Inter Milan boss Simone Inzaghi has demanded an immediate response from his table-topping side against Salernitana on Saturday after they suffered their first league defeat of the season in midweek.
Inter, who had won all of their opening five games domestically, lost 2-1 at home to Sassuolo on Wednesday night, squandering a half-time lead as they conceded goals to Nedim Bajrami and Domenico Berardi in the space of nine minutes.
The loss allowed rivals AC Milan to draw level on 15 points and has put the pressure on Inter going into the trip to winless Salernitana, who have taken only three points from their opening six Serie A fixtures.
“It was a defeat that hurt, and we have to analyse it and bounce back immediately,” Inzaghi said.
“We have to understand where we could have done better, and it’s certainly the case that we could have done more in the final half an hour.”
One big question for Inzaghi is in attack, where Marko Arnautovic is injured and Lautaro Martinez and Marcus Thuram both appear in need of a rest.
That could be the cue for Davy Klaassen to be used in a more advanced position. The Dutchman, who joined from Ajax on deadline day, has experience of playing in an attacking role in the Eredivisie and made his debut as a late substitute on Wednesday.
El has had some fantastic moments Salernitana
— Inter (@Inter_en) September 29, 2023
Alexis Sanchez, who came off the bench to replace Thuram in midweek, may come into the starting line-up.
“Arnautovic’s injury takes away some rotation options up front, something which is significant for us,” Inzaghi added.
“Sanchez is doing well; he’s an important player who will help us. We need to keep going and get players like (Stefano) Sensi and (Juan) Cuadrado back fit so that we have more options.”
For Berardi to get the winner for Sassuolo was perhaps no surprise given he has the most goals against Inter of any active player – with Wednesday’s strike his eighth in 16 appearances.
The bad news for Inzaghi is that Salernitana’s ranks include the player second on that list, their former midfielder Antonio Candreva, the 36-year-old who scored a spectacular goal from deep on the wing when the two sides last met in April, earning his side a point from a 1-1 draw.
A side coming off a 1-0 defeat to Empoli in midweek could use similar inspiration at the weekend as they look to end their winless start to the campaign.
“We have been together for 24 games and in this period we have managed to achieve important results for our club such as maintaining the Serie A status,” coach Paulo Sousa said.
“All this has meant that expectations have increased and it is normal that after the way in which we saved ourselves last year and the quality presented in our journey externally, there are pressures to have continuity of performance and results.
“There may be less successful matches over the course of a season but the courage and ambition to win them can never be lacking.”