It was Antonio Conte who began the Old Lady’s Serie A dominance and he seems primed to put an end to their run with the Nerazzurri.
Totti wanted Conte at Roma. But the former Italy manager realized the deep divide in the Giallorossi board room. He wanted complete backing and it was on offer at the San Siro.
Steven Zhang wanted Inter to add to their 18 Serie A titles. Twelve managers had come and gone since Jose Mourinho lifted the trophy during the 2009/10 treble-winning campaign. And the Chinese businessman was willing to bankroll the expedition.
At Inter Milan he had a supporting backroom and a willing squad ready to take on the challenge. Surely it must have been an easy decision, especially with Juventus choosing Sarri over him.
Revolution at the San Siro
Conte ticked in his new surroundings and the Nerazzurri have displaced Napoli as the pretenders to Juventus’ perennial throne. While Napoli never took pole position by December, Inter are. Although only a single point ahead.
This has come thanks to an exciting attacking line-up and a defense that is not leaking goals. Romelu Lukaku has linked up with the exceptional Lautaro Martinez to lead the lines. While Conte has also shored up their defense.
At the top of the table, they boast the third best goals scored output, trailing behind Atalanta and Lazio.
While in defense, only Juventus have a better defensive record than Inter.
Juventus struggle under Sarri
On the other hand, it has been the Old Lady’s stuttering displays that has allowed the Nerazzurri to top Serie A points table. Juventus are unbeaten in the domestic competition but has failed to get over the finishing line, sharing points as a result.
The bloated dressing room has not helped their cause. The club’s inability to get rid of players has not helped the squad’s chemistry as questions persist about the long term stay of many players.
However, under Sarri, the reigning Italian champions have integrated Paulo Dybala into the starting eleven alongside. While the Argentine has found his touch in front of goal, Cristiano Ronaldo’s has lost his.
The Portuguese attacker’s age is catching up with him as he has struggled with injuries. Moreover, Ronaldo’s returns have dramatically decreased and his return of 7 goals in 16 appearances, are below his usually high standards.
It seems Inter Milan’s marriage with Conte has come at the right moment. With Juventus struggling to adapt to Sarri-ball, the Milanese club are putting up a solid title challenge front.
For the neutrals and for the sake of Italian football, a change at the top is most welcomed.