'El Principe' brace secures victory
By Don Nerazzurri
An in-depth analysis of how the Inter players performed in their 2-1 win over Siena in Serie A
After what could only be described as a disappointing draw last Saturday against Cagliari, Inter were back on the pitch just four days later, this time back on home turf of the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza and with only seven matches left this season everyone from Andrea Stramaccioni to the squad and the fans knew that to stand any chance of performing miracles and securing the targeted third place Champions League spot we had to secure a win.
The Nerazzurri didn't disappoint, making it two out of three wins for Stramaccioni on the day our captain Javier Zanetti matched Dino Zoff as the third player with the most Serie A appearances with 570 with only former Inter goalkeeper Gianluca Pagliuca (592) and AC Milan's Paolo Maldini (647) appearing more times than him, both of which are now retired.
Stramaccioni once again played his 4-3-3 formation and after his suspension Julio Cesar returned to the Inter goal, and despite letting a goal in from Gaetano D'agostino he was solid between the goals every other time Siena tried to get the ball past him. To be fair to Cesar even the D'agostino goal came after two awesome saves in quick succession from chances by ex-Inter man Mattia Destro and Franco Brienza. All in all our Brazilian shot stopper was excellent although it was a fairly quiet game for him as of the eight times Siena managed to have a chance on goal only four were on target and needed dealing with, three of which came in the attack that ended with Siena's only goal.
Zanetti, Lucio, Walter Samuel and Cristian Chivu made up the defensive line which once again looked the weak link in the Nerazzurri squad. Zanetti as always was flawless in Maicon's usual right back position, running up and down the wing linking well with Ricky Alvarez, creating chances and always being in the right place to thwart any Siena attack from their left flank. 'il Capitano' really is a machine, even at 38 anyone can see why he is known as 'The Tractor' his stamina and workrate are just phenomenal and if you didn't know you would be forgiven for thinking he was at least ten years younger than he is.
Lucio was........... well Lucio! To be honest from what I saw our Brazilian defender spent more time in midfield and attack than he did in his own position, which of course is what we have come to expect from him especially this season, and even though he did stop a few Siena attacks he worries me by playing so far forward and leaving our shaky (at best) defensive line a man down and vulnerable.
Walter Samuel was without doubt the cause of the chance that lead to Siena's goal, when he was far to easily dispossessed by the opposition just outside his own area and highlighting Inter's main problem in defence he was far to slow to keep up and recover the ball. A little later he made up for this error by closing down a Franco Brienza cross but this also signalled the end of his game as moments later he had to leave the pitch with a strain injury. He was replaced with Yuto Nagatomo who took up his usual left back role meaning that Chivu could move in to his prefered centerback position left vacant by Samuel.
Chivu again was solid in defence although I don't recall seeing much of him throughout the game apart from a few saving interceptions and some solid tackles, so I can't fault the Romanian really, he was by no means outstanding but he did his job and didn't make any serious errors. Nagatomo came on in the 23rd minute to replace Samuel and played well, again nothing spectacular defensively which is always a worry with him being a left back and it being the weakest side to his game. When defending he doesn't seem to communicate with his fellow defenders and in the Siena game like so many others this season he has chased a ball without looking whats happening around him only to end up colliding with one of his team mates. I am a fan of Yuto though and when he's going forward he is generally good and in this match he was linking well with both Joel Obi and Mauro Zarate on the left flank. It was also Nagatomos tenacity that won Inter the penalty that ultimately won the game, as he refused to let Daniele Maninni take the ball away from him after surging forward to get in to the box.
The midfield consisted of Esteban Cambiasso on the right, Dejan Stankovic in the center and Obi on the left. Cambiasso made a few solid tackles throughout the game and his main role appeared to be to cover Zanetti's rightback position whenever his fellow Argentinian made forward runs. But he too spent a good proportion of his time in the attacking third too and even managed to find the back of the net from a corner but it wasn't given due to a foul on the Siena keeper by Diego Milito.
I have to admit I was sorely disappointed to see Stankovic starting......Continued at Inter 2-1 Siena, 'El Principe' brace secures victory
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