Football Season Review

Champions: Internazionale

At last, Inter put an end to Juventus' domination over Italian football and obtained their 19th Scudetto, 11 years after their “triplete” season, when they won the Italian title, the Champions League and the Coppa Italia. Coach Conte, in his second season in charge, was the architect of such a big success was rather unexpected at the start of the campaign but was eventually inevitable, considering how superior they were to all opponents. In fact, Inter were not particularly bright in the initial weeks. Between weeks 1 and 7 they only won 3, losing to Milan and drawing with Parma while conceding far too many goals. For sure, the Champions League Group stage was taking a big toll in terms of their energy. From week 8 onwards, they started winning with greater regularity and settled themselves in second place. Having then faced a mini-crisis between weeks 16 and 19 (they won 1, lost to Sampdoria and drew with Roma and Udinese) they eventually began an unstoppable ride, characterized by 11 consecutive wins, which led them to the top in week 22 and building a wide gap from their followers. Their winning run was stopped by back-to-back away draws to Napoli and Spezia, but they eventually went on winning 5 out of the last 6, losing to Juventus in week 37. Inter closed the season with the best defence, the next-to-best attack, the most home games won and the least defeats sustained. Even though in 2021 they tended to score less, they were always in command of the games and were just superior to all opponents. Lukaku, Martinez and Sanchez were capable of 48 goals and 27 assists altogether, while the defence kept 14 clean sheets. However, it was the midfield that often made the difference with Hakimi tearing opponents apart from the right flank and Barella fighting all over the place. Eriksen, originally considered a stand-in, also proved decisive once he understood what Conte asked of him. With Conte gone and some stars likely leaving due to financial problems at the club, one wonders what the future has in store for Inter.

Player of the Season: Romelu Lukaku