I last wrote when Inter lost a valiant battle against Juventus in February. They went on to win against a feeble Empoli side, beat Bologna, and lost to a gladiatorial Roma. I wrote about Inter’s growing confidence, unity, and self-belief. The momentum was sexy but my optimism after the Juventus clash seemed like a delusion when I saw the next two games – an overlooked victory against a reeling minnow, and a demoralizing loss to a “direct competitor”. Before the game against Cagliari, the feeling of delusion was rapidly morphing into fear… of failure – the worst kind. But while hope is never a strategy, my convictions from how I felt after Juventus were undeniably still there. Not as profusely but Cagliari was just about the perfect opponent to keep my beliefs strong. A lower mid table team that beat Inter earlier in the season. A team capable of scoring freely but also one that succumbs to its own philosophy.
This game could have gone in two directions for Inter. Keep their heads bowed down and accept a label of mediocrity or stand tall and go for the kill like a pack of wolves. It was really up to them. It’s with respect that I say this but Cagliari does not deserve a wounded and dejected Inter Milan to feed on. It was exhilarating to see the Nerazurri respond with the potency of their will and the might of their true label – Giants of Italy.
The 5-1 thrashing is analogous to the defeats Barcelona, Madrid, and Bayern inflict on their opposition. Banega, Icardi, Perisic, Gagliardini – all put on a display of grit, confidence, and superiority. Kondogbia and Medel lay the foundation for the attackers to keep their foot on the gas with their physical show of dominance while Candreva marauded all over. The one-twos, the curlers, that free kick, the ball control – like a Pro Fifa video gamer had control of the 11 men in white against an amateur who got lucky with one fluke. It was the same feeling when you watch Barcelona in full stride. It’s never about how they are going to score, it’s about when, and by how many.
With 11 more fixtures left in the season, on Sunday, we saw, yet again, the capability of a synchronous Inter. Gaining on Atalanta and capitalizing on their draw against Fiorentina. Next Sunday is probably their biggest game to date. Against another black & blue. But one that history dictates as paling in comparison to the original.
Our greatest fear can lie in anticipation… just as much as the ecstasy of sanguinity.
We wait and see…
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