Inter’s recent tendency to easily spoil what has been built with huge effort, have led many to question whether they are mature enough to compete with the likes of Lazio and Juventus for the Scudetto, despite having long occupied the first two spots in Serie A.
Since football has resumed after the coronavirus shutdown, the Nerazzurri have proved to be quite an unstable team – although their offensive potential is beyond dispute, the team seemed to have lost that solidity that made them one of the best defences in the Serie A during the first half of the season.
It is hard to consider a win over rock-bottom Brescia, as big as it was, a statement of intent, but it looked like coach Antonio Conte had taken note of all the recent criticism in order to fix all the issues which had been highlighted.
First of all, Inter were finally able to rely on some of their reserve players to put on a convincing display, something they were unable to do in the past. Alexis Sanchez is a perfect example of that, as he has never become that valuable addition that the Nerazzurri had in mind when they signed him from Manchester United.
After overcoming his physical troubles, the Chilean now looks set to offer his coach a long-wanted alternative to the offensive duo Inter have been overly dependent on during these months.
In a time when Romelu Lukaku is still to find his best form and Lautaro Martinez’s performances seem to be affected by transfer speculation, Sanchez proved that his experience and class can inspire the whole side.
Against Brescia, the South American forward acted as what we could define an offensive regista, lying deep to receive the ball in order to take advantage of his vision, but also making dangerous runs inside the opponents’ box to create cut-clear chances.
The first clean sheet since February was also a bright spot for Inter, who seemed aware of their recent worrying tendency to suddenly pull the plug and tried their best to keep their level of focus high even with a comfortable goal margin.
However, there’s one thing to note. Before the Nerazzurri’s thrashing of Brescia began, Diego Lopez’s side had a major chance to take the lead and it is hard to say whether things would have been different had Antonio Donnarumma sent the ball home.
In a way, it could have worked as a wake up call for the Biscione and their immediate reaction would probably have been the most positive aspect.
Inter are now entering a mentally challenging phase of their season, as Juventus and Lazio don’t seem to be slowing down as they race for the Scudetto, and the Nerazzurri need to keep the motivation high although a third-place finish currently looks like the only realistic goal within their grasp.
But it is by processing their own mistakes that they can mature and become a real Scudetto challenger in the future. After all, it should not be forgotten that Antonio Conte took over a side who struggled to finish fourth last season.
With some big reinforcements on the cards, Inter must strive to express their full potential over long stretches, and not just during a single game, as they have demonstarted they have the means to do so.
Whilst the second half of the season has often proved troubled for the Nerazzurri in the recent past, they still have a chance to give meaning to their current campaign.