MILAN – Inter defeated Sampdoria 3-0 this Sunday afternoon and ended the 2021/22 Serie A season in second place with a highly commendable 84 points. While the Nerazzurri didn’t manage to repeat their glory of the last campaign there has still been so much to shout about; from the relentless support provided by the Inter fans to the two trophies picked up along the way.
More than 70,000 fans packed out the Meazza on what was an atypically hot May day for the Nerazzurri’s final match of a gruelling campaign, the sweltering temperatures not dulling their evergreen passion for the club. While Sampdoria had nothing to play for their hosts were still gunning for the title, seeking to add a second trophy to the club’s collection in the space of a month following their Coppa Italia triumph.
Inter came out of the starting blocks with intension and desire, playing full throttle and not letting up as they sought to unnerve Milan fans who would've undoubtedly had an eye on the game. Aside from Samir Handanovic and Stefan de Vrij the Nerazzurri were camped in Sampdoria’s half, desperate to make the breakthrough against an opponent playing with a 4-5-1 formation and content with sitting back and hitting Inter on the counter as and when they could.
Hakan Calhanoglu's testing shot drew the first of many excellent stops by Emil Audero, who proved to be an impenetrable wall until after the break. Both Ivan Perisic and Lautaro Martinez also had chances to open the scoring as Inter peppered Sampdoria's goal with a hail of shots, totalling 18 in the first half, their most out of any opening 45 minutes in the last three seasons.
The attacks just kept on coming, sandwiched in between an Antonio Candreva attempt for Sampdoria, with Lautaro and Denzel Dumfries being denied as Simone Inzaghi’s side headed into the break feeling like they were cursed.
Yet Sampdoria’s defence was bound to crack at some point; Audero simply couldn’t keep pulling off miracles. Inter were too good for the visitors in the end and took the lead four minutes into the second half. It was that man Perisic again, crowning an extraordinary season with another goal, set up by Nicolo Barella, who himself made it 12 assists for the 2021/22 campaign. And then the floodgates were open; Joaquin Correa struck twice in two minutes just before the hour mark – one of which involved Hakan Calhanoglu’s 12th assist of the season - to put the game out of sight for the Nerazzurri.
Inter then saw out the rest of the match without feeling a great need to do more than give some game time to Robin Gosens, Federico Dimarco, Arturo Vidal, Andrea Ranocchia, and Felipe Caicedo. Meanwhile Sampdoria tried in vain to make something of their trip to Milan by getting a consolation goal but were denied several times by Handanovic.
There was to be no injury time and referee Marco Di Bello signalled the end of Inter’s 2021/22 season on the stroke of the 90th minute. We dust ourselves down and go again come the autumn, already excited for another campaign with the club we love, heading into the future together, ready for new challenges.
Inter 3-0 Sampdoria (HT 0-0)
Scorers: 49 Perisic (I), 55 and 57 Correa (I)
INTER (3-5-2): 1 Handanovic; 37 Skriniar, 6 De Vrij (13 Ranocchia 73), 95 Bastoni (32 Dimarco 59); 2 Dumfries, 23 Barella (22 Vidal 59), 77 Brozovic, 20 Calhanoglu, 14 Perisic (18 Gosens 59); 10 Lautaro, 19 Correa (88 Caicedo 73).
Unused substitutes: 21 Cordaz, 97 Radu, 7 Sanchez, 8 Vecino, 9 Dzeko, 33 D'Ambrosio, 36 Darmian.
Coach: Simone Inzaghi.
SAMPDORIA (4-5-1): 1 Audero; 24 Bereszynski, 25 Ferrari, 22 Yoshida (26 Magnani 78), 3 Augello; 87 Candreva (38 Damsgaard 62), 88 Rincon (28 Yepes 84), 14 Vieira (16 Askildsen 78), 2 Thorsby (70 Trimboli 62), 11 Sabiri; 10 Caputo.
Unused substitutes: 30 Ravaglia, 33 Falcone, 5 Sensi, 27 Quagliarella, 29 Murru, 39 Di Stefano, 40 Somma.
Coach: Marco Giampaolo.
Booked: Yoshida (S), Barella (I), Ferrari (S)
Time added on: 0 - 0.
Referee: Di Bello.
Assistants: Preti, Giallatini.
Fourth official: Pezzuto.
VAR: Irrati, Meraviglia.