Inter Milan's struggles continue
A home game at the San Siro on Saturday night would have been eyed as the perfect game for 4th placed Inter Milan to end their winless run as they hosted 4th from bottom Crotone. The first quarter of the game didn't have much action with either side failing to register a real chance in the game.
The first shot on target resulted in Eder scoring the opening goal of the game, leaping high and heading the ball into the net, with a lucky deflection from Crotone defender Davide Faraoni.
There were very few chances created primarily due to the fact that Inter captain, Mauro Icardi was missing his first game of the season due to an injury picked up in training. His absence was significantly hurting the Inter attack as they lacked inspiration.
The story was the same in the second half as well with very little inspiration in attack for both teams. A rare chance in the 59th minute saw Crotone capitalize on Inter's error. Marcello Trotta's pass took a deflection off Borja Valero which went through to Barberis in a crowded 18-yard box and he slotted home to equalize for his side.
A couple of half chances in the final quarter summed up the evening as the game ended in a stalemate. The 1-1 draw meant that Inter's winless run stretched to beyond two months.
The major dip in form has seen them get off track and fall behind significantly in the Serie A title race. Their poor run of form started in the month of December with a goalless draw against Juventus.
This was followed up by successive losses to Udinese at home and a narrow 1-0 loss against Sassuolo. Consequently, Inter have been unbeaten against the bigger teams with them having secured draws against Lazio, Fiorentina and AS Roma.
The struggle for Inter has been against the smaller teams as they haven't been clinical in finishing their chances and beating teams that they are supposed to beat.
But this isn't the first time that Inter have gone on this sort of a winless run. In the past few seasons, the second half of the season is where Inter's struggles have started which has cost them hugely in the race for European qualification.
This season seems to be no different as the struggles from the previous seasons haven't been overcome. Inter were leading the Serie A title race for major part of the season before they embarked on their winless run.
They have fallen way behind in the Scudetto challenge and have fallen to 4th place in the table, 12 points behind leaders Napoli and were overtaken by Lazio following a 1-1 draw away to Serie A newcomers, SPAL.
The situation has not been better in the Coppa Italia as Inter failed to beat third division Pordenone in the 90 minutes at home, eventually winning on penalties. They subsequently crashed out after AC Milan scored in the 104th minute of the quarter-final tie.