Inter earn a 2-1 win over Porto in Champions League action but it was poor display by Inter and only have Julio Cruz to thank for the victory. Inter were unrecognizable on the pitch today with an even worse Adriano then the one seen against Sampdoria on Sunday. Its hard to say what has happened to Adriano and the team itself but they are a far cry from the team that beat Juve in the Supercup and looked spectacular against Fiorentina only a few weeks back.
Inter lose Cordoba for this match to injury and Burdisso takes his place with Materazzi Samuel and Favalli on the backline. Cambiasso gets a rest and its Pizarro and Veron in the center of midfield with Figo on the right and Wome playing left winger. Up front Adriano and Martins get the start but with all the superstar names, Inter come out flat once again at the start.
This was supposed to be the comeback game. After a few hard weeks, this was supposed to be the game that sparked Inter and put the squad back on track. Instead Inter miss every objective and come out with no speed, no creativity, or personality. Adriano up front was again a former shell of himself and did little with the ball when in possesion and just had another horrible match.
Its hard to explain why Inter are not playing to potential, especially against this Porto side that did not seem to be a fantastic team. They are organized but don't seem to be over aggressive or full of great skill. They were lucky to find a goal as they scored from an amazing free kick from 30m out that went right into the top corner.
The problem is that Inter really did not have a response to going down. Maybe it was the empty stadium but there was no spark or ambition in Inter's play. Adriano and Martins rarely got invloved. Figo did little to provide the push along the right and although Wome did put effort and heart making a few runs and passes it just seems that he does not have the quality needed to make an impact at this level.
It was much of the same in the second half and Mancini decides to change things up bringing on Cambiasso for Wome. Martins has a few runs and looks more lively which at least put some life back into the side. At the 16th minute the real change of the game comes as Mancini takes out Adriano who was sub par. Lets not beat around the bush, he does not deserve to be on the field playing the way did.
Cruz comes on for the brazilian striker who goes straight to the tunnel and not to the bench after the change. Mihajlovic also comes in for Samuel with the hope that his free kicks and corner kicks could help out and the move was a winning choice.
In 7 minutes Julio Cruz brings Inter back to the top of the group as he scores two goals for the 2-1 lead. The first comes off a penalty kick as Pizarro is taken down in the box and converted by Cruz. The second comes from a Mijhalovic corner kick that Cruz rises to meet and gets the winner at the 37th minute.
With the two goals Inter bring home the three points and gain top spot with 9 overall points to Rangers and Artmedia 5 points. We need to be happy for the win, but I for one am totally unhappy for the display. Something is going on with the team and especially Adriano. But for now lets get through this difficult time and concentrate on the positives such as Cruz who scored his 8th goal of the season today.