By mid-April, Inter was completing a performance decline so sharp it threatened to implode. They had picked up just one point in five games and were sixth in Serie A. From the training center of Appiano Gentile you could hear the sound of the sabers against the management of the coach, Simone Inzaghi, which came from the most famous presses, the inflamed television sets and The Corner building, the modern headquarters of the club in the financial district of Porto Nuovo, with splendid views of the Madonnina of the cathedral of Milan and the San Siro stadium.
Accusations of tactical immobility against the coach subjected Inzaghi to a stoic exercise in resilience. Little is known of the internal process by which the atmosphere of a team that was beginning to dangerously resemble an army in disarray was transformed with unusual speed into a well-oiled and robustracing machine. On April 15, Inter hit rock bottom with a <>-<> draw at home against Monza. Since then he has added seven victories in the last eight days of the League, securing third place in the table. They lifted the Italian Cup by eliminating Juventus and knocking off daring Fiorentina in the final. In the same period he was able to liquidate the emerging Benfica in the quarterfinals of the Champions League, and to scorch Milan in the semifinals with an exercise of defensive solidity and finishing efficiency. Now Inter wants to grab their fourth European Cup on the banks of the Bosphorus.
The tactical application influenced the positive trend to raise and adjust themethodof a team improved lately in its defensive framework and capable of verticalizing with speed and precision selective attacking actions full of automatisms and variants. An obedient squad, hardened and delivered to the blackboard before the unexpected opportunity that presents itself in Istanbul. At the pinnacle of its recent history it also comes with some key players who have passed a very complicated course and who suddenly seem to have skyrocketed their competitive performance.
Croatian midfielder Marcelo Brozovic has been one of Inter's flags since 2015. He landed in midfield, and Luciano Spalletti recycled him into central midfield in 2017 to make him the team's most valued player. In September he suffered a ruptured fibre in his left thigh. He arrived at the World Cup very fair, although he was one of the players who traveled the most kilometers in Qatar. In January he was injured again and was absent for more than a month. Inzaghi had had to reinvent the midfield with Calhanoglu as the regista. The experiment went well, but now Brozovic has regained the physical tone and gallons. Intelligent and dynamic until it seems that he has the gift of ubiquity, both to close spaces and to manage with wisdom the rhythm of play, he was vital in the second leg of the semifinal against Milan: He replaced Mkhitaryan, who was injured and arrives very right to the final. It may be Brozovic's last service to the Nerazzurri cause, as his price is high and Inter urgently needs revenue.
The club transferred striker Romelu Lukaku to Chelsea in 2021 for 115 million euros. He had been the top scorer in the Scudetto won with Antonio Conte and scored 64 goals in the two courses of his previous interista stage. Last summer he returned on loan and began his ordeal. In August, he ruptured the flexor tendon in his left thigh. A clinical catastrophe for the hypermuscular Belgian giant because readjusting any setbacks to his tremendous armor takes time. He reappeared briefly in October, suffered another injury and his presence with Belgium in the World Cup was testimonial: nine minutes against Morocco and 45 against Croatia. In January he returned to play with Inter, it cost him a world to recover the rhythm and he showed signs of anxiety and restlessness. Against Sampdoria he starred in a fierce shouting confrontation with his teammate Barella who had made a gesture of disapproval for a technical error. In the Champions League he did not play a single game as a starter. But with the spring his muscles went into a harmonious state and his head was also released. He was the victim of a racist episode in the Juventus field in the semifinal copera: they were dedicating apelike noises, he made the tying goal in the 95th minute, and celebrated by making the military salute and the gesture of silence that he almost always does. The referee showed him the second yellow card and a huge brawl was mounted. Then the federation would withdraw the cardboard. In a squad without prominent dribblers, Inzaghi highly values an atavistic resource: Lukaku's ability to receive long balls and control them with his back to the area, with his marker on top, to immediately unload the ball to arriving midfielders like Barella. He has scored nine goals since April. The central Bastoni celebrated in his social networks: "Bravo, Rome!. The plane has finally landed from London." Lukaku is battling veteran Dzeko for a starting spot. Both mix well as companions of the striker Lautaro Martínez.
The Argentine celebrated his wedding in May at a hotel facing Lake Como with half of the Albiceleste team present. In the World Cup, diminished by infiltrations in an ankle, he was the player who shot the most times on goal (14) but only scored in the penalty shootout against Holland in the quarterfinals. In the combined of Scaloni lost his status as a starter before the emergence of Julian Alvarez, the striker signed by Manchester City with whom he meets again today and who has repeatedly praised. Integral striker in constant growth and compulsive finisher as was his idol Diego Milito, Lautaro did not show symptoms of mental anxiety for not having had more weight in the conquest of the World Cup. He has added 28 goals and 10 assists in a consecrating course. His production ran amok in the spring: seven goals between April and May in the final stretch of Serie A, a double in the Cup final and the goal that sentenced the Champions League semifinal against Milan. It is the powder of a team that peeked into a hellish collapse and now dreams of paradise.
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