Internazionale 2-0 Borussia Dortmund: Talking Points from the Nerazzurri win
Internazionale’s defence held strong as Borussia Dortmund were condemned to an outright defeat to dent their chances to qualify to the next round.
Inter put on a commanding performance to get their first Champions league victory under Antonio Conte. The manager has brought in much needed stability and order to an already talented bunch of footballers. This looks like a side who can win trophies at all fronts.
Lautaro Martinez continued his rich vein of form as he scored in his fourth consecutive game. The Argentine controlled a well-measured Stefan de Vrij pass to score in the 22nd minute of the game as Nico Schulz played him onside.
He could have doubled his tally but his tame penalty was well palmed away by Roman Burki.
Inter’s well-drilled defence held fort as Samir Handanović thwarted away well-taken strikes from Jadon Sancho and Julian Brandt.
The first-half goal had allowed the Nerazzurri to take control of the proceedings. In the closing stages of the game, Antonio Candreva justified his selection and put the tie to rest with a well-taken counter attacking goal.
Let’s take a look at a few talking points from the game:
Inter’s resolute defence
Antonio Conte’s sides are known for their defensive prowess and discipline. He has instilled the same principles in Inter.
The Nerazzurri already had Milan Skriniar and Stefan de Vrij and the addition of Diego Godin has proved to be the missing piece of the puzzle. They stifled the usually fluid Dortmund attacking line and as a result they couldn’t muster many shots towards the goal.
Championship winning teams are built on well stocked defences and Inter are on the right track with regards to approach and personnel.
No tooth and bite in Dortmund’s attack
Borussia Dortmund had a setback as the club captain and primary source of attacking output, Marco Reus was out injured. Coupled with Paco Alcacer's untimely injury, Dortmund attack was devoid of real bite.
Julian Brandt played in the middle of the park with Jadon Sancho trying his level best from the wings. However, both the youngsters were no match to Inter’s tactics and the vast experience of their defensive line.
They held the majority of the possession but only managed five shots on target of which only two were on target. They were a far cry from the usual fluid attacking football which they play which came back to bite them at the San Siro.
Antonio Candreva is an absolute favourite of Antonio Conte's and one can see why. He gives it all for the team’s cause and simply doesn’t stop running.
The Italy international helped his team both in attack and defence. He hit four shots towards goal and was able to finish his evening with a goal to his name for his efforts.
The 32-year old also made three clearances and two tackles and helped his defence keep a clean sheet. Along with that, he made a crucial intervention when Sancho was about to pull the trigger.
The Hazard brothers are not having a good season after their long due transfers. The Belgian arrived from Bayer Leverkusen to boost Dortmund's already impressive attacking line, but has failed to fulfil the expectations that were put on him.
The 26-year-old was there for 84 minutes on the pitch, but had nothing to show for his efforts. He made just 32 passes with a pass success percentage of 87.5.
Hazard needs to perform on these big European nights for his name to be taken in high regard in the footballing fraternity. He had a tough initiation to the premier club competition, but has all the quality to fight back and showcase his vast talent.