SerieA: Roma 4-0 Inter, Snowy weekend in Rome freezes Nerazzurri on 36 points
What I say about Inter’s performance at the Olympico? To be totally honest I’m lost for words at how things went so wrong for the Nerazzurri, although if I’d wrote this straight after the match I would have had a lot to say but I don’t think any of it would have been constructive. So instead I took the advice of Javier Zanetti and as he suggested in his post match interview I decided not to write anything rash in the heat of the moment and instead I’ve waited until I can analyse things with a calmer mind.
The weekend started badly as Europe’s freezing weather brought a covering of snow to the Olympico which meant that the game’s original schedule had to be postponed until Sunday afternoon and it was looking unlikely that it would even go ahead then, but the ground’s staff and a slight improvement in the weather allowed the game to go ahead.
Not only was this Claudio Ranieri’s return to Roma but also marked his 600th match as coach of a Serie A side, instead of it being a joyous occasion for the ‘Tinkerman’ it became a very long and embarrassing 90 minutes for him, the squad and all Interisti around the world.
Where did it all go wrong? As was announced with the squad selection on Friday, we were to arrive in Rome without either of our playmakers Wesley Sneijder and Ricky Alvarez leaving us with a very defensive and fairly uncreative midfield. I was hoping that Ranieri would still take a chance with a 4-3-1-2 formation using Mauro Zarate behind the front pairing of Giampaolo Pazzini and Diego Milito, but instead he reverted back to his favoured 4-4-2 leaving our strikers up front completely disconnected from the rest of the team unless Yuto Nagatomo and Maicon could break forward to create from the wings.
Julio Cesar started in goal as usual with the veteran pairing of Lucio and Walter Samuel in the central defence. The defensive midfield four saw Javier Zanetti on the right-wing and Joel Obi on the left despite Obi has time and again proved he isn’t a winger and plays much better as a central midfielder, in the centre Angelo Palombo made his full debut alongside Esteban Cambiasso.
Again Ranieri seemed to over look Andrea Poli in his starting lineup and the general opinion was that he would’ve been a better choice for the left side than Obi, but regardless of that I was confident at the start of the match that with such a defensive lineup a clean sheet was almost guaranteed.
How wrong I was! Roma started the match looking for a win and for the first quarter of an hour the Giallorossi bombarded the Inter goal with shots while the Inter players just seemed to look on in a state of shock especially when Totti’s corner was met by a leaping Juan’s head to put the home side ahead.
To give him credit Milito made a fantastic run shortly after picking up the ball on the halfway line, nutmegging past De Rossi before cutting inside and unleashing a shot at the far post but the Roma shotstopper Stekenlenburg was equal to it and denied the in form striker from adding to his season goal tally.
Roma continued to assault Inter’s defensive line and Julio Cesar to such effect that it took until the 37th minute for the Nerazzurri to create their second chance of the game with Pazzini trying to head past Stekelenburg to even the score but it wasn’t meant to be, even when minutes later the Italian striker almost received another chance from a driven shot-cross from Nagatomo.
Four minutes before referee called time on the first half, Fabio Borini doubled Roma’s lead after Miralem Pjanic chipped the ball in to Inter’s area and he dribbled past Samuel and fired the ball home with a right footed shot. and so the first half ended with Roma comfortable in the lead by two goals to Inter’s none.
The most striking thing from the first half was how little of the ball the Inter players were seeing with the entire squad seemingly asleep on the pitch. Things needed to change for the second half and the only way I could sum the game up after 45 minutes was that it was like watching Roma play against a sunday league pub team. Unsurprisingly the general feeling amongst Interisti was one of disbelief and anger at our players and coach.
During half time Ranieri decided to make two substitutes which appeared to me to be a case of damage limitation with him removing Pazzini and bringing on Poli as another defensive player. The second substitute saw our strong defender Samuel removed and veteran Ivan Cordoba taking his place which I have to admit completely confused me though I have since heard that Samuel had picked up an injury, but I’ve since nothing official about it.
