Match Report I Juventus 1-1 Inter

Serie A giants Juventus and Inter have shared spoils in a 1-1 draw in the highly anticipated Derby D’Italia on match-week 13 of the Serie A at the Allianz Stadium.

Despite Dusan Vlahovic launching the Bianconeri into the lead, Lautaro Martinez’s quick response enabled the Nerazzurri to maintain their two-point gap from the Old Lady at the top of the league standings, maintaining an unbeaten record away from home across all competitions thus far.

Coach Max Allegri’s side commenced the vital match in daring matter as they executed an aggressive high-line and front-foot defending, making it difficult for Inter to exit their zone. However, the Benemata managed to adapt, as coach Simone Inzaghi’s side swiftly moved the ball in order to disrupt the Bianconeri’s defensive shape.

In the opening minutes, Hakan Calhanoglu delivered a fine free-kick into the box and found Marcus Thuram. The Frenchman lightly flicked the ball, but failed to divert it towards any of the corners as shot-stopper Wojciech Szczęsny caught the ball with great ease.

Juventus responded quickly as a deep throw landed towards French midfielder Adrien Rabiot. The skipper managed to make it stick in the box as he linked up with Federico Chiesa in the middle of the box. The Italian winger released the trigger, but his attempt from close range went off the mark.

Denzel Dumfries produced a well-weighted centre towards Lautaro Martinez at the second post. The Argentine used his experience to tower over wing-back Andrea Cambiasso and connect with the ball, but the Polish keeper was alert, preventing the header from crossing the line.

Despite a brief period where Inter dominated the fixture and seemed in total control of the fixture, a heavy touch from Dutchman Dumfries enabled Vlahovic to win the ball in a dangerous area of the pitch and find Chiesa out-wide on the counter whilst his back was facing the Inter goal. The 25 year-old burst with pace and slithered through his markers as he returned the favour for Vlahovic, delivering a sublime low-driven cross to the Serbian, which he tucked into the low-corner with one-touch finish.

The former Fiorentina man shushed his critics as he ended his long goal-scoring drought since September and catapulted his side ahead of the Nerazzurri. 

Regardless of the significant blow, Inzaghi’s side demonstrated their tremendous maturity and mental strength as Nicolo Barella dispatched a perfectly-weighted through ball following an exquisite build-up in transition along the sideline in the path of Marcus Thuram. The French talisman exploded with blistering pace as he beat Gleison Bremer and found Martinez as he made an impeccable over the shoulder run, leaving Federico Gatti completely dumbfounded.  The Argentine was at the end of a low-driven cross and gently placed the ball past Szczęsny to seal the equalizer heading into halftime, increasing his goal-tally to 13 goals in twelve Serie A matches played.

The second half display from both sides was stark opposite, as both coaches executed cautious, risk minimizing game-plans to avoid conceding a goal. An early chance from Inter was created in the second 45 as Henrikh Mkhitaryan delivered a centre towards Thuram, but the Frenchman missed-hit the ball despite being within goal-scoring range.

Apart from that sole opportunity, Inter struggled to breach the back-line despite possessing the ball for the majority of the half. On the other hand, Allegri deployed a low-block to prevent Inter from scoring and his side struggle to break-through the Nerazzurri’s back-three in the few opportunities where the Old Lady launched forward on the attack.

However, a shift in tactics despite a flurry of switches made on both ends resulted in quite a dull second half, forcing the significant match to end in a stalemate, leaving minimal changes to the league standings.

Julian Faustini Ι GIFN

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