In what was a beautiful return to Serie A action, Inter and Roma both earned a point despite playing their hearts out in an end to end thriller.
A Tale of Two Halves
With the San Siro packed to the brim, Inter fans seemed estatic to see their team return from the winter break. Within the first few minutes the hype for the fixture was confirmed by the quick box to box plays from both Roma and Inter. However as the half progressed the exiting cheers from Inter fans painfully morphed into groans of dispair as Roman began to make an imprint on the game.
Like the last five games that Inter have failed to win, their midfield looked more fragmented than an infants skull. Inter’s bearded Spaniard Borja Valero was individually emasculated time and time again from Roma’s marauding midfielder Radja Nainggolan. By the 31st minute Inter capitulated with Stephan El Shaarawy chipping the ball over Samir Handandovic to make it 1-0. Inter tried to respond quickly but their laborious efforts yielded nothing.
As Inter’s midfield continued to flail about in despair, coach Luciano Spalletti brought Marcelo Brozovic to the touch line for a substitution but failed to get his player in before the half.
— Inter (@Inter_en) January 21, 2018
In the early stages of the second half Roma continued to press Inter into mistakes with Brozovic failing to make an impact after being subbed on. With the midfield a total disaster for Inter, Spalletti resorted to playing out wide for the rest of the game.
Initially the crosses into the box seemed futile as Icardi failed to get near any of them however, after Eder and Dalbert were subbed in the pace on the wings became a real issue for Roma. With Inter bombarding the Roma box with crosses and shots, finally the nerazzurri were able to break the dead lock via a downward header from Vecino. From then on It was one way traffic for Roma with Inter firing at goalkeeper Allison from all angles. Unfortunately for the Inter fans it was too little too late with the game ending in a well deserved draw for both teams.
⏱ | FT Inter 1-1 Roma
— Inter (@Inter_en) January 21, 2018
Inter Milan Transfer Window Update
After what was expected to be a quiet transfer window for Inter they have managed to circumvent their financial limitations by utilizing well crafted loan deals.
Lisandro Lopez-(Center Back, Benfica)
Addressing their limited depth at the center back position Inter have picked up the 28 year old center back Lisandro Lopez on loan from Benfica. Prior to Lisandro Lopez’s arrival Inter only had one back up center back and risked forcing players into defensive roles they weren’t accustomed. Now with Lisandro Inter coach Luciano Spalletti can relax knowing he wont have to make any creative changes if Miranda and Skriniar were to get injured.
Grazie all’Inter per la fiducia è per avermi accolto con tanto affetto. Sono molto felice di far parte di questa società e di questa famiglia. Farò il massimo per difendere i colori di questo club. #ForzaInter ⚫️? pic.twitter.com/t4TNtnfFOT
— Lisandro Lopez (@lichilopez2) January 18, 2018
While Lisandro is a safe back up signing for Inter, he still commands an enourmous amount of respect. The 28 year old Argentine was a regular starter at Benfica and has extensive experience playing in the UEFA Champions league. He boasts a strong physical stature, modest technical abilities but most importantly a unique tactical understanding of defensive football. Inter will have Lopez on loan for the rest of the season as well as the option to buy for nine million euros. If everything goes well and Inter makes the champions league, expect Lisandro Lopez to remain with the Nerazzurri.
While this deal is not completely finished, it is understood that Rafinha will complete his move to Inter on Monday, as his father has confirmed the move to international news outlets. It is said that the Nerazzuri will pick up the Brazilian on loan until the end of the season with an option to buy for 34 million euros.
Barcelona and Inter Milan have reached an agreement over the transfer of Rafinha. (Source: MARCA) pic.twitter.com/vqzkxGQQgF
— Transfer News Live (@DeadlineDayLive) January 20, 2018
Rafinha is a great pick up for the Nerazzuri and will likely feature in the starting eleven rather quickly. With Inter struggling to maintain possession in midfield all season, a player like Rafinha may be able to bring the Nerazzuri back to their winning ways. The 24 year old Brazilian still has a very bright future ahead of him and has only fell out of the Barcelona line up due to several injuries.
If Rafinha manages to stay healthy he may be one of the bargain signings of the year and could be a key protagonist in a team that will likely return to Champions League next year. The only bad news about this signing is the fact that Joao Mario has been pushed even further down the pecking order.