The party for the Super Cup didn’t last too long and the defeat against Empoli risks being the definitive farewell to the dream of an Italian comeback: Inzaghi must find a way out
The Giuseppe Meazza evening had begun with the trappings of a party: the Super Cup trophy wrested from Milan on the pitch, the cheers of the fans for the team and the absence of boos towards the departing Milan Skriniar. Then, the rude awakening of a reality that screams 13 points behind Napoli in the standings. More and more first, more and more distant from the reigning vice-champions who at the halfway point find themselves forced to give this championship the contours of a fight for the Champions League. Except for a real miracle, because that’s what it would take.
The bill is easy, a simple doubling is enough to collide with the projection of a tremendous -26 at the end of the season if the second leg takes place exactly like the first leg. But, above all, to recover those 13 points in the standings, five defeats by Napoli would be needed, a team that has only stumbled three times so far, losing only one game: precisely the one against Simone Inzaghi’s men at the beginning of the month. Now the horizon for the near future is clouded, to use a particularly sweetened term, even taking a look off the pitch at Skriniar’s situation. His expulsion against Empoli is almost a detail compared to the dilemma of the club, grappling with the management of a captain ready to change shirts.
To the ground
Inter are back to losing against Empoli in Serie A after 17 years, while at home they had only fallen once against the Tuscans in 2004. And then the defence, which had so far conceded only four goals in championship (two harmless), with the 1-2 at the hands of Roma as the only internal slip-up in this Serie A. The 25 goals conceded in the first round are too many: it is the worst figure among the teams on the “left side” of the classification, worse even than Lecce which floats in 14th position. Now Milan remain in second place, while the Nerazzurri find themselves on a par with Roma and on Lazio’s radar, which would complete the trio if they beat the Rossoneri. However, the grip cannot be given up in the league, therefore, but the paths in the other two competitions acquire even more weight: the Champions League with the quarter-finals up for grabs against Porto and the Coppa Italia scheduled in a week with Atalanta . We need to start again immediately: Inzaghi knows it and the players know it, who abruptly returned to earth after lifting the Super Cup to the sky only five days ago. The calendar doesn’t allow for breaks, the reaction is already essential on Saturday against Cremonese, without the suspended Skriniar and Nicolò Barella. It takes a lot of imagination to think about the miracle right now.
January 23 – 11.42pm
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