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Inter Milan 1-2 Atalanta: 6 Things We Learned

Adam DigbyFeatured ColumnistMarch 23, 2014

Inter Milan 1-2 Atalanta: 6 Things We Learned

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    Claudio Villa/Getty Images

    Having not lost since they faced two-time champions Juventus back in early February, Inter Milan welcomed Atalanta to the Giuseppe Meazza stadium on Sunday. Defending a six-game undefeated streak, the Nerazzurri were looking to close the gap to the European places and continue their recent good form.

    Walter Mazzarri’s side had started to show real signs that the club’s rejuvenation had finally begun to blossom, with a number of younger players starting to shine. Their impressive recent run—which included matches against Fiorentina, Hellas Verona and Roma—had put them on the cusp of a return to continental competition and gave the club real hope for the future.

    For their part, Atalanta had won three consecutive games and were looking to climb into the top half of the table thanks to some excellent performances. Only their run would continue as they secured a 2-1 victory, and over the following pages are six things their encounter taught us.

Mauro Icardi Back Among the Goals

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    Claudio Villa/Getty Images

    In netting the equaliser for Inter, Mauro Icardi scored for the first time since a win over Fiorentina last month. Having played 90 minutes in each of the last three games, it appears the Argentinean striker is regaining his eye for goal along with his fitness, having suffered a lengthy layoff this winter.

Giacomo Bonaventura Continues to Impress

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    Claudio Villa/Getty Images

    Already this season, the form of Giacomo Bonaventura has begun to attract attention from some of the nation’s biggest clubs. The 24-year-old has now tallied five goals and three assists this term, and he can expect to be the subject of much speculation this coming summer.

    Neat in possession, the versatile midfielder has also improved the defensive side of his game, averaging 2.5 tackles and one interception per game, according to stats site WhoScored.com.

Luck Not with Inter Today

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    Antonio Calanni/Associated Press

    Sometimes it just isn’t your day, and Inter would be forgiven for thinking that lady luck deserted them today. Not only did they hit the woodwork four times, but they wasted countless other chances too, managing just a single goal from 23 shots, according to stats site WhoScored.com.

Andrea Consigli Continued His Excellent Season

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    Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

    Andrea Consigli has been superb this term, with only two goalkeepers in Serie A making more saves than the Atalanta man, according to Fox Soccer statistics. He continued that here, helping the Orobici repel countless Inter attacks as they held on for an impressive win.

    He may have kept just six clean sheets during 2013-14, but the 27-year-old has made 98 saves as he continues to be one of the most unheralded stoppers on the peninsula.

Inter Defensive Woes Continue

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    Antonio Calanni/Associated Press

    While their strikers could rue their misfortune, the Inter defence had only themselves to blame for the final score line. Atalanta also had their chances, with Jonathan clearing an attempt from the goal line and German Denis heading against the crossbar.

    Yet it would be a mistake from Jonathan that would allow the visitors to score, and Walter Mazzarri criticised the performance of the team without the ball, telling Sky Italia both goals could be avoided.

    “We practically gave away the first goal, then we gave away the second because of some poor marking,” the Nerazzurri coach told them, via Football Italia. ”That’s football, if you don’t take your chances then you get punished.”

But Mazzarri Not Pointing the Finger

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    Antonio Calanni/Associated Press

    Despite those glaring errors, Mazzarri refused to name the defender most culpable, noting the press would jump on the player if he did so. Speaking to Sky Italia (via Football Italia), the Inter coach said one of his men should have picked up on an Bonaventura, telling them:

    I can’t tell you who was meant to be marking him. We moved to four at the back in a bid to get the victory, but someone was meant to be marking Bonaventura and he forgot. I won’t say the name. If I do, then tomorrow he’ll get torn apart in the media, so we’ll save him that.

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