Inter’s growing Italian contingency put in a solid shift against the Tuscan minnows.
Eder’s opener and Antonio Candreva’s near-post belter only show the tip of the iceberg in today’s match. Many players stood out on both sides of the equation, another sign of Italian football’s revival.
Federico DiMarco for Empoli played a solid match. It’s not easy being a teenager playing on Italy’s biggest stage, especially when you have the experienced Antonio Candreva be-raiding you all match long. Going forward, DiMarco managed to dribble past a few players and cause the Nerazzurri defense problems with a cross that nearly found Maccarone.
Andrea Pinamonti made his debut for the Nerazzurri this evening, coming on for Eder in the 79th minute. The 17-year-old had played 80 minutes in the Europa League earlier this season but had been yet to feature in the domestic campaign. He had two notable moments in his cameo, this first coming just seconds after coming on. Pinamonti collected a forward pass and delivered a one-touch cross directly to Joao Mario who found Gabriel Barbosa open on the wing, the resulting shot nearly gave Inter a 3-0 lead. The other moment was another one-touch opportunity, but this time the Italian took a shot on goal, forcing the Empoli goalkeeper into action to stop Pinamonti from scoring a debut goal.
In the midfield, Roberto Gagliardini dominated play and performed admirably for his new side. He forced Skorupski into making several great saves to keep him off the scoresheet. He had the second most touches on the ball for his side today and was constantly a threat for the Empoli defense. He’s developing rapidly into an exceptional player. He does have some Paul Pogba attributes to him, mainly his physicality but could also develop his dribbling ability.