meant a stern test with a big match away to Man City and a home game to Juventus. If we are going to be serious contenders for Serie A and the CL, this is the time to show Europe what we're capable of. After defeating Cagliari at home 2-0, with Lucio and Zarate grabbing the goals, we proceeded to thrash Genoa 5-0 away, with a brace from Sneijder and Milito, Sneijder opening it with a beautiful curling free kick, and a single strike from Pazzini. The hard work starts now.
I was quite nervous heading into this game, seeing how Manchester City has been performing well in the CL so far, beating Valencia 1-2 away and thrashing Malmo FF 5-0 at home, I knew we needed a perfect game, for our defense in particular. I pondered for a more defensive approach, which would be considered unorthodox for our attacking mentality this season. However, I decided against the alternative as I really wanted to discover to what extent our primary strategy could perform against a European contender. Furthermore, even a loss would not be devastating, seeing Valencia’s unfortunate start, it would be plausible to consider our group a two horse race.
We started the game well, trying to carve open chances and enforce our game upon the opposition. And who would have guessed that we would score at the 9th minute? Even more so who would have guessed it would be Maicon to have the first say in the game, as he unleashes an unstoppable shot that finds the corner of the net, silencing City and its fans, in awe and disbelief.
An early goal gave us confidence, but we knew there was still 81 minutes on the clock. Manchester City weren’t to lose hope, they responded—rather magnificently I would say so myself--with Aguero and Dzeko tearing our defense open, each chance with only Julio Cesar to beat, fortunately for us Cesar came into the game with plenty confidence, elucidated as he denied both Dzeko and Aguero to level scores. Nothing worth mentioning until the second half except headers flying over the crossbars from both teams.
Second half starts, and we really should have a two goal cushion, as Maicon ghosts past Clichy and whips in a cut-back which Diego Milito gets his toe onto, only to see it rickochet off Joe Hart’s post. Man City upped their game at the second half as they looked much more threatening with Aguero and Dzeko leading the lines again. More miracle saves from Cesar and our organized back four kept City at bay, but I was worried. They were piling the pressure, and fast. Ten minutes to go: I decided to take off Milito for Stankovic and Sneijder for Cordorba, to install a five man defence sheltered by three central midfielders and an anchor, with Pazzini up front to exploit any potential chances. My prediction was that for City to level in the remaining ten, they would need to rely on long miraculous shots or dumb luck, and with 5 defenders plus the indomitable Cesar, City’s chances were next-to-none.
And none it was, as we came out victorious 0-1 in City’s turf. A great showing of mentality playing in City’s home, really proud of the team. These three points are priceless, they’ll have a huge impact as to wether we finish top of the group or not, and I really want to finish top of the pack in order to avoid a big team in the first round of the knockouts so we can progress far in the CL.
After our heroic victory in Manchester, apparently most of the players minds were still full of hubris as we only managed a 1-0 win at home against Lecce, Maicon, the hero at Manchester rising up to the occasion again!
October meant a test; a test we would ace. A brilliant month which will undoubtedly warn the whole Europe that we mean business, displaying our away mentality, and don’t even get me started at our home mentality. Juventus came into the match looking good, but it wouldn’t last long. After a short 45 minutes, our rivals were dumbstruck, what on earth happened? How the hell did Inter score 5 goals? Multilation complete. An early Maicon cross finds Milito in front of the net, can’t miss from there. 1-0 for us, 16 minutes later, and Pazzini finds the net. Which would be followed by another clinical finish from Milito as he rounds the keeper with ease, and Sneijder showcasing his free kicks with another curler beating Buffon. 4-0 up, and Lucio decides to get himself on the scoresheet too with a strong header past Buffon, 34 minutes played, 5 goals scored. Sayonara Juventus.
October finished, and now we’re talking, we’re practically oozing confidence, let’s see how far our rampage will last.
Serie A table so far