Inter vs Juventus 1-0: Nerazzurri Put Damper on Juve Title Ambitions

Inter delivered a knockout punch to Juventus’ Scudetto hopes as they deservedly prevailed in the Derby d’Italia on Sunday night. Even though the two sides were only separated by a Federico Gatti own goal, Inter legitimated their lead as they were on the attacking end for most of the game, while Max Allegri’s side almost never managed to test Yann Sommer. 

The Nerazzurri thus increased their lead in the table over the Old Lady to four points, with one game still in hand. If they beat Atalanta in their catch-up game on February 28, they will have a seven-point advantage over the Bianconeri

Simone Inzaghi lined up his Inter side as expected, the only exception being Matteo Darmian at right wingback. Nicoló Barella and Hakan Calhanoglu regained their spots at midfield after both serving a one-match ban. On the other hand, Allegri tasked 18-year-old Kenan Yildiz to play alongside Dusan Vlahovic upfront for Juventus but the young Turk’s performance was subpar tonight.

Inter were in control of the operations from the get-go and Federico Dimarco was the first to threaten the Bianconeri‘s goal. However, his volley from a Benjamin Pavard cross hit the side netting. Then, Hakan Calhanoglu brilliantly picked the former Verona man with a long-range pass all across the pitch, offering Dimarco the chance to serve Marcus Thuram in the middle of the box. Gleison Bremer saved the day for Juventus with a spectacular slide tackle to prevent the Frenchman from shooting.

Juventus’s game plan seemed to be simply defending to the death and hitting the Nerazzurri on the counter. That seemed to work when Weston McKennie galloped from the midfield line towards the box. He then served Vlahovic on the left side, but the Serbian striker lost the tempo and allowed Pavard to block his shot. 

On 37 minutes, the outcome of the Derby d’Italia was decided. Nicoló Barella crossed the ball from the right hand side into the middle of the box, where Pavard tried an acrobatic scissor kick. He only managed to lightly touch the ball, making it bounce on Gatti’s chest and into the back of the net as the Juve defender tried to anticipate Thuram.  

At half time, the score was 1-0 and rightly so. The pattern didn’t change after the restart as Inter continued to attack but found a monumental Szczesny on their way. The Polish shot-stopper denied Barella from point-blank range as the diminutive Sardinian midfielder volleyed the ball from a Dimarco service, then also pushed back substitute Marko Arnautovic’s shot (even though in this case the Austrian striker should have done better). 

Calhanoglu should also have written his name on the scoresheet but saw his lob shot from the edge of the box crash into Szczesny’s right post. Inter’s domination was evident, while Juventus’ only shot in the second half came from Vlahovic but it was just a weak conclusion that was easily blocked by Sommer.   

 

MATCH SCORECARD

February 4, 2024 – Serie A 2023/24 Round 23
INTER – JUVENTUS 1-0

SCORERS: 37′ Gatti (o.g.)

INTER (3-5-2): Sommer; Pavard, Acerbi, Bastoni (88’ De Vrij); Darmian (73’ Dumfries), Barella (88’ Klaassen), Calhanoglu, Mkhitaryan, Dimarco (73’ Carlos Augusto); Thuram (77’ Arnautovic), Lautaro Martinez (Di Gennaro, Audero, Sensi, Frattesi, Buchanan, Asllani, Bisseck, Sanchez) Coach: S. Inzaghi
JUVENTUS (3-5-2): Szczesny; Gatti (88’ Alex Sandro), Bremer, Danilo; Cambiaso (88’ Miretti), McKennie (90’ Alcaraz), Locatelli, Rabiot, Kostic (66’ Weah); Yildiz (66’ Chiesa), Vlahovic (Pinsoglio, Perin, Rugani, Djaló, Nicolussi Caviglia, Iling-Junior, Nonge Boende) Coach: Allegri

REFEREE: Mr. Maresca from Naples
NOTES: Yellow Cards: Mkhitaryan, Thuram (I), Vlahovic, Danilo (J); Added Time: 1st Half 1′, 2nd Half 5′

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