The Italian Serie A is into matchday 5 and surprisingly, it is not the familiar name Juventus at the summit of the league table, the Old Ladies are rather playing catch up in 2nd place to the frontrunner, the Nerazzurri. With 100% start to the season, Inter Milan sits in what seems to be an unfamiliar territory, having not assumed this position for a very long time. Internationale stays aloft of Juventus with 2-clear points and with other rivals such as Napoli, Roma & AC Milan dropping further points, the title race look set to be a 2-horse race between Internationale and Juventus.
Internationale latest win was a hard-fought 1 nil home win over seasoned campaigner Lazio. Internationale, coming from a crucial 2 nil win over city rival AC Milan, brims with confidence, her Rome base opponent Lazio, matches Internationale’s last result with a 2 nil home win over Parma and couldn’t be underestimated.
Both teams deployed a 3-5-2 formation and so the clash was a fierce midfield battle with few clear cut chances. However, it was Lazio who blinked first, allowing Internationale to strike a blow in the 23rd minute, Danilo D’ambrosio deployed at right wing-back sneaked in at the back post to nod home from close range, from a fine cross off teammate, left wing-back Cristiano Biraghi. Lazio huffed and puffed for an equalizer and should have gotten one, but Internationale’s man between the sticks, Samir Handanovic, making his 300th appearance for the club, was in heroic form, denying Lazio with fine saves. The win makes Inter Milan the 23rd team in the Serie A to win her 1st 5-league matches, much to the delight of the manager Antonio Conte, who in his post-match comment refused to duel on the feat and urged his team not to be overwhelmed by the feat also, but rather focus on the ultimate goal.
Some think that Inter Milan’s early charge will fade away with time, just as Napoli faded away in the 2015/16, having led the league for a very long time, they were eventually overtaken by Juventus who at some stage were languishing in the bottom half of the league table. However, statistics have also shown that 59% of the 22 teams that have in the past won their 1st 5-Serie A matches, have gone on to win the Scudetto. The stats include 3 of Juventus last 8 titles(2014/15; Won 1st 6-matches, 2017/18; Won 6 again & 2018/19; Won 1st 8-matches).
The confidence in Inter Milan’s camp has been sky high of late, reminiscence of a Jose Mourinho tutored Inter Milan side that won a tremble in the 2009/10 season. This new-found mood in Internationale’s camp can be attributed to new manager Antonio Conte, the Italian, a serial winner, 3 times Scudetto winner with Juventus and an EPL title with Chelsea, Inter Milan fans can be forgiven for having hope of winning the league this season.
It gets even easier for Inter Milan come this weekend matchday 6, with a trip to Sampdoria, a team that has lost 4 of her last 5 league fixtures and had lost both legs of the league fixtures to Inter Milan in the past 2 seasons. 15 maximum points, 10 goals scored and just 1 conceded, Inter Milan couldn’t ask for a better start, however, the journey is still a long way to go, with 33 league matches yet to be played.
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