It may have ended in a share of the spoils but there were still some winners and losers in the Derby d'Italia. There were signs of encouragement for some and disappointment for others. In a match that was never less than gripping, who came out smiling and who was left with a grimace?
Luigi Del Neri said before the match he would not be settling for a draw but he must, deep down, be pleased with the result. His team has now gone toe-to-toe with two of the biggest spending clubs in Europe and come away with a share of the spoils on both occasions.
Beyond the result, his team also started to show some signs of adapting to his demanding style of play. There was good work on the flanks—particularly the right—and a sharper striker than Vincenzo Iaquinta would surely have had at least one goal to his name. There is still work to be done but the upward trend continued.
It was a tough night for the flapping skull cap of Christian Chivu for as long as he played at left back against the flying Milos Krasic. By the end of the first half he must have been feeling like a glove puppet as he had been turned inside-out so many times.
Samuel Eto'o's outstanding form continued and although he went without a goal he was a constant threat. Playing through the middle he worried Juve's rough and ready partnership of Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini. When he was shifted wide he went on a run reminiscent of George Weah's famous goal for Milan against Verona from inside his own half.
There are few forwards in more impressive form in Italy at the moment.
The biggest bum note in the Bianconeri's performances of late has been their young midfield star. He seems to have lost a lot of the impetus he had last season. It may be temporary or it may be the sign of a more worrying struggle with the new system or doubts about his future. Whatever it is, Juve would like the real Claudio Marchisio back soon.
Italians in the Inter side are as rare as finding truffles in your back garden. So there was a welcome sighting of the lesser-spotted Davide Santon as a second-half sub for Ivan Cordoba. The young defender looked good and certainly coped better with Krasic than Chivu did in the opening period.
Who knows, these home players may yet catch on with the Nerazzurri.
While Eto'o has been in sparkling form, his strike partner Diego Milito has been having a tough time. He is clearly not fully fit but is also struggling for confidence. He missed a second half chance which he would have gobbled up with ease last year. At the moment, he is playing like Samson after an unwanted haircut.
This was a major test for the Serbian star and he came through it well. Against top class opposition he confirmed the good things he had shown against Cagliari. It looks like Juve might have got their foreign policy right at last.
It was a shame for Inter and the player himself to see Jonathan Biabiany limp out of the game injured. This was a big chance for the flying Frenchman and he was forced out of the match. It may prove difficult for him to get back in contention in the weeks to come, such is the depth of the Milanese giants' squad.
Krasic grabbed the attention but there was a steady progression shown by Alberto Aquilani. The pace of Serie A seems to suit him and he is working back to fitness. Rafa Benitez on the Inter bench may not have recognised the boy he brought to Anfield.
He was at the heart of much of what was good about Juve. He showed vision and poise and a few of the classy touches everyone knows he has in his repertoire. Cesare Prandelli will be watching closely.
There is still a lot to learn for the young Juve defender Leonardo Bonucci. He left a leg out a bit too often and it cost him one yellow card and could have cost him another. He may have picked it up from studying videos of the end part of Fabio Cannavaro's career but he needs to cut it out for the sake of his club and country.
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