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Inter Milan 2-1 Fiorentina: Recap and player ratings

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It was a story of what could have been at the San Siro where the referee stole the headlines- Federico Chiesa looked to have scored the equalizing goal but Danilo D’Ambrosio sealed the three points for the Nerazzurri.

FC Internazionale v ACF Fiorentina - Serie A
it just wasn’t to be....
Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images

Pre-Match

With such a hectic schedule Stefano Pioli had made a few changes to the side who beat Spal 3-0. Kevin Mirallas made his first start of the season with Edimilson Fernandes getting the nod in front of Gerson.

The hosts were largely as expected with former Viola player Matias Vecino starting for the Nerazzurri. Inter, have made a slow start to the new campaign with losses to Sassuolo and Parma as they sat in ninth place going into the game. Luciano Spalletti’s side did however, come off the back of a crucial away victory to Sampdoria as they look to get towards the European places.

First Half

The first chance of the match fell to Kevin Mirallas, Fiorentina launched a slick counter-attack and Marco Benassi did well to pick out the Belgian on the edge of the box. The winger cut in and deceived Samir Handanovic as he fired it towards the near post but, the upright denied a fantastic start for the Viola.

Inter could have easily been ahead 12 minutes into the match. Alban Lafont gave the ball away poorly and the it found its way to Antonio Candreva, whose volley was hammered just over the Viola goal.

Despite a positive start from Fiorentina, Inter were seeing more of the ball as the half wore on. Radja Nainggolan started a counter-attack and found main man Mauro Icardi bearing down on goal. The Argentine’s finish however was poor and tame as Lafont easily saved.

The hosts were beginning to dominate the game, Candreva did well as he pulled it back to Ivan Perisic, but the Croatian’s shot curled wide of the far post.

With just over half an hour played, Fiorentina should have taken the lead. Chiesa slipped a brilliant through ball to Simeone, the striker was off balance however, still manged to get good shot away that was well saved by Handanovic.

44 minutes in and with the help from VAR, Inter were given a penalty. The Fiorentina players were incensed with the decision, Vitor Hugo was adjudged to have handled the ball in the area. While it did stroke his hand it was an incredibly harsh decision as Hugo was only a metre away from Candreva.

Mauro Icardi who has had an incredible record against Fiorentina stepped up and slotted it easily in the bottom right corner. It was a decision that 9 times out of ten wouldn’t have even been reviewed. No doubt Stefano Pioli will have been livid with the decision of Paolo Mazzoleni and his assistants.

Second half

Fiorentina had started the second half much the better side and deservedly equalised. Chiesa unleashed an effort from 30 yards out which smacked off Milan Skriniar and left Handanovic with no chance. The Slovenian had no time to react and could only watch it go in the bottom right corner. The chance came about due to a brilliant tackle from Marco Benasi- who won the ball high up the pitch too set up the chance.

The Viola should have been in front, Chiesa again involved as he chipped it back to the far post. It fell to Marko Pjaca who headed it well towards goal but it wass blocked well by Danilo D’Ambrosio. The ball then dropped for Benassi but his effort was also blocked, this time by Skriniar.

Fiorentina just didn't have the luck on their side which would have seen Pioli's men take the lead.

Substitute Pjaca was giving D’Ambrosio a horrid time. The full back just couldn’t deal with him and almost scored a goal as he cut inside and tested Handanovic, who parried the Croatian’s effort.

On the counter Fiorentina’s main man Chiesa almost scored an outrageous goal. He broke from his own half at real pace and tried to chip the Inter keeper but, just couldn't get the contact he was looking for as it floated wide.

After a relatively poor first half, Chiesa looked like a man on a mission in the second period. Clearly Pioli had spoken to him at the break and whatever he said had worked.

Out of absolutely nothing Inter scored a second goal with just over ten minutes to play. D’Ambrosio played a one-two with Icardi and finished it in the bottom corner past Lafont. It all occured from a quick throw in where the Firoentina players simply reacted too slowly.

Many of the Fiorentina players were becoming more and more frustrated by the way the game had panned out. After Pioli’s side had put so much effort into getting back on terms and having much of the play, it was harsh to see it all wiped away in a flash.

Substitute Dusan Vlahovic, came so close to scoring a stoppage time equalizer. Cristiano Biraghi, whipped in a deliciousball but the Serbian attacker’s header was well over the bar. He didn’t quite time his jump right in which he was guilty of leaning back just a bit to much as it floated over.

Post match

Stefano Pioli can’t have too many complaints with that game, I mean bar the decision making of the officials. But, i'm not going to sit here and moan about the refs, I’m going to put a positive spin on the game. Fiorentina played with purpose and intent and should have at least drawn the game. Benassi, Chiesa, Pjaca and Edimilson Fernandes had fine games, also have to credit the defenders who limited Inter to very little throughout the 90 minutes. While, initially it’s a disappointing result it was far from a poor performance and Inter got the luck on this occasion.

Player ratings

Alban Lafont- 6: I don’t want to be too harsh on the young keeper but, he needs to improve his distribution. Too many times he gifted Inter the ball in dangerous areas and was lucky not to be punished.

Nikola Milenković- 7: To sum it up Perisic was never in the game, he stopped one of their most creative players all night.

German Pezzella- 7: Looked assured for the majority and dealt with Icardi well for the most part.

Vitor Hugo- 7: Was so unlucky to concede the penalty, but, it didn’t put him off his game, as he marshalled Icardi brilliantly at times.

Cristiano Biraghi- 6: Struggled with his crossing at times but put in such a good delivery right at the death which could have seen Fiorentina score an equalizer.

Marco Benassi- 8: He was brilliant in so many ways, often started the attacks and his effort was second to none.

Jordan Veretout- 7: As the deepest of the trio in the midfield it was partly his job to stop Nainggolan and he did that very well. On occasion, the Frenchman was a treat to watch with the ball at his feet.

Edimilson Fernandes- 7: Staked a real claim for a regular starting spot, he got forward well and put himself in dangerous areas. Solid nights work for Swiss youngster.

Federico Chiesa- 7: For half an hour of the second half he was sensational. He was a constant threat in the second half up until the Inter goal. His energy is infectious on another day he could have scored the winner himself.

Giovanni Simeone- 5: Was hauled off for what seemed to be an injury but he should have scored in the first half to give The Viola the lead.

Kevin Mirallas- 7: The Beglain started the game superbly and could have easily scored in the opening few minutes. He drifted in and out of the game but looked a threat when he had the ball at his feet.

Bench:

Marko Pjaca- 7: After coming on for Cholito he made a real impact and, could have scored a goal. His pace and directness was a real worry for the Inter defenders.

Gerson- 6: Comfortable on the ball but never really made a huge impact on the game.

Dusan Vlahovic- 6: Had his chance late on the get his first goal for the club but it wasn’t to be.