After a very frustrating match against a surprisingly worthy adversary, Inter sit at the top of the table, 7 points ahead of Milan -- Exactly where we were last week. One more draw for Inter (and both our closest rivals) means we all have to wait at least one more week to decide the outcome of this year's championship. Still, one baby step forward is better than one giant step back. Or, as Mou said:
"I can only say that we needed six points and now we need five. I'm not happy with this result but I prefer a situation in which we need five points rather than six... There's nothing dramatic in what happened today. We still need five points, we have two games at the Meazza to play and we have to win these points together with our fans."
So there. The draw was unfortunate, especially as we were ahead twice and really should have closed the game down when the scoreline was 1-2, but it is no big deal. Still and all, though, I really really wanted to win this one.
Javier Zanetti is strong to the finish 'cause he eats his spinach.
As for the game itself, I would love to give you all a complete recap, but it was early (6 AM!), I was watching a crappy little stream, and I dont have a DVR here at the beach (we are roughing it). All this means that for a really good summary, you should try here or here, or even here. All I have are a few impressions and a couple thoughts... Oh, and the highlights:
THOUGHTS AND IMPRESSIONS
- Figo did not suck, not at all in fact. I dont know if he has a whole other season left in his legs, but I thought he had a good game. His crosses were spot-on and he caused Chievo's defense all sorts of problems.
- Crespo got another goal! Who would have thought it? It will do wonders for his confidence and we may actually need him for these last three games.
- Stankovic is not the player he was a couple months ago. I think he is tired - which is understandable - but his inattention is costing us points. Inter desperately needs options in the midfield, options other than Vieira and Jiminez. Everyone cross your fingers that Daddy Moratti buys us some shiny new players this summer.
- Balotelli had a great goal. Hooray! Plus, he didn't let the other team goad him into doing something stupid - he didn't even get a card this match. There may be hope for him yet.
- Maxwell is a bit of conundrum for me. He wasn't entirely terrible this game - he made some good runs and a couple pivotal stops - but there were some huge flaws with his game. First, he cannot clear a ball without conceding a corner, almost netting an own-goal, or giving up possession. Once again, his flubbed clearance cost us a goal. Still, I am of two minds about him - he has been back on the pitch recently which apparently means he is going to renew his contract but I am not sure that is the best thing for the club. But if not Maxwell, then who?
- Cruz and Jimenez are deadwood. It is very likely that Jimi will leave this summer. As for Cruz, everyone knows about the special relationship he and Moratti share, so it looks like he may be around for a couple more seasons. Or at least, that is the rumor. He has not been playing well recently, and was practically non-existent against Chievo. Well, he did manage to pick up a card which means he is disqualified for the Seina game.
- Nico goes in the same hat with Cruz and Jimenez. I know he is versatile and that is why Mou likes him, but his moments of brightness are being eclipsed by this non-existence. I think he is on the way out this summer, perhaps with some guy named Luka Modrić coming the other way (or so goes the rumor).
Ok, so enough about the Chievo game. We proved that we could score without Ibra but a fat lot of good it did us in the end. We had over 60% of the possession but Chievo had four more shots on goal than we did (according to ESPN).
The lads were back at training today and Mou included midfielder Rene Krhin and attacking midfielder Joel Chuwuma Obi from our Primavera squad. I wonder if they will actually see the pitch this season. Maybe if we sew up the scudetto a little early.
Paolo Orlandoni has renewed for another season.
There are still tickets available for this weekend's game against Siena. It could be the one, so, if you can, go out and support the club.
OTHER OTHER STUFF
Inter are being linked to any number of players for this summer.
Inter are looking at Hleb, Ribary, Cesc Fabregas, and David Silva. Sure we are, Inter and every other team.
Juve and Inter are neck in neck for Quagliarella. Apparently, it all hangs on what Juve will do with Treguzet and Inter with Acquafresca.
So, everyone, take what you want from the rumor bin and run with it.
Here is a little preview of Rene Krhin (thank you Inter_Pervs! What would I do without you?).