Let’s be honest, Wednesday’s Coppa Italia semi-final between Inter and Napoli was a borefest.
One side coming off the back of a draining derby match, and the other off a humiliating defeat against Lecce, while also in the midst of a mini-rebuild.
It promised a lot, and almost 60,000 spectators were likely hoping of a repeat of Sunday’s drama, but it wasn’t to be. Chances were few and far between, mistakes were plentiful and the atmosphere dulled.
Since joining Inter on January 28, Christian Eriksen has played just 128 minutes of football, across four matches, and it yet to start for the Nerazzurri.
Against Napoli, Inter looked tired after their Milan Derby exploits and when the Dane was brought in on the 66th minutes, the Nerazzurri looked all the more dangerous, and that was a against a side who defended in numbers, leaving little space for the home side to operate.
It won’t be long before he makes his way into Antonio Conte’s starting XI, and the sooner the better. Inter created very little for the first hour, but Eriksen quality shone through, playing a lovely ball for Alexis Sanchez as well as having two dangerous shots of his own.
Conte said Eriksen was on the bench for tactical and physical reasons, but with 20 Premier League games under his belt before the move to Italy, it is time the Inter boss unleashed Eriksen. His team need it.
Fabian steals the show
For the most part Napoli offered nothing in attack, and managed just two shots on target over the course of the match. That said one of those was a thing of beauty as Fabian Ruiz linked up superbly with Giovanni Di Lorenzo and then placed an unstoppable shot past Daniele Padelli.
In the opening half he looked overwhelmed but with some encouragement – or shouting – from Gattuso, he stamped his mark on the game, looking far more threatening for the Partenopei.
Covered well by Diego Demme, the Spaniard gave the Stadio Meazza a glimpse of the quality he has.