Inter Milan: Loss Effectively Ends Title Challenge

Nate KahnContributor IIIJanuary 30, 2012

LECCE, ITALY - JANUARY 29:   Wesley Sneijder of Inter Milan in action during the Serie A match between US Lecce and FC Internazionale Milano at Stadio Via del Mare on January 29, 2012 in Lecce, Italy.  (Photo by Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images)
Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images

It was always going to be tough for the Nerazzurri to stay in the title race after their disastrous start to the season. For much of the early part of the season, Inter were languishing just outside of the relegation zone. They were able to get red hot, though, and win 10 out of 11 league matches dating back to November. This brought them back into the race, as they moved up to fifth and just six points off of the top of the table.

However, their awful start to the beginning of the season left them with virtually no margin for error. They could not have any major slips-ups, but that is precisely what happened yesterday.

Inter fell to defeat at the hands of Lecce, 1-0, on Sunday. On the balance of play, Inter deserved to win the match, but could not take advantage of their chances. It was inevitable that Inter’s streak would come to an end at some point, but this was not a loss the Nerazzurri could afford, as Lecce are currently in the relegation zone.

Juventus were also able to win their match this weekend, and as a result, Inter have fallen to nine points behind the league leaders. In addition to that, Inter still have to face difficult road trips to Roma, Napoli and Juventus this season. Therefore, Inter’s title challenge is essentially over as a result of the loss on Sunday despite having 18 games remaining in the season.