BERGAMO - What a way to end the season! Inter sign off in second place with 90 minutes full of character and success, finishing on a total of 82 points just one shy of Juventus in first. Tonight’s 2-0 away win over Atalanta was secured in the first half through D’Ambrosio and Young goals, with the consistency shown, the solidity of the team and the ability to dampen the threat of the league’s best attack something well worthy of praise for Conte’s side at full-time. After tonight’s result, Inter finished the season with a win, three points, second place, the title of best defence in the league and their fourth clean sheet in a row. This team is full of passion, talent and promise for the future. Now, all eyes on the Europa League. You can be sure that we’ll be ready.
Ready indeed, as Inter flew out the blocks at 100 miles an hour. The Nerazzurri threatened immediately, and won a corner for their troubles. Young played it short, received it back, then sent in the perfect cross for D’Ambrosio, who evaded Gollini to head home for the opener. A goal that put Inter ahead and struck a real blow to Atalanta, with their goalkeeper forced off through injury.
The Nerazzurri’s early opener determined the trajectory of the rest of the match. Though it was an open game, Conte’s men were comfortably on top. And in the 20th minute, they doubled their lead. The move was fluid, the positioning was perfect and the passing was accurate, especially the ball that picked out Ashley Young, whose curling effort from the left flank nestled right into the bottom-right corner. Simply unsavable for Sportiello. It was a well-earned 2-0 lead, cementing the Nerazzurri’s dominance and adding to Atalanta's predicament.
Zapata and Gosens kept plugging away for Atalanta, keeping the Atalanta attack moving, but ultimately, they were unable to trouble Handanovic. Lautaro provided plenty of forward momentum for the Nerazzurri, putting in an excellent performance tonight and forcing the Atalanta defence out of position to free up space for his teammates. In the 38th minute, El Toro came close to bagging one himself, but Castagne stepped in to block his shot, putting an end to a move that really deserved a better outcome.
The pace slowed somewhat in the second half, but this took nothing away from the sense of occasion on the night. Inter were in control, with Atalanta only really threatening their dominance once Malinovskyi entered the fray. Gomez, who looked spritely as ever tonight, kept probing, looking to find a way back into it for the hosts, though his efforts ultimately proved fruitless. At the other end of the pitch, Lukaku led Inter’s own forays into the Atalanta half, driving the Nerazzurri forward, always on the move, searching for gaps.
Nonetheless, chances were few and far between. Gagliardini had a pop from the centre, and Sanchez managed to put the ball in the net just after replacing Lautaro, but Inter were denied their third by the offside flag. Atalanta had a number of chances to claw their way back into proceedings as full-time drew near, with Gosens breaking free in the area and coming close. Having found the net in over 20 consecutive matches prior to tonight’s game, it came as no surprise that Gasperini’s side were tireless in their pursuit of a goal tonight.
But the goal never came. And it was Inter that took home the three points tonight, with 2-0 the final score. A massive win for the Nerazzurri, bringing their final points tally in Serie A to 82, behind Juventus on 83 and ahead of tonight’s opponents, who finished on 78, with Lazio finishing fourth on the same number of points. Next up, the Europa League. Forza Inter!
ATALANTA 0-2 INTER - MATCH DETAILS
ATALANTA (3-4-2-1): 95 Gollini (57 Sportiello 5'); 2 Toloi, 3 Caldara, 19 Djimsiti; 21 Castagne (33 Hateboer 61'), 15 De Roon, 11 Freuler (18 Malinovskyi 61'), 8 Gosens; 10 Gomez (20 Da Riva 92'), 88 Pasalic (9 Muriel 61'); 91 Zapata.
Bench: 31 Rossi, 4 Sutalo, 5 Tameze, 7 Czyborra, 16 Guth, 22 Bellanova, 90 Colley.
INTER (3-5-2): 1 Handanovic; 2 Godin, 6 de Vrij, 95 Bastoni (37 Skriniar 77'); 33 D'Ambrosio (34 Biraghi 77'), 23 Barella (24 Eriksen 90'), 77 Brozovic, 5 Gagliardini, 15 Young (11 Moses 90'); 9 Lukaku, 10 Lautaro (7 Sanchez 71').
Bench: 27 Padelli, 46 Berni, 13 Ranocchia, 20 Borja Valero, 30 Esposito, 32 Agoumé, 87 Candreva.
Scorers: 1' D'Ambrosio (I), 20' Young (I)
Bookings: de Vrij (I), Djimsiti (A), Toloi (A), Brozovic (I)
Added time: 5' - 4'.
Assistants: Peretti, Bindoni.
Fourth Official: Doveri.
VAR and VAR Assistant: Nasca, Mondin.