Inter were handed a fourth straight defeat by Sassuolo on Sunday, allowing Pietro Iemmello to double his seasonal tally by netting a brace either side of half-time. Gifted the first by Jeison Murillo's poor control, the Calabrian native was able to sidefoot an easy second after the entire back line went down with a case of collective amnesia.
Having at least looked like they were on top before the break, Inter completely fell apart after that, relying on individual talents (Eder pulled one back, while Gabigol ran hard) to try to fish them out of danger. It didn't work.
Eder was wonderful when he came on, almost single-handedly carrying the team on his shoulders. The first half was a break with the Genoa catastrophe: at least Inter were in control, circling their prey and creating some, if not many chances. The football was better than the second-half collapse will allow us to remember. Not that that's a lot, mind you.
Inter's season is best summed up by the numerous shots of children looking frustrated in the stands, or by the Ultras jetting off "to go to lunch, because you don't deserve our support," 20 minutes in, leaving the Curva Nord completely deserted.
It says a lot that many long-suffering Beneamata fans are just counting down the minutes now, rather than hoping for a result.
Another dumb error from the defence handed Sassuolo the lead, and a mental lapse -- the players focussing on complaining more than playing -- allowed the Neroverdi in again just after the break. The attack is still wasteful and disorganised, the backline a mess and the midfield still a work in progress.
Manager rating out of 10
5 -- Stefano Vecchi got all his substitutions right, but starting Yuto Nagatomo over Cristian Ansaldi is unforgivable. Vecchi seemed to light a fire under the players, at least until the second goal went in. The team didn't look like the overstretched 1960s throwback we saw in the past few weeks, but that's not enough to go on.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Samir Handanovic, 7 -- Blameless for the two goals, he made sure the scoreline wasn't even more embarrassing with two nice lunges.
DF Danilo D'Ambrosio, 5 -- Didn't add anything up front, and let Matteo Politano get the running of him.
DF Jeison Murillo, 4 -- Dispossessed for the goal. The nightmare continues. Pity, because he found Mauro Icardi with a fine early pass and clattered into Domenico Berardi.
DF Marco Andreolli, 5 -- A sloppy header almost launched a Sassuolo counter.
DF Yuto Nagatomo, 4 -- So uninfluential he was hooked at half time.
MF Marcelo Brozovic, 5 -- Not sure all this vitriol about his "laziness" is justified. Often involved in the Nerazzurri's highlights, an accurate passer always trying to inject dynamism into the move. Faded in the second half.
MF Roberto Gagliardini, 5 -- Alternated great passes with sloppy errors, being dispossessed one time too many in midfield. Needs to position himself better in defence, losing Pol Lirola for the second.
MF Joao Mario, 5 -- Beautiful to watch when he goes on his runs, but wasn't the most influential otherwise. Deserves another chance.
MF Antonio Candreva, 5 -- Started very strong, once turning Davide Biondini inside out with his mazy dribbling. The end product is still lacking, and got worse as the game went on.
MF Ivan Perisic, 5 -- Just disappeared in the second half. You know something is wrong when the Croatian goes missing.
FW, Mauro Icardi, 5 -- Was sloppy for a low cross and held onto the ball during a promising attack, but also tried to work hard to help bring his teammates forward, combining well with Perisic and Eder. Hit the post after being headed on by Perisic, earning a big blow for his troubles.
MF Eder, 8 -- If only he played like this every week. Always tried to combine with Icardi and chased down every ball. His deflected effort was Inter's only consolation.
DF, Cristian Ansaldi, 6 -- At least he tried to go on a couple of runs, though he might be at fault for the second for straying too far inside.
MF, Gabigol, 6 -- Tried to get something going, though he wasn't fooling anyone with his dribbles, seeing all his shots blocked. Provided a decent cross for Perisic, however.