Inter moved another step closer to a first Scudetto since 2010 after a 1-0 win over Hellas Verona in Serie A on Sunday.
The Nerazzurri secured victory thanks to a second half goal from substitute Matteo Darmian at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, although survived a scare as Davide Faraoni saw an equaliser chalked off for the visitors.
Victory means Inter are now 13 points clear of AC Milan at the top of the Serie A table, ahead of the Rossoneri’s match against Lazio on Monday, and require just six more points to be crowned champions.
Whilst it was a far from vintage performance, overcoming a stubborn Verona outfit shows how far Inter have come under Conte and how the culmination of two years’ worth of work will be a league title.
Indeed, the coach emphasised the level of pressure on his team to complete the job of securing the Scudetto, whilst facing a physical side, but the team reacted to drag the Biscione to the cusp of glory.
Inter showed their defensive resilience to limit the Gialloblu to a single shot on target, as they had done in previous draws against Napoli and Spezia, and this solidity has been at the heart of their title charge.
Against Ivan Juric’s side, Inter were content to allow Verona to pass the ball in midfield, but as the graphic below shows, few dangerous passes entered the final third.
In comparison, Inter sat deep and used their pace and physicality to take hold of the match, whilst utilising the width of wing-backs Achraf Hakimi and Ivan Perisic.
The Nerazzurri are unbeaten in 17 league games and saw an 11-match winning streak since the midway point of the season interrupted only by two draws. This incredible level of consistency has prevented anyone else from mounting a serious challenge since January, and as AC Milan and Juventus drop points, Inter seem to keep ploughing away.
Success has also come from the squad depth at Conte’s disposal and few could argue that no team in Serie A have the wide array of options Inter do. However, it has required every individual to play their part and with Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez now without a goal in four, it was the turn of Darmian to step up and find the winner.
The wing-back arrived on loan from Parma to little fanfare, but is quickly establishing himself as a cult hero in Inter’s long-awaited quest to land the Scudetto.