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Did Juve end Inter's Serie A title hopes?

Started by w88thaiscom Mar 10th, 2020 at 01:01
Posts: 140
Mar 10th, 2020 at 01:01
Against the surreal, but not unprecedented, backdrop of an empty stadium that allowed viewers to hear every thud, crunch and shout, Juventus downed Inter 2-0, a result that knocks Antonio Conte's Scudetto chances down to single digits. If you only saw the highlights, you might conclude that the difference was a deflected goal and a world-class strike by Paulo Dybala, but there was much more to it than that w88 casino .

Juve came in having lost three of their previous seven matches including, most recently, the 1-0 Champions League stinker in Lyon. More importantly, you could count on one hand the number of times they had looked convincing this season: against Roma in the Coppa Italia, Inter away, some of the European group games and not many more. They still got results because, well, they have better players and, more generally, that's how they roll, but this was a potential crossroads for them and for Maurizio Sarri.

So when the lineup came out and we discovered that Sarri had dropped Miralem Pjanic for Rodrigo Bentancur, that Dybala was on the bench and that Aaron Ramsey was starting in the three-man midfield, the knives came out. But Juve came out of the gates quickly, absorbed Inter's reaction without conceding much in the way of chances and then, after taking the lead, dominated the rest of the way. Some of it is down to Inter's flaws (we'll get to those) but you have to credit Sarri for shaking off the negative prematch vibes and getting the approach right, tactically and mentally club w88 .

Leo Bonucci and Matthijs de Ligt were rock-solid at the back; the midfield three dominated; and Dybala was the difference maker when he came on. You can buy Sarri's explanation that it's best to use him only in certain situations (or not), but there is no denying his impact. And while Cristiano Ronaldo failed to score, which means he didn't break Gabriel Batistuta's record, he worked hard and was unselfish, particularly for Ramsey's goal.

As for Inter, if you go for a "battling" midfield without a creator like Christian Eriksen or Stefano Sensi, they need to battle. And on Sunday night, they failed to exert enough pressure on Juve's midfield. The front two of Lautaro Martinez and Romelu Lukaku contributed close to nothing, in part because they couldn't get service and in part because there didn't seem to be any kind of Plan B, like dropping deep or trying something different.

Conte has his responsibilities here, and it's especially hard to fathom why he can't get to grips with Eriksen. The latest line peddled -- he's not dynamic enough, he's not intense enough, his work ethic isn't right -- is frankly absurd .

Leaving aside that he can give you something no other Inter player has (apart from Sensi, and we last saw him in Serie A in January), it amounts to Eriksen being judged by how he looks. Yes, he's not exactly a "warrior" type. But he thrived for many years under Mauricio Pochettino at Spurs, and that was hardly a "soft" team. In fact, Inter could use the intensity and pressing they displayed right up until the last months of last season. It boggles the mind that Eriksen has started just one league game after Inter went through all that trouble to sign him in January .
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