Leonardo's Inter Defeats Bologna With Imperious 4-1 Win

Niccolo ConteContributor IJanuary 16, 2011

MILAN, ITALY - JANUARY 15:  Samuel Eto'o of FC Internazionale Milano celebrates scoring the third goal during the Serie A match between Inter and Bologna at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on January 15, 2011 in Milan, Italy.  (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
Claudio Villa/Getty Images

Leonardo is already achieving great things at Inter Milan. In his first four matches, he has motivated a previously uninspired team to win all four. It makes one wonder how Benitez managed to fail so majestically with a team which is now scoring goals for fun. Inter's 4-1 win over Bologna marks the beginning of a new era, for the club and the manager who are both embarking on a new journey.

Leonardo decided to start with a 4-3-1-2 formation, using Stankovic as a "trequartista" behind Eto'o and Milito up front. Within the first five minutes the forward pair had hit the post and forced Bologna keeper Viviano to a save. Eto'o was galloping with the ball glued to his feet, Milito was skimming around the field working hard to keep the ball, and the rest of the team fed the two with precision and timing.

The breakthrough came in the 20th minute, Eto'o attracting defenders to him like bees to honey, with the Cameroon finding Stankovic in the middle for a tap-in. Stankovic was left completely unmarked (the defence had shifted and focused on Eto'o), and the Serbian was just a hair offside, but the goal stood nonetheless.

Just 10 minutes later, Diego Milito made it 2-0. A good run past two defenders left him at an awkward angle against Bologna keeper Viviano. But "Il Principe" managed to release a shot on goal, with Viviano letting it fly through his weak hands. A great boost for Diego Milito who as looking for a goal, and Inter went into the half with a strong 2-0 lead. 

The second half was more of the same, Bologna were unable to create opportunities with the only danger coming from Marco Di Vaio. Inter's third goal in the 63rd minute was a masterpiece. Eto'o on the left wing passed in the middle through a defender's legs for Diego Milito, the Argentine closes the triangle with the Cameroon with a back-heel, and Eto'o curls it into the back of the net.

But Eto'o hadn't finished terrorizing the Bologna defence. Just nine minutes later, he curled a free kick into the top left corner for his second of the match. The 4-0 scoreline didn't last though, Bologna pulled one back with the lively substitute Gimenez taking advantage of the distracted Inter back-line on a corner. But there weren't any other scares for Leonardo; his side closed off Bologna for the rest of the match for their sixth victory in a row in all competitions.

It was an entertaining match, with Inter Milan playing a more attacking style under the Brazilian coach. While four victories in four matches is a great start, there is something which Leonardo should be wary of. Inter hasn't managed to keep a clean sheet yet—the team has conceded five goals in four matches. It will be interesting to see what happens when Inter faces a high scoring team like AC Milan, Palermo or Juventus. But for now Inter continue their revival in imperious fashion.