Anything can still happen in Serie A behind leaders Juventus, with three teams set to battle it out until the end for second spot, but Inter moving from fourth to that very position after one of the most troubled weeks of their season proves how dealing with expectations could arguably be the biggest issue for the Nerazzurri.
The comeback win over Torino was fully deserved, and showed an eagerness that the coach and many players had to the get through the current storm via a crucial win.
Inter had failed to take advantage of two consecutive Lazio defeats, but in this third game they, not only put on a brilliant show for long periods, they also didn’t let a single, albeit huge, mistake affect the entire performance.
In fact, one thing which didn’t change was the Nerazzurri inflicting harm on themselves.
In a first half during which Inter were undeservedly punished by their own captain’s mistake, the team left no space for discouragement and looked eager to prove themselves stronger than their adversities.
At the same time, with Lautaro far from being the offensive threat that used to scare every Serie A backline, it seemed evident that Inter lacked the means to cause havoc to an already defensive side who could hinder the hosts’ attacks by simply sitting back and packing their own box with men.
In such a picture, Antonio Conte’s decision to bench Christian Eriksen once again seemed even more questionable but, luckily for the coach, his team was filled with players who were determined to show the character that has been lacking on several occasions this season.
With Alexis Sanchez in a starring role yet again, the likes of Diego Godin and Marcelo Brozovic also played with intensity and desire to ward off recent criticism and it was evident that the whole side benefited from their solid performances.
Looking at how they managed to turn such a complicated game around, one may wonder why Inter weren’t able to show the same personality in other matches. Maybe they feel more at ease with trying to upset the odds, rather than dealing with high expectations.
Also, it has to be said that Antonio Conte’s demanding style of play is very much dependant on his players’ fitness, which is why the team often struggle to maintain a consistent level of performance when going through a packed schedule of games.
Whatever the answer, the Nerazzurri need their charismatic leaders now more than ever if they want to finish their season on a high.
All about Belotti
As for Torino, their only consolation came with Andrea Belotti’s sixth straight goal in Serie A, which saw the striker become only the third Granata player to reach such milestone after Ruggiero Rizzitelli and Ciro Immobile.
The Granata side are now 16th in the Serie A table, only five points away from relegation, as their interim boss Moreno Longo has been unable to turn the tide after taking over Walter Mazzarri.
Torino have lost four of their last five Serie A matches and their home meeting against 17th placed Genoa is set to be a season defining game and one they can’t afford to lose.
After finding a lucky lead, the Granata tried to put up a fight against Inter with their trademark combative style of play, but once again the means at their disposal seemed too limited to cause much concern to a stronger opponent.
After meeting Lazio, Juventus and Inter in the space of two weeks, a final set of easier games await Torino and the last chance for them to leave behind their most troubled season in years and focus on the future.