Inter have done the impossible—beating Italian champions Juventus and ending the Old Lady’s 49-match unbeaten run.
Their achievement in Turin cannot be marked down after beating the outstanding team in Serie A. That said, credit must also go to Juventus, as what they have done in those 49 games rarely happens in the modern era of football.
Everybody loses—a reason why unbeaten runs are celebrated. However, the night belonged to Inter, and the result is a big one in the service of the revolution in the black-and-blue half of San Siro.
Under coach Andrea Stramaccioni, Inter look like a transformed side compared to last season. After beating Juventus—arguably the best team in Italy and still top of the league—the Milanese giants have the duty of pushing forward in their quest to lift the title.
Here are five reasons why Inter could be crowned champions at the end of the season.
Inter needs to be credited, considering the way they have put recent struggles behind them. Following Jose Mourinho’s departure for Real Madrid in 2010, fortunes dwindled and the club was unable to live up to the hype that was Mourinho.
Rafael Benitez, Leonardo, Gian Piero Gasperini and Claudio Ranieri all laboured at the helm. It was not long before the Nerazzurri went from being Serie A and European Champions to being banished into the wilderness.
Stramaccioni has come in, showing the club has taken a different approach by putting their faith in a young coach. The 34-year-old may not have the experience of those who ruled before him, but Inter’s form and results so far show he could be the springboard to title glory this season.
The coach has drive, ambition and desire. These qualities were transferred onto the pitch at the Juventus Stadium. Not many thought Inter would win but they did. It's a result which shows a complete change in just a few months under the Rome native’s leadership and it paves the way for the future.
AC Milan must be kicking themselves, as Inter got the better end of the stick after signing Cassano in a deal that saw Giampaolo Pazzini head the other way last summer.
Yes, the former Real Madrid man comes with excess baggage, but when he turns it on is there a finer Italian footballer?
The Italy international is playing well; he looks happy, confident and his influence is spreading throughout the side. He was unlucky not to score against Juventus, as his brilliant curling effort in the first half deserved a goal.
Cassano is a magician on the ball and he is on the level of Andrea Pirlo. A proven match winner, Cassano can pick the lock of the tightest defences in football and he is a reason why Inter can win the league.
Seven goals in 11 league games this season and, following his 24 strikes last term, the former Genoa forward is showing the form which helped Inter conquer Europe in 2010.
Back then, the Italian giants were not the best team in Europe, but Milito ensured they were the top team in Europe.
Now, he is in brilliant form once again, and with his goals Inter have reason to feel confident about challenging for the title.
Following what was the highest point in his career with two goals in the Champions League final against Bayern Munich, Milito suffered the following season. He scored just five goals in 23 games as the club struggled without Mourinho.
Milito's comeback campaign last term has been followed up by more consistency as he finds the net with relative ease.
Stramaccioni is getting the best out of a proven finisher. Milito is in the right mindset and is showing all of the hunger and desire he showed under Mourinho during the club’s famous treble-winning success.
Despite the turbulence which destabilised Inter after Mourinho’s exit, we must not forget that the squad still has players who were world beaters under the Portuguese coach.
Walter Samuel, Esteban Cambiasso, Wesley Sneijder, Cristian Chivu, Dejan Stankovic, Javier Zanetti and Milito all have Champions League winners medals in their lockers.
Samuel is still performing at the top level, Zanetti is a leading legend and Cambiasso is always Mr. Reliable, as he showed against Juventus.
That mix of experience, added to the talents of Juan, Andrea Ranocchia and Cassano, has seen Stramaccioni mediate a solution to past failures and the team is enforcing the hard work being done at their training ground each week.
With that stability being sustained and the Champions League winners rediscovering their form, there is no reason why the Nerazzurri can’t rekindle their relationship with another Scudetto trophy come May.
Inter have one of the best defences in Serie A this season, and goalkeeper Samir Handanovic is showing why former goalie Julio Cesar is not being missed.
The former Udinese shot-stopper was a wall against Juventus and his save on Claudio Marchisio’s volley kept his side in the hunt.
Brazilian defender Juan is showing strength and youthful promise, while Ranocchia, Samuel and Zanetti are working in tandem.
A three-man defence against Juve worked well and they were only penalised by the match officials getting it wrong on Arturo Vidal’s goal.
The defence looks refined and settled. Quality players and proven winners are fighting together and with everyone else playing well across the park, the only way is up for the Nerazzurri.