Two matches have been played so far this weekend, and the more interesting result of the two has to be the 1-1 draw which was played out between Inter Milan and Brescia. The other match played was a 2-0 for Bologna against Lecce, with Di Vaio and Gimenez scoring simple tap ins.
But the match which will be attracting the media attention was at the San Siro, where Brescia almost managed to pull off a win against Rafa Benitez’s side. The Inter squad is currently destroyed by injuries, with Benitez unable to utilize Julio Cesar, Thiago Motta, Esteban Cambiasso, Dejan Stankovic, and Sulley Muntari. And this match Benitez has lost another couple of players to injury, first Maicon was substituted for a right thigh muscle problem, and then Walter Samuel awkwardly landed on his knee, twisting it and needing to be stretchered off. Wesley Sneijder also needed to be taken off at half time because he was apparently suffering from “lightheadedness”, another blow for Benitez.
The game seemed to start well for Inter Milan, some good possession with a few shots scattered as Brescia started defensively. But 14 minutes in a long ball for Caracciolo wasn’t dealt properly by Samuel and Lucio, and the Brescia captain managed to finish past Castellazzi to give the away side the lead. Then, Benitez’s side began to panic, and Bresica made sure to cover up defensively to not allow Inter to have any goalbound chances.
Maicon had to be replaced around the half-hour mark, so Benitez chose to do so with Cordoba. Then when Samuel needed to be substituted as well, Benitez finally put in Santon, sliding Cordoba in the middle of defence with Lucio, and giving Santon the right wing to operate on. And Benitez had to take off Sneijder at halftime because of some “migraine problems”, and Benitez decided to put in the young Nigerian Obi.
Inter pressed and pressed, with Pandev as useless as a stump, Eto’o dribbling too much, and Coutinho the only player providing danger to the Brescia goal. Milito, Obi, and Coutinho worked hard to make sure that Brescia remained on the defensive, and Santon was exceptional in tearing down the right wing to provide an attacking option. Eventually Inter Milan created the opportunity to score, Samuel Eto’o was brought down in the penalty box after one of his trademark dribbles, and referee Gava gave the penalty. Samuel Eto’o sent the keeper the wrong way with an unreachable and beautifully taken penalty into the bottom left corner of the net.
Regarding whether it was actually a penalty or not, it’s a very tough call to make. Eto’o had been brought down plenty of times in the box where the referee could’ve called a penalty with certainty, yet the referee called one when it was slightly dubious. There was certainly pushing and maybe some tripping by the defender, but looking at the replay, it seems like Eto’o is slipping with his foot literally on top of the ball. Whether he’s slipping because of the defender’s push, or his own faulty traction, we don’t really know.
So Inter manage to squeak a 1-1 draw where they were probably the better side, but I’m not sure they deserved a win. They had plenty of opportunities to score, one of which in the last minute of stoppage time with Diego Milito in front of an open net, volleying the ball over the goal, but Inter didn’t put any away. Sure, they kept possession and had some goal-bound shots, but they still didn’t score from open play, a worrying statistic for any Inter fans.
But what Inter fans should really be worried is the injury situation. I think that Samuel will be out for at least a month after his awkward and wince-causing knee injury, and Sneijder’s migraine problem isn’t a positive thing. But if you were to take the positives for Inter from this match: Santon is doing wonderfully and he can easily replace Maicon, Coutinho looks fantastic and was unlucky not to have a goal, and Milito is returning with a hardworking mentality.
What are your thoughts regarding these two matches? Was Inter Milan’s draw a surprise for you? Please share your thoughts below by commenting!