Inter Milan vs. Juventus: 6 Things We Learned
Saturday was an historic night in Serie A as the champions were defeated for the first time this season—in fact, it was the first league defeat in 49 matches—meaning that Inter Milan closed the gap on Juventus to two points.
The Nerazzurri overcame some adversity along the way to triumph 3-1 at the Juventus Arena in a thrilling encounter that provided a tremendous advert for the good and bad sides of Serie A.
Here are the six things that we learned from this engrossing contest.
Diego Milito Is One of Serie A's Greatest Strikers over the Last Decade
Diego Milito continues to produce outstanding performances on a regular basis for the Nerazzurri, transcending two eras under Massimo Moratti since signing from Genoa three years ago.
The 33-year-old striker, affectionately known as El Principe—due to a canny resemblance to the great Uruguayan Enzo Francescoli—was able to score a brace in a 3-1 victory that sent waves around world football.
Milito has already scored seven times in 11 games, adding to a total of 58 goals in 102 matches since that €25 million move from the Grifone.
It is certainly fair to begin a discussion as to where Milito stands with other great strikers in Serie A over the last decade, especially when you consider his success over two spells with Genoa.
Yuto Nagatomo Is an Unsung Hero
Yuto Nagatomo is often not somebody who is heralded as a star of the Nerazzurri, but this may be starting to change.
The Japanese defender was excellent against Juve and praised highly by Andrea Stramaccioni afterward.
The former Cesena player was integral to finishing the Bianconeri with amazing desire and stamina to meet a Fredy Guarin pass—eventually setting up Rodrigo Palacio—demonstrating why he has become a player that is valued so highly by Stramaccioni.
Juventus Must Not Dwell on This Defeat Too Long
Juventus must put this defeat behind them quickly, as the Champions League returns next week.
The Bianconeri must also realise that this run was bound to come to an end at some point, and it will be how they react from this that will define whether they are a truly great side.
Juve's Unbeaten Run Will Be Somewhat Tarnished
Juventus had their unbeaten streak ended on Saturday night at 49 matches, which means we can now look back on their successful spell and consider how it stands.
The Bianconeri, unfortunately, will have their unbeaten run tarnished to a degree by constant refereeing decisions that have benefited the Old Lady.
Despite Kwadwo Asamoah being caught at least one yard offside by the Inter defence, the move was allowed to continue and Arturo Vidal opened the scoring on the night after just a minute.
Previous incidents happened just days before when Catania had a goal disallowed that was clearly onside.
Not to mention the ghost goal of Sulley Muntari last season in Juve's draw with Milan at the San Siro, a game that the Rossoneri claim they would have won had the officials made the correct decisions.
This is an outstanding team, of that there is no doubt, but the run has been littered with good fortune throughout, which will never be forgotten.
Juve Lack a True Goal Scorer
Juve may not have many weaknesses, but one seems to be the lack of a top striker who can finish the numerous chances that their midfield trio creates.
Mirko Vucinic and Sebastian Giovinco is the preferred partnership, but they both enjoy linking up in deeper areas, as opposed to patiently waiting in the penalty area.
Nicklas Bendtner, Fabio Quagliarella and Alessandro Matri are clearly not the answer either, which means the Bianconeri must sign a true No. 9 in January.
Andrea Stramaccioni Is One of Europe's Best Young Managers
Andrea Stramaccioni did not have any prior first-team management experience after succeeding Claudio Ranieri as manager of Inter last season.
The former manager of the Inter Primavera—who claimed the inaugural NextGen Series last season—has adapted to first-team management quickly, despite having the intimidating task of managing a legend like Javier Zanetti, three years his senior.
It is early days, but this is a major sign that Stramaccioni has a glittering future ahead of him with the Nerazzurri, after passing this tough test with flying colours.