Internazionale – SSC Napoli: Koulibaly Red Card Allows Inter To Snatch Late Win (1-0)
Internazionale controlled the first 45 minutes thanks to some of the most intense pressing you will see all season. Naturally, that led to a drop-off in energy levels in the second half, putting Napoli in the driver's seat. A red card for Kalidou Koulibaly swung the balance of the game once again, and ultimately allowed Inter to win at the death.
Tactical analysis and match report by Om Arvind.
Second-placed Napoli and third-placed Internazionale faced off in the San Siro, in a game of grand importance for the title race. League leaders Juventus had just slipped up versus Atalanta, meaning that Napoli needed a win if they were to continue to have serious thoughts about lifting the Scudetto.
Napoli coach Carlo Ancelotti approached this critical Serie A match-up by making a curious decision – he played right winger José Callejón at right back. The regular in the position – Elseid Hysaj – was not injured, and the same could be said for back-up Nikola Maksimović.
Ancelotti must have made the switch for tactical reasons, which was somewhat understandable. Hysaj and Maksimović have been largely unimpressive this season – especially on the offensive end. Nevertheless, one must wonder whether it was a wise to make such a drastic change in such an important game.
Inter’s manager Luciano Spalletti took no risks and played his strongest eleven. Mauro Icardi started up top between Ivan Perišic and Matteo Politano. They were stationed ahead of a midfield of João Mário, Marcelo Brozović, and Borja Valero. Behind the midfield were left back Kwadwo Asamoah, center-backs Milan Škriniar and . . .