Great result for F.C. Internazionale in Europa on Thursday as they beat 10-man Dnipro 1-0 in Kiev in their Europa League opener. Danilo D’Ambrosio’s was the Inter goalscorer.
Heading into the match Dnipro were undefeated this season with five wins and a draw in their first six games in the Ukraine Premier League.
Dnipro’s form makes the Inter win and performance even more impressive. During the summer, Walter Mazzarri and Erick Thohir worked really hard on improving the quality of midfield players in the squad. As a result of the acquisitions of Gary Medel and Yann M’Vila, the Nerazzurri now have a group of midfield that are as good as anyone in Serie A.
For the third consecutive game, Inter dominated the midfield against Dnipro, gaining a 60%-40% possession advantage.
With Medel suspended for this match, M’Vila stepped into the Medel role and hardly put a foot wrong all game. His 85 touches and 89% passing accuracy were amongst the best on the team.
A Walter Mazzarri side will never be called a Tiki-taka team, but Inter had 725 touches on Thursday night, away from home, in Europe, against a team that is full of confidence That is really impressive, and bodes well for the teams fortunes this season.
Mazzarri The Brave
One of the frustrations that Nerazzurri fans had with Mazzarri last season was his conservative approach to the game. Far too often last season Mazzarri tried to sit on a 1-0 lead late in a game instead of going for the second goal and ensuring the win.
Surprisingly the Inter boss has been much more offensive minded this season. He started both Mauro Icardi and Dani Osvaldo plus Hernanes and Mateo Kovačić against Sussuolo on Sunday in an unusually offensive line-up and was rewarded with a 7 goal win.
Against Dnipro, with 28 minutes to go and Inter very comfortable he took off the defensive minded Zdravko Kuzmanovic and brought on Osvaldo as a second striker.
Last season Mazzarri does not make that move. Last season he settles for the draw away from home, which still would have been a good result. But the Inter boss saw that there was an opportunity to grab all three points and he took it.
Where Is Rodrigo Palacio?
Argentina striker Rodrigo Palacio was an unused substitute on Thursday as Mazzarri persisted with Icardi up front. It is difficult to argue that Icardi should be rested based on the form that he is in, but at what time does Palacio start to worry about his place in the team.
At the moment, Palacio is Mazzarri’s third choice striker, a statement that would have been unthinkable 12 months ago. As such, he will be on a short-lease with the Inter boss, where if he does not perform well whenever he does get a chance to play, he will quickly be back on the bench watching the two inform strikers play.