Inter Milan

Inter 1-0 Cagliari: Player ratings as Nerazzurri grind out vital win at San Siro

Max Cooper
Apr 11, 2021, 1:45 PM GMT+1
Darmian, the unlikely hero
Darmian, the unlikely hero / Marco Luzzani/Getty Images
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Inter continued their 10-game winning streak with a laboured 1-0 victory over Cagliari on Sunday afternoon, as they took another step towards the Serie A title.

I Nerazzurri started on the front foot, and Alexis Sanchez thought he'd handed the hosts the advantage on 18 minutes, but his nice finish from inside the box was ruled out due to an offside infringement.

Christian Eriksen had a couple of cracks at goal, but the hosts struggled to break down a stubborn Cagliari side, and the two teams went into the break all square. I Nerazzurri continued to knock on the door in the second half, with Eriksen once again at the heart of their play.

The Dane forced Guglielmo Vicario into a fine stop early on, while Romelu Lukaku also headed wide. Stefan de Vrij hit the crossbar with a header from a corner, but Inter finally got their breakthrough when Matteo Darmian charged into the box to meet Achraf Hakimi's cross, burying the ball at the far post.

Antonio Conte's men held on to clinch the win and open up a gap of 11 points on second-placed Milan, as Inter march towards a long-awaited title success.

Right, let's check out the player ratings.

INTER PLAYER RATINGS

1. Goalkeeper & defenders

FBL-ITA-SERIEA-INTER-CAGLIARI
Tackles flying in / ALBERTO PIZZOLI/Getty Images

Samir Handanovic (GK) - 7/10 - Very little to do, as Inter dominated possession and the chances. Got down low to deny a speculative long-range effort from Radja Nainggolan.

Milan Skriniar (CB) - 7/10 - Put in some strong tackles and battled with the wily Joao Pedro. Galloped forward with the ball when presented with the opportunity.

Stefan de Vrij (CB) - 8/10 - Had a tough, physical battle against the experienced Leonardo Pavoletti, but got stuck in and gave the forward a taste of his own medicine. Did well to stop a dangerous second-half counterattack with a clean challenge. Rattled the bar with a header.

Alessandro Bastoni (CB) - 7/10 -
Calm in possession and effective in the tackle. Always looked to get involved and keep Inter moving forward.

2. Wing-backs & midfielders

FBL-ITA-SERIEA-INTER-CAGLIARI
On the ball / ALBERTO PIZZOLI/Getty Images

Matteo Darmian (RWB) - 8/10 - Lacked the attacking intent of Hakimi on the right, and couldn't make many inroads. Did get a shot away inside the area but couldn't beat the keeper. Moved to the left flank and made the difference, racing in to smash the ball home. A huge moment in the title race.

Stefano Sensi (CM) - 7/10 - Performed the box-to-box role that Nicolo Barella does so well, although he couldn't carry his team up the pitch as efficiently. Didn't impact the first half as he'd have hoped. Stung the keeper's palms with a vicious shot from range.

Marcelo Brozovic (CM) - 6/10 - Shielded the back four well, covering both sides of the pitch to prevent any dangerous counterattacks. Struggled to kick Inter into life. Stuck a hefty foul on Pedro and saw yellow.

Christian Eriksen (CM) - 8/10 - Whipped in some dangerous set pieces for his teammates. Had the first chance of the game but couldn't beat Vicario. Dragged a shot wide from just inside the box. The best midfielder on the pitch.

Ashley Young (LWB) - 6/10 - Didn't threaten the Cagliari defence too much, and failed to get into those positions to curl his trademark in-swinging crosses.

3. Forwards

Romelu Lukaku, Nahitan Nandez, Diego Godin
Hounded / Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

Romelu Lukaku (ST) - 7/10 - Fed a nice pass through to Sanchez, but the Chilean was offside when he tucked the ball away. Worked tirelessly with his back to goal, but missed his partner in crime Martinez alongside him.

Alexis Sanchez (ST) - 6/10 - Just mistimed his run when through on goal for his disallowed opener. Couldn't find the linkup required as Inter lacked any real rhythm.

4. Substitutes

Achraf Hakimi
Subbed on / Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

Achraf Hakimi (RWB) - 8/10

Lautaro Martinez (ST) - 7/10

Roberto Gagliardini (CM) - 6/10

Matias Vecino (CM) - 6/10

Danilo D'Ambrosio (RWB) - N/A

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