It certainly wasn’t easy, but Antonio Conte’s Inter remain perfect thanks to a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Cagliari on Sunday.
The Nerazzurri weren’t as dominant as their opening match against Lecce, but that was to be expected against the Sardinians – who showed they will prove a stiff test to whoever visits the Sardegna Arena.
While the partnership between Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez still needs some polishing – and Alexis Sanchez still needs to round into form – the positives certainly outweighs the negatives for the Nerazzurri at this time.
Sensi already taking the spotlight
While much of Inter’s summer headlines were dominated by news of Lukaku’s arrival and Mauro Icardi’s (expected?) departure, the unheralded signing of the Italian may prove to be the most important one.
Standing at just 1.68 metres, it’s easy to overlook Sensi given his physique and lack of star power. However, after just two games with Inter, it’s safe to say the native of Urbino has already carved out a starring role in Conte’s midfield.
The Italian’s abilities were on full display on Sunday: an assist on Lautaro’s opening goal, a crossbar from a set-piece, and a dazzling display of dribbling to win the deciding penalty that was converted by Lukaku.
With Conte largely relying on the cast of characters carried over from last season so far, it’s Sensi that has made the biggest difference for the Nerazzurri in the first two matches.
An applause for the forgotten frog
With Diego Godin still not at 100 percent and Stefan de Vrij kept out, Ranocchia once again stepped up and delivered a solid performance in the heart of the Inter defence.
For a player that has been through it all – rising star, failure to deliver on that promise, Inter captain and then removed from the position – it’s a breathe of fresh air to see someone give their all and excel after overcoming some challenges.
Granted, he is expected to return to the bench once Godin and De Vrij are fully healthy, but it seems the Nerazzurri have rediscovered a player, and a locker room presence, that many thought was lost.
And so it is, just like you said it would be
A final word on the Icardi saga, as it’s unlikely anything will change despite the close of the transfer window on Monday.
Conte was asked whether the Argentine will be welcomed back into the group should he stay, and the Italian all but ruled that out by stating everything will continue on as is.
The fact he laughed when asked if Icardi would play says it all, as the situation has become comical for all involved.
For the sake of everyone, let’s hope this ends sooner rather than later.