VERONA - The memory of the defeat to Bologna, the shock of a tough start, an early goal conceded. These aspects formed the basis of the team’s game. It was a long but constant improvement thereafter, however, which culminated in Candreva forcing two Nerazzurri goals. In the end, a suck punch in the 87th minute meant that Inter will return home from Verona with just one point and great feelings of bitterness on account of more dropped points. Now, Conte’s team have 66 points, one behind Atalanta and three behind Lazio.
Taking to the field with the intention of making good on a defeat: this has been football’s greatest medicine since its inception. However, things got off to a very poor start. Lazovic broke free, beat Skriniar and put it past Handanovic. Two minutes in and Inter were behind. It was a bitter pill to swallow, one which set the Nerazzurri back somewhat. Verona showed courage and intensity and could have doubled their lead near the 20-minute mark: Veloso hit the post and Dimarco’s shot was off target shortly afterwards. Two moments that, paradoxically, gave Inter energy.
The Nerazzurri used Lukaku’s hold-up play as a basis to get forward, with the ball often being launched up to the Belgian striker. Gagliardini was the first to profit but saw his shot saved by Silvestri. Sanchez also showed signs of life and was mobile and active for the full 90 minutes. First, the Chilean and then Brozovic went close, though Verona, who remained dangerous on the counter, gave Handanovic a scare before the break.
Half-time reinvigorated Inter, who came back out looking like a completely different side. Antonio Candreva was the driving force for the Nerazzurri, and the winger equalised in the 49th minute. Lukaku first hit the post, but Candreva latched onto the rebound and pulled Inter level. The goal fully restored the fire in Inter’s bellies. Six minutes later, the turnaround was complete: Gagliardini played in Candreva, whose cross was turned in by Dimarco. Suddenly, it was 1-2.
Inter had successfully overcome the hosts’ pressure and, challenged only by the irrepressible Amrabat, managed to control the match after the break thanks to the ever-willing Lukaku and Sanchez, who placed Verona’s defence under near constant pressure. In the 80th minute, Lautaro (on for Lukaku) had the chance to put the game to bed but Silvestri denied him what would have been the clincher. And, as so often has happened this season, Inter’s opposition went up the other end and scored: a possible 3-1 success was turned into a 2-2 draw. It was Veloso who, in the 87th minute, beat Handanovic and grabbed a late equaliser. Inter sweated and fought hard but, in the end, had to settle for a bitter result.
HELLAS VERONA 2-2 INTER
HELLAS VERONA (3-4-2-1): 1 Silvestri; 13 Rrahmani, 21 Gunter, 24 Kumbulla (33 Empereur 84'); 5 Faraoni, 34 Amrabat, 4 Veloso, 23 Dimarco (98 Adjapong 66'); 88 Lazovic (14 Verre 84'), 32 Pessina; 9 Stepinski (10 Di Carmine 54').
Substitutes: 22 Berardi, 96 Radunovic, 6 Lovato, 7 Badu, 18 Lucas, 28 Terracciano.
Coach: Ivan Juric.
INTER (3-4-1-2): 1 Handanovic; 37 Srkiniar, 6 de Vrij, 2 Godin; 87 Candreva, 77 Brozovic (8 Vecino 70'), 5 Gagliardini, 15 Young; 20 Borja Valero (24 Eriksen 88'); 9 Lukaku (10 Lautaro 76'), 7 Sanchez.
Substitutes: 27 Padelli, 46 Berni, 13 Ranocchia, 18 Asamoah, 30 Esposito, 31 Pirola, 32 Agoumé, 34 Biraghi.
Coach: Antonio Conte.
Goalscorers: 2' Lazovic (V), 49' Candreva (I), 55' Dimarco own goal (V), 87' Veloso (V).
Booked: Dimarco (V), Gunter (V), Amrabat (V), Borja Valero (I), Young (I).
Notes: Stellini booked (I).
Added time: 2' - 6'.
Assistants: Passeri, Lo Cicero.
Fourth official: Ros.
VAR and Assistant VAR: Orsato, Cecconi.