Inter came away from Stadion De Grolsch Veste in Enschede with a hard earned point after Samuel Eto rescued the game for the visitors after they had gone 2-1 down. The Nerazzurri will have to ask themselves, is this a point gained or two points lost?
The holders had approached the game on Tuesday night against FC Twente full of confidence; they had just beaten Udinese in a hard fought affair at the Giuseppe Meazza and had no reason to doubt that they would easily overcome the Dutch champions. Inter started brightly and after only 13 minutes Diego Milito’s shot was only parried by Nikolaj Mihajlov the ball fell into the path of Wesley Sneijder who made it 1-0, the away side looked in control.
FC Twente showed their credentials and when Theo Janssen to superbly guided a freekick into the top left hand corner making it 1-1. The nature of the first half changed and FC Twente were dictating the pace of the game. It looked like Inter were on the back foot and this was then capitalised on when a corner was not defended well and Milito inadvertently put the ball into his own net.
In the second half Inter played controlled the tempo and the chances slowly came, Esteban Cambiasso hit the crossbar then Samuel Eto pounced on the edge of the box to guide a superb low shot into the bottom corner and gain Inter a point. A good point for the team from Milan in the circumstances but can questions be asked of whether the European Champions should have won this game outright?
Benitez spoke after the match and said: “I think the team is improving. It was a difficult match in the first half but we saw some improvements in the second half and we did well.” Fair comments it seems from the Nerazzurri coach as he recognised the ability of the Dutch Champions.
Inter certainly were given a game, they did in turn improve in the second half and started to create more, especially after the introduction of Philippe Coutinho. Samuel Eto agreed stating: “It is not bad, we were down 2-1 away from home, it is very difficult away from home to come back, and we showed again we are a strong team, This season it will be more difficult for us because we are favourites, when last season we were strong outsiders.”
This is an interesting point as few commentators have mentioned that Inter have a huge task ahead of them this year simply as they as reigning champions and are the team to beat, every single team will raise their game to 110% when they play them and this in itself will give Benitez’s men a harder run this year.
Inter travel to Sicily where they face Palermo on the weekend in a game that Inter will again be expected to win. One criticism of the Nerazzurri this week has been their lack of sparkle in the forward areas and a general lack of creativity. Diego Milito has not yet captured the form of last season although he will be hoping to change this on Sunday. Last season Milito scored in a 1-1 draw with Palermo and although the same result this year would not be a disaster you would again have to question is it the start we have come to expect from Inter.
The Nerazzurri are waiting on the result of Goran Pandevs knee injury that may leave the away side with a gap in their front three with only Coutinho or Jonathan Biabiany available to fill the void. La Gazzetta dello Sport has reported that if Pandev is not fit then it is likely that Benitez will play a 4-3-1-2 instead of a 4-2-3-1 although whether this can be seen as enforced or tactical is up for debate.
Inter will go to Sicily knowing that Palermo have drawn with Cagliari and lost to Brescia, therefore, confidence should be high. Critics will say that a win is essential but in truth it is not and a point at Palermo is not a bad result. They do however, need to see more goals and this will surely happen as soon as Milito finds form, once this materialises then it is hard to see a team in the division who will match the Nerazzurri on their day.
Could Inter be doing better the answer is simple. Yes! But to win the league you need to be able to play poorly and get results, Inter are doing this and it is only a matter of time before they find form.