Club Reports:

MILAN – Happy holidays Inter! The unfavourable weather conditions and the pressure of rounding off 2021 with a win could have taken its toll on the Nerazzurri, even if they knew they would reach the midway point of the season in first place no matter what happened. Yet Inter were able to give their fans a Christmas present and round off the year with smiles on their faces. It was the man of the moment Denzel Dumfries who was responsible for the match winner, making it 1-0 in the half hour mark to seal the 1-0 victory over Torino. Inter are only halfway through the season but ending 2021 on 46 points and sitting top of the pile is a very special feeling indeed.Information Guide Nigeria

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San Siro was shrouded in mist as Inter took to the field to take on Torino in their final match of 2021. It was another crucial piece in the puzzle for Inter’s title challenge and an opportunity to round off what has been a great year in which the Nerazzurri not only claimed their 19th Scudetto but carried on their good form into the 2021/22 season. Winter is firmly here and Inter were top of the table even before the Torino game.

Simone Inzaghi brought Milan Skriniar, Edin Dzeko, and Arturo Vidal back into the fold for Wednesday evening’s match who were faced with a Torino side fielding a dynamic 3-4-2-1 formation who sought to cancel out Inter across the pitch. Alessandro Bastoni, Marcelo Brozovic and Hakan Calhanoglu in particular got special treatment. Despite the cold and wet conditions both teams went for each other with no restraint, equally keen for points this evening.

Inter made it clear from the get-go that they weren’t going to give the visitors any ground in the match. Torino threatened early on through Josip Brekalo and Marko Bjaca, but Bastoni in particular proved more than capable at halting the visitors advances in their tracks.

Meanwhile, Lautaro Martinez and Arturo Vidal threatened Torino’s backline through various incursions in the final third, but Pjaca had Inter fans’ hearts in their mouths with an effort which went just wide. This however spurred Inter on and Bastoni, in particular, helped out as an auxiliary forward. Lautaro and Dzeko were once at the centre of all that was good in the Nerazzurri’s attack.

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It was on the half hour mark that Inter took the lead, and the goal was a hallmark of the team’s attacking quality. Dzeko launched the move on the left, firing a low ball into the centre. Then a moment of inspiration came from Brozovic in which he dummied to set up Dumfries who slotted into the corner from around the penalty spot. Soon after Lautaro nearly doubled Inter’s lead from a lovely Calhanoglu pass but was unable to take advantage of the opportunity.

The mist and chilly weather wasn’t for leaving the San Siro in the second half and made for tough going. Torino managed to find inspiration in these conditions, proposing a different kind of football and threatening the hosts’ goal. Having scored the other end Dumfries proved equally adept at keeping out Torino’s advances, although the visitors didn’t have many real chances to speak of.

In fact, Torino didn’t manage to penetrate Inter’s box on many occasions at all. However, Samir Handanovic was called into action from a Sasa Lukic free-kick, the captain parrying the effort which was destined for the corner. The match turned into a scrappy affair but one in which Inter never ceased to be aware of the importance of the three points. Substitutes Matias Vecino, Stefano Sensi, Danilo Ambrosio, and Federico Dimarco freshened things up for the Nerazzurri but they failed to double their lead, despite Vecino hitting the post in the 87th minute.

All in all it wasn’t the greatest of challenges for Inter to hang on and claim the three points and Inzaghi’s side never really faltered as they saw out the game to win 1-0. When the referee blew the final whistle in the 94th minute a surge of emotion erupted from the stands; Inter had rounded off 2021 with a win at San Siro, finishing the year in the same way they started. The triumph over Crotone on 3 January seems like a lifetime ago, but 104 goals later and Inter are still setting the standard for all to follow.

Inter 1-0 Torino (HT 1-0)

Scorers: 30 Dumfries (I)

INTER (3-5-2): 1 Handanovic; 37 Skriniar, 6 de Vrij, 95 Bastoni; 2 Dumfries (33 D’Ambrosio 83), 22 Vidal (12 Sensi 83), 77 Brozovic, 20 Calhanoglu (8 Vecino 69), 14 Perisic (32 Dimarco 90); 9 Dzeko, 10 Lautaro (7 Sanchez 69).
Unused substitutes: 21 Cordaz, 97 Radu, 5 Gagliardini, 11 Kolarov, 13 Ranocchia, 36 Darmian, 48 Satriano.
Coach: Simone Inzaghi.

TORINO (3-4-2-1): 32 Milinkovic-Savic; 26 Djidji, 3 Bremer, 99 Buongiorno (13 Rodriguez 66); 17 Singo (15 Ansaldi 76), 10 Lukic, 4 Pobega (38 Mandragora 66), 34 Aina; 14 Brekalo (22 Praet 76), 11 Pjaca; 19 Sanabria (70 Warming 59).
Unused substitutes: 89 Gemello, 5 Izzo, 6 Zima, 7 Zaza, 25 Kone, 77 Linetty, 88 Rincon.
Coach: Ivan Juric.

Booked: Calhanoglu (I)
Time added on: 0, 4.

Referee: Guida.
Assistants: Baccini, Saccenti.
Fourth official: Zufferli.
VAR: Banti, Peretti.JAMB Result

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Emediong Ekpe

Emediong Ekpe is a graduate of English. A professional Sports journalist/analyst, and a spoken word artist. He is passionate about decimating information and putting smiles on people's faces via news writing.

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