SSC Napoli – Internazionale: High-octane Napoli overwhelm Inter’s weak buildup attempts (4-1)
Carlo Ancelotti’s high energy, pressing side proved to be too big a handful for Luciano Spalletti’s Inter. As the match progressed, Inter did manage to find some respite following drastic changes, but too much of their play kept revolving around the same patterns of poor buildup play and lots of long crosses.
Tactical analysis and match report by Peter M.
With their fate settled, Inter would have been hoping that Napoli would have had half an eye on their holidays with this being such a crucial game in their chase for Champions League football. Now with Atalanta Bergamo on blistering form, as well as AC Milan and AS Roma closing the gap, Spalletti’s side are in grave danger of letting the position they held for so long slip through their fingers.
For Napoli, from the side that beat SPAL 2-1 last weekend, goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis was handed his eighth Serie A start of the season. In defense, Faouzi Ghoulam and Raúl Albiol were introduced, as was Dries Mertens, in place of Amin Younes up front.
Hot off the back of Monday’s 2-0 victory over Chievo Verona – just the second win from their last six matches – Spalletti decided to name a completely unchanged team, with Icardi still on the bench.
Napoli's progression attempts trump Inter’s
In contrast to Inter’s far more languid efforts to build play, Napoli were much quicker and sharper in their approach. Against an Inter defense in a medium block A medium block refers to a team that retreats in their own half out of possession, generally only disrupting their opponents some way into their own half. which, surprisingly, lacked defensive . . .