Frank De Boer had his first match at the San Siro today as Inter manager. He had a lot of eyes on him with Suning making their first appearance at the stadium to watch their club take onPalermo. Inter could not afford another loss and as a result of that Chievo Verona match FdB went with a more traditional 433 formation. Danilo D’Ambrosio and Davide Santon flankedJeison Murillo and Joao Miranda. The midfield was comprised of Gary Medel, Ever Banega, and Geoffrey Kondogbia while the forwards were Eder, Mauro Icardi, and Ivan Perisic.
Palermo had the first chance of the match in the 7th minute from a free kick when Murillo lost Edoardo Goldaniga but he surprisingly missed the target. Inter had the lion’s share of possession but the players really didn’t make anything happen until just after the 30th minute when Perisic and Banega decided to make things happen. First a Perisic cross found Medel but his shot was cleared just off the line, then Banega found Perisic with a brilliant long ball and the Croatian’s shot was palmed away. Banega had a chance to show off his dead ball skills and both Miranda and Murillo sent headers just wide. Samir Handanovic tried to channel his inner Manuel Neuer and head the ball away outside the box but risked giving up an empty net goal, while the final major chance of the match fell to Medel when Icardi flicked the ball into his path but the Chilean’s shot was off target.
Just like last weekend Inter conceded a goal at the beginning of the second half, but this one was a lot weirder. A cross was acrobatically flicked away by Santon but the ball fell to Andrea Rispoli who’s shot took a nasty deflection off Santon with Handanovic rooted to the spot. Inter began hunting for an equalizer immediately and Perisic, Medel, and D’Ambrosio all had chances but were unable to score. Then FdB sent on Antonio Candreva and the team clicked into another gear. Icardi headed wide from a Banega free kick and then Candreva sent in a cross that Icardi couldn’t miss from in the 72nd minute to level up the scoreline. The Italian international served Eder a good cross in the 77th minute and he sent a volley high in stoppage time as the home side pushed for a late winner that unfortunately was unable to come.
Inter played much better today, the midfield and attack linked up much better and we could see instances of FdB’s high press that he has spoken about. Ever Banega played well in the regista role, but the most interesting part of the midfield was De Boer’s decision to play Medel in a very advanced position. He was usually the most forward midfielder, and sometimes he was positioned alongside Icardi up top. This saw the Chilean presented with a number of attacking opportunities that he unfortunately was unable to take. I’m not sure if he is trying to mold Medel into more of an attacking force or if he was just experimenting with how the team would play with Joao Mario in the side pushing forward and only one player staying further back (Kondogbia).
A draw was a fairly disappointing result but we could see that De Boer is molding the team in his image. There is an international break coming up now and the new manager will be happy that he has some extra training time with some of his players. The next match is September 11th against Pescara and if the team can improve its finishing, wins should ome soon.