Just three minutes into the second half Ranieri’s changes proved fruitless as Borini stuck the knife in again as he held off Lucio before finishing from the centre of the area. I describe it as sticking in the knife as this third goal wounded the Nerazzurri so badly that apart from Cordoba and Julio Cesar cutting out a Totti attack in the 62nd minute there was no reaction from Inter to Roma’s control of the game.
As the clock reached the 80th minute the performance from Inter had reached such a low point that I was driven to do something that I’ve never done in 16 years of being an Interisti, I turned off the match! This in itself speaks volumes of the level of despair I reached watching this pitiful display and as it turned out I made the right decision because if I hadn’t when Bojan twisted that knife in the last minutes of the match making it 4-0 I think my laptop may have got launched out of the window in disgust and anger.
Roma 4-0 Inter (HT: 2-0)
Scorers: Juan 13, Borini 41 and 48, Bojan 89.
Referee: Andrea De Marco (Chiavari).
Booked: De Rossi 54, Maicon 56, Faraoni 70, Taddei 75, Juan 86.
Added time: 1+2 minutes.
24 Stekelenburg; 11 Taddei, 4 Juan, 5 Heinze, 3 José Angel; 19 Gago (Simplicio 70), 16 De Rossi, 15 Pjanic; 10 Totti; 8 Lamela (Bojan 73), 31 Borini (Piscitella 80);
Subs: 1 Lobont, 87 Rosi, 44 Kjaer, 23 Greco;
Coach: Luis Enrique.
1 Julio Cesar; 13 Maicon (Faraoni 67), 6 Lucio, 25 Samuel (Cordoba 46), 55 Nagatomo; 4 Zanetti, 17 Palombo, 19 Cambiasso, 20 Obi; 7 Pazzini (Poli 46), 22 Milito;
Subs: 12 Castellazzi, 23 Ranocchia, 26 Chivu, 30 Castaignos;
Coach: Claudio Ranieri.
When I switched off the live stream I was watching in the 80th minute I was filled with anger at how useless the entire Inter squad was during this match, throughout the entire match they all were wandering around the pitch like mindless zombies. As ‘il Capitano’ himself said after the match it was a complete blackout from the Nerazzurri and as my anger calmed it was replaced with a complete feeling of embarrassment and concern as it is becoming more and more clear that there are still many problems within Inter and the fact that the players were unable to react to the threat of Roma. The scariest thing that came to light yesterday was Ranieri’s inability to use his available players and adapt his tactics to counter act the control Roma were showing against us, and to me the game and Ranieri’s reaction had a very strong Gasperini-esq feel to it, as the ‘Tinkerman’ buried his head in the sand and hoped the situation would just sort itself out.
In an Interview with Rai Sports today Massimo Moratti summed up how we are all feeling today by saying:
“I don’t want to talk about the match yesterday because it was a non-match. It was a heavy defeat. I don’t want to express my thoughts because they would be too harsh. We must understand that the season is not yet over but it is still very long. And we need to give our all in order to move forward.”
He was then asked about rebuilding the Inter squad and hinted towards what I feel is one of the problems that has resulted in our disastrous performances this season:
“Even the year in which we won everything they said it was a team to be rebuilt.”
If everyone was saying we needed rebuilding back in 2010 can somebody please tell me why Moratti refused to do anything about it until a year later?
Anyway that’s a whole other issue, what is certain is that Ranieri should not be Inter’s head coach in the next season as he may be a ‘Mr Fixit’ but he will never be a ‘Mr Win it’ as proved in the last two games where we have managed to concede a ridiculous eight goals in two games. 😦 The only positive I can come up with to finish off this depressing analysis is that we have got some great players to come back in to the squad including Sneijder, Alvarez and Forlan and also we have yet to see what impact Juan Jesus, Guarin and, to some extent, Palombo will have on the rest of this season. Again we must now put this defeat behind us and focus on our next opponent Novara next weekend, which when all is said and done should be a fairly easy proposition to start another run of good form.
Follow me on Twitter: @Don_Nerazzurri
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Posted on February 6, 2012, in Serie A and tagged Cambiasso, Cesar, Cordoba, Faraoni, Football, Inter, Lucio, Maicon, Milito, Moratti, Nerazzurri, Obi, Palombo, Pazzini, Poli, Ranieri, Roma, Samuel, Serie A, Zanetti. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.