Attention, everybody. Inter Milan seems to be back among Serie A top clubs.
90 minutes might not be enough to sustain such a strong statement, but many teams should be at least a little bit concerned after having seen the black and blues pulling out a clear 3-0 win against Fiorentina in their seasonal debut.
Inter Milan will have no European matches to consume their energy on, operated intelligently during the transfer market, and are now trained by a world class coach such as Luciano Spalletti.
On the other hand, the Florence squad looked like a team falling to pieces, more than a work in progress. Two of his best players from last year, midfielders Matias Vecino and Borja Valero, tonight were wearing the opponents’ jerseys. Striker Federico Bernardeschi also abandoned the ship to join Juventus, and his colleague Nikola Kalinic is about to do the same and move to AC Milan.
Fiorentina’s most important new entry was sitting on the bench, and was Inter’s former trainer Stefano Pioli: Nerazzurri supporters showed no hard feelings about him, displaying a banner recognizing him as the club’s “only true interista” during last season.
It took only 15 minutes for Inter Milan to give the match a clear direction. Captain Mauro Icardi suffered a foul in the penalty area from his Fiorentina counterpart Davide Astori, and converted the subsequent free shot. Then, he doubled the score anticipating again Astori, as well as center back Vitor Hugo, to finalize with a header a cross by Ivan Perisic.
The purple side from Florence (actually, wearing a white outfit tonight…) woke up in the second half and did pose a few threats to Samir Handanovic’s goal, mostly with long range shots, culminating with a powerful one by Jordan Veretout that hit Inter Milan goalie’s right post.
But then again, it was Inter to put the ball in the net for the third time, when Ivan Perisic converted a precision cross by Joao Mario – so many quality passes produced by the Portuguese in his 25 minutes of playing!
Icardi went very close to score a hat-trick – Fiorentina’s goalie saved the day – then left the field to receive his supporters’ applause.
Coach Spalletti’s touch is already visible on a team who looked on its way to a healthy recovery after a disappointing 2016-17 season. Next week’s test against Roma, where Spalletti is going to face his most recent past, will provide new indications already.
The same cannot be said about the Viola, whose poor performance on the field cannot but be linked to the club’s turbulent situation, with owners Della Valle family aiming at selling the team, and supporters frustrated at their lack of investments.