PARMA – All seemed lost. Defeat seemed inevitable, and our morale looked set to take another hit after the 3-3 draw with Sassuolo. As the game progressed, it seemed as though even a draw was impossible. Just as Parma seemed to have won, Inter turned it around. They did it by never giving up until the end. They did it with Stefan de Vrij and Alessandro Bastoni, the right men, in the right place, at the right time. Two moments, two defenders in front of goal, and there it is: the turnaround, completed between the 83rd and 87th minute. Victory, three points and on to the next one.
Memories of the draw with Sassuolo, Parma’s ability to execute their own gameplan: traps along the way in an away game that was never going to easy or predictable. Gervinho was the one who led the breaks; providing warnings for Inter and backed up by Kulusevski’s willingness to make runs. For the entirety of the first half and large parts of the second, D’Aversa’s two wingers were flying down the wing, all according to Parma’s gameplan. Parma were compact in defence, almost playing with a 5-3-2 formation. At times there were seven men defending Sepe’s goal, with three attackers stood 40 metres upfield, ready to break at pace. It was a plan that came to fruition in the 15th minute, as Gervinho twisted and turned and put Parma in front.
And Inter? Lautaro Martinez was by far the brightest spark in Inter’s offence. Our Argentine put two shots narrowly wide within the first six minutes. He was lively, but unable to find the back of the net. Gagliardini also fired goalwards, but Dermaku did well to get the block in. Inter worked hard, but the tempo wasn’t high enough. Parma countered often and at pace through Kulusevski and Cornelius, who wasted an incredible chance on the break. Even if the game wasn’t the most exciting, there were still chances for both sides, Cornelius having the biggest of the first half (41’). But Inter showed flashes of attacking prowess too, with Barella dictating the Nerazzurri’s play on the front foot.
It wasn’t all-out-attack from Inter in the second half, but there was certainly an added boost after the break. The Nerazzurri began knocking on the door, with plenty of crosses coming in from the wings but to no avail. Eriksen couldn’t quite find that final ball or the target when he did try shooting, and Parma kept on searching for that killer blow on the break as Kulusevski first brushed one past the post and then stung Handanovic’s gloves. But it was Stellini’s changes (with Conte suspended) that made the difference: Sanchez especially bringing a spark to the side for the final 20. Lukaku fired one past the post, then our Chilean brought a big save out of Sepe.
Then, in minute 83, the floodgates opened: de Vrij flicked on Lautaro’s header, beating Sepe to make it 1-1. The equaliser knocked the life out of Parma and Kucka was sent off in a dispute with the referee, only further firing up the Nerazzurri for a big closing scene. Moses, another man off the bench, played in the perfect cross for Bastoni in the 87th minute. Our centre-back had the easiest job in the world to head home for the three points, putting Inter in the lead for the first time in the game.
Off the bench and onto the scoresheet for the second time this season for Bastoni, repeating history after his header against Lecce. A monumental goal which takes Inter up to 61 points in the standings, giving them a breath of fresh air ahead of their next game as they face Brescia at 19:30 CEST this Wednesday at San Siro!
MATCH DETAILS: PARMA 1-2 INTER
PARMA (4-3-3): 1 Sepe; 16 Laurini (Darmian 86'), 3 Dermaku (5 Regini 77'), 22 Alves, 28 Gagliolo (97 Pezzella 46'); 33 Kucka, 21 Scozzarella (10 Hernani 55'), 19 Kurtic; 44 Kulusevski, 11 Cornelius, 27 Gervinho (15 Brugman 87).
Bench: 34 Colombi, 92 Radu, 7 Karamoh, 15 Brugman, 17 Barillà, 20 Caprari, 26 Siligardi, 36 Darmian, 93 Sprocati.
INTER (3-4-1-2): 1 Handanovic; 33 D'Ambrosio, 6 de Vrij, 2 Godin (95 Bastoni 73'); 87 Candreva (11 Moses 69'), 23 Barella, 5 Gagliardini, 34 Biraghi (15 Young 69'); 24 Eriksen (7 Sanchez 69'); 9 Lukaku, 10 Lautaro (20 Borja Valero 89').
Bench: 27 Padelli, 46 Berni, 13 Ranocchia, 18 Asamoah, 30 Esposito, 31 Pirola, 32 Agoumé.
Coach: Stellini (Conte suspended).
Scorers: 15' Gervinho (P), 83’ de Vrij (I)
Cautions: Lautaro (I), Dermaku (P), Gagliardini (I), Kucka (P), Godin (I), Kurtic (P), Moses (I)
Red cards: Berni (I) sent off as a substitute, Kucka (P) '84'
Notes: Stellini (I) and D'Aversa (P) both booked.
Added time: 3' - 5'.
Assistants: Mondin, Prenna.
Fourth official: La Penna.
VAR and VAR Assistant: Guida, Vivenzi.