.5- The goal from Cassano was unstoppable, so I can't really blame him on that. If he wasn't in the net, it would have been 4-1. He showed terrific reflexes, and possibly saved me a visit to the hospital.
Maicon: 6.5- A great game after a bit of a disappointing showing at Anfield. He was flying up and down the sideline, putting in numerous crosses. Great job bouncing back. Wish I could say the same about the rest of the squad.
Rivas: 6- I really liked the way he played. He was a bit "unsure" of his positioning at times, but that will get better with experience. He went in hard on every challenge. We need some grit like him in the back, especially with the Matrix seemingly slowing down.
Matrix: 5- Not sure what's going on. Torres handed to him last game, and Cassano did it this time. Also, his poor clearance started Cassano's goal.
Maxwell: 5.5- Got up a few times, but not enough. Also, Maggio handed him a few beatings down the wing.
Zanetti: 6- Always comes to play. Period.
Vieira : 2.5- Yeah, he beat out Stankovic's 4 last week. Simply put, it would be better if there were a cone out there. Slow, old, and just a waste of space. He also threw a little temper tantrum. I think his time is up.
Cambiasso: 5.5- Nothing spectacular. Okay performance.
Stankovic: 6.5- Terrific game. Seemed to be getting back into his pre-injury form, until he hurt again. Not sure of the extent of his injury, but it didn't look good. Seems to be yet another man out for Inter.
Suazo: 6.5- Mancini is definitely regretting not using him on Tuesday. Was dangerous on every counter attack, but never got the consistent support to really dominate.
Crespo: 6.5- Finally showed Mancini he still has it. He looked energized, and made great runs all day. His goal was classic Crespo finishing.
I'm not happy with this game, or Inter's performance. After Tuesday, I thought they would come out fired up to prove all their critics wrong. This was a test of their character, and after this performance, I'm definitely questioning it. They even seemed uninterested at times. I think Mancini needs to start shaking things up quick, before this becomes a reoccurring theme. There's not too much time either, with Roma right around the corner.
As for The Matrix, I'm not really sure what to say. To me, it looks like he lost a step. Cassano was really having his way, and the only one to really put a hard tackle on him was Rivas. With Cordoba out, and Burdisso or Chivu our only other options, this is bad news. I think it may be time to look into the transfer market for a CB.
Not much else to say. A mediocre performance from a team who has been mediocre of late. Roma won, and cut the lead to 9. We can move it back to 12 if we beat them on Wednesday, but there are a lot of questions that need to be answered before that. Mancini needs to sure up both the midfield and the defense, and that's going to be hard. Stankovic seems to be hurt, and The Matrix isn't the Matrix.
Time for a serious gut check this Wednesday.