Inter failed to make a full score again as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Fiorentina at the San Siro on Saturday night. Denzel Dumfries replied to Lucas Torreira’s opener but the Nerazzurri had to thank Samir Handanovic for defusing a Jonathan Ikoné fast break well into stoppage time to salvage at least one point against Vincenzo Italiano’s vibrant Viola.
Inter have won only one of their last seven league games and now are at risk of plummeting six points away from Milan, if the Rossoneri win their Serie A game at Cagliari tonight. There seems to be no end to Inter’s decline.
The Nerazzurri were missing Stephan De Vrij and Marcelo Brozovic. They were replaced by Danilo D’Ambrosio at center back and by Arturo Vidal in the middle of the park.
Among the Fiorentina lines, Italiano continued to put his trust in Pietro Terracciano between the sticks and chose Lorenzo Venuti ahead of Alvaro Odriozola at right back. Duncan replaced the injured Giacomo Bonaventura in midfield, while Riccardo Saponara joned Krzysztof Piatek and Nico Gonzales upfront.
Goalless First Half as Lautaro Is Caught Offside
There were no goals in the first half but emotions didn’t lack at the Giuseppe Meazza. Fiorentina had a better start and challenged Samir Handanovic early after kick off. The Slovenian goalkeeper dived to to the right to push back Nico Gonzales’ shot. Saponara was the next to test the Nerazzurri goalie but his effort was also blocked.
Inter grew towards the end of the first period. Denzel Dumfries crossed for Vidal from the right but the Chilean failed to make anything out of it. Edin Dzeko went for a shot that was defused by Terracciano.
On 40 minutes, Lautaro Martinez found the back of the net tapping in from a Dumfries cross deflected by Cristiano Biraghi, but the Argentine was caught offside.
Dumfries Saves Nerazzurri After Torreira’s Opener
The second half opened with Fiorentina shocking the San Siro. Well served by Gaetano Castrovilli, Gonzales resisted a charge and whipped the ball in the middle of the box, where Lucas Torreira was quick to anticipate D’Ambrosio and slot it home for the Viola‘s opener.
Fiorentina spent only five minutes in the driving seat though, as Inter had their equalizer with Dumfries, who turned from provider into finisher, jumping higher than Duncan to head home a clinical cross from Ivan Perisic.
The quick succession of goals set the match ablaze and the next 20 minutes were played at a much higher pace as the Nerazzurri fans made themselves heard from the stands. Inter’s efforts culminated with the VAR denying Inter’s penalty claims as Lautaro connected with Venuti in the box. The video replay showed that it was the Argentine to kick the Viola defender and not the other way around.
Simone Inzaghi desperately needed all three points on offer and changed his whole offensive line as he brought in Alexis Sanchez and Joaquin Correa. He eventually also added Felipe Caicedo for the final assault. Italiano, on the other hand, threw Jonathan Ikoné in the mix and waited the extra times for making more changes.
Inter’s efforts did not produce much, save for a late shot from Sanchez that was blocked by defender Nikola Milenkovic. Coach Italiano was courageous enough to leave the Serbian center back on the pitch despite Milenkovic picking up a yellow card in the first half already. It was a risky move that paid dividends,
Handanovic’s double save from Ikoné’s counterattack drew the curtains on a game that boosted Fiorentina’s confidence further and amplified Inter’s crisis.
What’s Next for Inter and Fiorentina
After the international break, a though test awaits the Nerazzurri who will travel to Turin to face Juventus at the Allianz Stadium in the Derby d’Italia.
Fiorentina will be also featuring in a derby, the regional one against Empoli for the bragging rights across Tuscany.
March 19, 2021 – Serie A 2021-2022 Round 30
INTER – FIORENTINA 1-1
SCORERS: 50′ Torreira (F), 55′ Dumfries (I)
|INTER (3-5-2): Handanovic, Bastoni (80′ Dimarco), Skriniar, D’Ambrosio; Perisic (80′ Gosens), Vidal (90′ Caicedo), Calhanoglu, Barella, Dumfries; Lautaro Martinez (74′ Sanchez), Dzeko (74′ Correa) (Cordaz, Radu, Gagliardini, Vecino, Kolarov, Ranocchia, Darmian) Coach: S. Inzaghi
|FIORENTINA (4-3-3): Terracciano, Venuti, Igor, Milenkovic (91′ Martinez Quarta), Biraghi; Duncan, Torreira, Castrovilli; Saponara (74′ Ikoné), Piatek (91′ Cabral), Gonzalez (91′ Callejon (Rosati, Dragowski, Maleh, Terzic, Odriozola, Sottil, Nastasic, Kokorin) Coach: Italiano
REFEREE: Mr. Chiffi from Padua
NOTES: Yellow Cards: D’Ambrosio (I), Milenkovic, Saponara (F); Added Time: 1st Half: 0′, 2nd Half: 5′