Club Focus – Inter – It’s in your own hands now

If a win is a win, they some wins are slightly more foreboding than others. For all José Mourinho’s post-game talk about how he does not lose at Stamford Bridge, the Coach must privately be worried about how Chelsea dominated the game on Wednesday night, because if they do that again in the second leg the chances are they will be advancing in the competition.

Probably the biggest positive that the Nerazzurri can take from this game is that they know they can trouble Chelsea’s defence. It may sound like a redundant statement when considering the players that Inter have in attack, but it means that both they and Chelsea know that the London side will have to be careful in defence as they press for an equaliser. This threat will, at the very least, prevent Chelsea from being able to commit too many players forward, and keep Branoslav Ivanović and whoever fills in at left-back running all night as they will have to defend as well as attack.

The main worry is that Inter played the whole first leg like an away side, when they perhaps could have used the home advantage to control the game from the beginning. You very rarely see one of the English sides score an early goal at home and then sit back, and this merciless mentality may well be one of the main reasons that they have done so well in Europe in recently seasons.

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The fact is that Inter’s fate is still very much in their own hands, and considering the way they have played in the Champions League so far this season, they should be very thankful. We all know that Chelsea will come out and attack at home and they will throw everything that they have at the Nerazzurri until they get the goal that they want. Inter will have to keep things tighter in defence than they did on Wednesday, but they have to fancy their chances of getting a goal on the break against a Chelsea defence that can look shaky. The one thing that Mourinho must not instruct his men to do is to go out and try to conserve the lead that they have. This is not to say that they must be attacking, because an attacking attitude would also likely lead to goals being conceded, but putting everybody in their own half is just asking for trouble, and Mourinho’s previously-mentioned assertion that he does not lose at Stamford Bridge will make Inter fans a little uneasy about his potential tactical selection.

In Serie A this weekend, la Beneamata have a trip to face Udinese, and could really do with a win in order to stop Milan and Roma from taking yet more points out of their lead at the top of the table. With a four-point lead things are not desperate yet, but should Inter fail to win and Milan beat Atalanta then it will be a real test of the squad’s nerve for the rest of the season – and considering that Roma still have to face both Milanese sides at the Olimpico, then bad form from either team could see the title become the Giallorossi’s to lose now that they are out of the Europa League and can concentrate on Serie A.

Three away games in the next four weeks against Udinese, Catania and Palermo will provide Inter with a real test. If they can regain the form that they showed earlier in the season then it should not be too difficult, but if they continue to stutter they could well lose top spot. If Inter do exit the Champions League and contrive to lose a title which should be all but wrapped up by now, then Mourinho will no doubt find the attention he has been receiving from Madrid much more difficult to ignore come the end of the season.

Inter Club Focus 2009/10

Pre-season

Another Scudetto for the Nerazzurri? – August 18, 2009

Week 1

A stuttering start, and a Portuguese explosion – August 25, 2009

Week 2

It’s derby time – August 28, 2009

A wonderful derby but the champions of Europe are waiting – September 1, 2009

All is well for la Beneamata – September 4, 2009

International week (Georgia-Italy, Italy-Bulgaria)

Friendlies, injuries and stolen boots… – September 7, 2009

Week 3

Nerazzurri look to the future as Ibra looks back – September 11, 2009

Inter get a point, but that’s not the point – September 18, 2009

Week 4

They never had a problem with ugly wins – September 22, 2009

Week 5

Partenopei are beaten Black and Blue – September 25, 2009

Week 6

Blucerchiati run rings round Inter – September 29, 2009

Champions League? You’re having a laugh – October 2, 2009

Week 7

I’d rather be lucky than good – October 6, 2009

The international break – October 6, 2009

International Week (Republic of Ireland-Italy, Italy-Cyprus)

Transfer Talk – October 13, 2009

Back to Genova – October 16, 2009

Week 8

The Puzzle continues – October 20, 2009

Week 9

What next? – October 23, 2009

Papering over the cracks – October 27, 2009

Week 10

The pressure is on as Inter almost throw it away against Palermo – October 30, 2009

Week 11

Judgement day awaits – November 3, 2009

Just in time – November 6, 2009

Week 12

A draw with Roma, but things look good – November 10, 2009

Week 13

Back to the day job – November 20, 2009

A Messi situation – November 24, 2009

It was embarrassing – November 27, 2009

Week 14

José gets ruffled – December 1, 2009

Week 15

Derby d’Italia – December 4, 2009

It could be worse – December 8, 2009

Week 16

Disaster averted – December 11, 2009

A missed opportunity? More for them than us – December 11, 2009

Week 17

Resolutions – December 18, 2009

How do you solve a problem like Mourinho [does]? – December 22, 2009

Winter break

Grazie Marco – December 29, 2009

Inter transfer rumours beaten black and blue – January 5, 2010

Week 18

Mario Balotelli, hero and villain – January 8, 2010

Wesley Sneijder: the human get-out-of-jail-free card – January 12, 2010

Week 19

A potentially beastly decision – January 15, 2010

Week 20

Bari wasn’t great, Milan must be better – January 19, 2010

Week 21

Derby della Madonnina and Jermaine Jenas? – January 22, 2010

Inter show why they are the champions of Milan – January 26, 2010

A derby win, a semi-final, and disciplinary charges. Just another quiet week for Mourinho – January 29, 2010

Week 22

Snow game this weekend – February 2, 2010

Week 23

Coppa win and Gerrard in? – February 5, 2010

The Goran Pandev show – February 9, 2010

Week 24

Nine points clear – February 12, 2010

Week 25

Mourinho and Chelsea – February 16, 2010


Mourinho needs league form fast
– February 19, 2010


Seriously José, what’s going on?
– February 23, 2010

Week 26

It’s in your own hands now – February 26, 2010

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