Inter are on a different level but we knew it

Nothing new in football at La Scala in Milan.

Between the last round, the home game against Empoli for Juventus, the away game between the difficult walls of Florence for Inter and this – head-to-head – we would have understood a lot about Serie A 2023/2024. Until ten days ago, thanks to the game to be made up for the Nerazzurri due to the Saudi Super Cup, the Old Lady actually led the table by a point and even hoped by winning against Empoli and taking advantage of a misstep by Tuscany from their rivals to win the Derby d 'Italia to get to +3. Result? Inter were already +1 before the game (with an asterisk), and that was the main problem. Because last night you can criticize Juventus very little, very little.

As the pitch made clear, there were simply two teams of different caliber and awareness. Inter, we've been saying that for yearssince the time of Conte, It is the only major Italian team. And this season proves this more than ever, thanks to the growth of some individuals, the work of Inzaghi and another surgical transfer of the Marotta-Ausilio pair (the record of Nerazzurri transfers and acquisitions in the 2023/2024 transfer market also marks a remarkable one + 58.2 million – 130 million from sales, 71.75 spent on purchases).

Inter is now an extremely strong team aware of his own resources, in every area of ​​the pitch and in every phase of the game: you can see it in the quality (quite calmly) with which it comes out even under pressure from below, in what is expressed in the patterns of the game This is done by its players highlighted who in many cases have made a decisive leap in technical, tactical and character quality: Calhanoglu, Lautaro Martinez, Dimarco, Acerbi, Bastoni, Barella, Mkhitaryan. Let's talk about Players at the highest level, who have become leaders in the field and even before that in their minds. And all of this with the help of fundamental additions, above all Thuram, but also Pavard himself, who played an amazing game yesterday with the calm virtue of the strong, almost calmly.

Then there are the merits and leadership of Simone Inzaghi, which these players, the most important qualification for a coach, under the best conditions to express yourself: If today we talk about Calhanoglu as one of the best, if not the best, interpreters of his role in Europe, much of the credit also goes to those who designed this tactical position for him and entrusted him with these tasks, although they have the qualities of the Understanding Turks (as Mazzone did with Pirlo at the time) could and should have been expressed in dealing with so many balls twenty meters further back, in the pivotal point of the pitch. But beyond the changes in roles and responsibilities, it is all of Inter that is in turmoil. At the same time solid, effective, but also extremely qualitative in the gameplay.

On the other hand, a Juventus that had been jumping through baskets until stumbling last week, sporting miracles to keep a championship alive – in the squads – already written.

Allegri did an excellent job this year and finally got it done Square a rose that is difficult to handle and above all, he has managed to shape the soul of this Juventus: the coach has transferred concentration, malice and security of his own (limited compared to others) resources to his team. For much of this season, Juventus has mentally returned to the real Juventus; the one you knew would win the game sooner or later in one world or another. Then don't compare the teams with those coached by Max himself in the past, and above all, for reasons of decency, don't compare the midfielders. But the mentality, the cynicism and the solidity have approached those of the past – the reason and the purpose for which Allegri himself was recalled.

This Juventus has grown First in individual and mental strength, then in collective organization and play. Last night he played a good game in the stadium of one of the strongest 3-4-5 teams in the world, always staying in the game and making himself extremely dangerous at least a few times between the goals and the no-goal , after a stop (Vlahovics), a few centimeters from the post (Gatti's shot), a lucky touch in the air by the Nerazzurri defense (on Kostic's razor-sharp cross shot in the middle of thousands). Legs). Then Inter certainly deserved to winand would have won with a more rounded result if it hadn't been for Szczesny, but whatever beloved When you bring home a game like that, at the San Siro, with the current Inter and Juventus, it must be normal.

Also because we are talking about the medians, which we have already talked about: This is where the result comes from and this is where the difference in specific weight between the two squads is vividly summarized. “Inter won in the middle of the pitch,” says Capello (but not only him) in an interview with Gazzetta dello Sport today. And here too there would be nothing else. Just compare the departments, overall and individually, with the superficial – but effective – sticker game we're used to. Barella, Calhanoglu, Mkhitaryan against Locatelli, McKennie and Rabiot.

That is, a half-winger, stretcher, of quality and quantity, a pillar of the national team and one of the best “box-to-box” midfielders (in simple terms we would say) there is; a director, Calhanoglu, who currently has few if any equals in his role; another interior, Mkhitaryan, who is a footballer with outstanding football intelligence, vision and technique. We're talking about a department that allows itself, without too much worry, to keep Frattesi on the bench permanently – someone who would be an essential starter in any other Serie A team. Not counting the wings, Dimarco and Darmian were replaced by Carlos Augusto, co-owner of Brazil, and Dumfries.

But in general it is the imbalance of the eleven and the squad that is dramatic and obvious for the Bianconeri. This is the fruit and merit of work, of those who, on the one hand, have taken over and upgraded certain players (many even to zero, from Calhanoglu to Mkhitaryan via Thuram) and, on the other hand, have wasted assets on players who, on the contrary, have fallen short of expectations and are unlikely to have achieved them. It doesn't even fit the Juventus module and style of play. On the one hand Inter, built harmoniously and effectively, on the other hand Juve, as disordered and (until this year) sterile.

However, today the refrain It's the same everywhere, the only thing the newspapers always repeat after these games: Inter won the championship yesterday.

Has The Scudetto is bookedas Corriere dello Sport writes on the front page today: 4 points ahead, direct duels and a game to recover; practically 7 points ahead and 8 that Juventus should recover. Then we know everything: the crazy and masochistic nature of Inter, the never-giving-up Juventus, the hot moments of the season, the presence of the European Cup on the one hand and the absence on the other. And yet this year the security of Inter is overwhelming, the fragility of Juventus is physiologically always around the corner: it is as if in this duel the first was running comfortably in fifth place with a Ferrari, the second in sixth place and one Panda would pull far above the speed of its engine. The speed was the same, the cars were very different.

This, in the author's opinion, is perhaps missing from many overly tactical or sensationalistic analyzes that had to create and fuel a conflict at the top by filling it with content and comparisons that it probably did not have; So and even more so than when the dispute took place between Inter and Milan, where in the end Milan triumphed, but in a championship we can repeat it (and withdraw the usual criticism of this case) that was dismissed by Inzaghi's team. Today Inter is even stronger than back then and the very clear gap has eliminated the two direct encounters. Then anything can happen, but the certainty remains: Inter is much stronger than Juventus and the others. And you alone will decide whether and when you win this Serie A 2023/2024.

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