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Icardi, Perisic fail to deliver again vs. Atalanta

Inter played their worst game of the De Boer era, as a sixth defeat of the campaign firmly placed the Dutchman on the chopping block. The Nerazzurri somehow returned to the dressing room only one goal down at the half, Andrea Masiello heading past an inert defence to open the scoring, his team-mates completely ruling the roost against the empty hulk masquerading as a Champions League contender.

Eder's sensational equaliser looked to have secured Inter an undeserved point, which a cynical team would have turned into three. Instead, Ivan Perisic sent his enticing chance straight at Etrit Berisha. A ridiculous Davide Santon lunge on Franck KessiƩ gifted Atalanta the winning penalty, which was tucked in by Mauricio Pinilla, another player spat out of the Pinetina's revolving door. It feels like nobody quite suffers against former players like Inter do.

Positives

Eder's free kick was a thing of beauty, Samir Handanovic made some nice saves, and Inter were able to weather the storm while playing badly, something Italians admire and refer to as 'soffrire' ('to suffer'). The centre-backs held up.

Negatives

Quite literally everything else. The tactics were abominable: teams used to let Inter keep the ball and counter them; Atalanta didn't even bother with the middleman, and just attacked them. Marcelo Brozovic is a shadow of the up-and-down player he used to be, which is something. Gabigol wasn't used. And watching former matchfixer Masiello score was Dame Sod's Law of rubbing into every Interesta's face.

Manager rating out of 10

3 -- Frank de Boer's changes were an undisputed disaster, with the likes of Yuto Nagatomo and Marcelo Brozovic playing awfully. His second-hand changes made very little sense. Hard not to sympathise with someone who is still discovering this league, and whose players don't always understand what he wants.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Samir Handanovic, 6 -- Kept Inter in the game with a fantastic save shortly after Masiello's opener. Nearly got to the penalty. If the significant minority of Inter fans who criticise him pipe up again, an editorial will appear on this page to explain to them how brainless they are.

DF Yuto Nagatomo, 4 -- Completely, utterly useless. His flank was a freeway for opposition wingers. Zero impact up front.

DF Joao Miranda, 7 -- Does he thrive when the whole team struggles? Helped Inter keep the score respectable, and if someone from the home side had a bad game, it was striker Andrea Petagna.

DF Jeison Murillo, 6 -- His play can be chaotic, but he made at least three key stops and was able to man the pumps when holes opened -- which was often. Centre-backs can't be chastised when they're the only trench in the line left standing.

DF Davide Santon, 4 -- At fault for both goals, his lunge to down KessiƩ for the key penalty was reminiscent of an old FIFA game when the controller stops working. At least he tried to do something in attack.

MF Gary Medel, 4 -- Having a defensive midfielder who can't head (leading to the first goal) is a problem, especially when his passing is awful and he is nearly sent off for what looked like an elbow on Jasmin Kurtic.

MF Joao Mario, 5 -- Lost at sea. Performances like this make one think that Ever Banega is the key to this midfield, not Mario.

MF Marcelo Brozovic, 3 -- At this stage, there's no point in rating him ahead of compatriot Mateo Kovacic, something I have long done. Inconsistent at the best of times, utterly devoid of fight, composure or anything positive in this game. Is this the guy his agents thinks should be paid in line with the best players in the squad?

MF Eder, 6 -- His mark, nay his time at Inter could be summarised by his exceptional goal, the effort he showed and his inability to find his niche. You get the feeling Inter have never known how to use him, despite Mancini and De Boer both valuing him highly. The Dutchman yelled at him for dropping back too often and leaving Icardi alone.

MF Ivan Perisic, 4 -- Another spectator. Does he really think Chelsea will pick him up on the strength of performances like this? Fired his only chance straight at Etrit Berisha.

FW Mauro Icardi, 5 -- Zero shots on goal. Gets a better mark than Perisic for a) creating a big chance for him b) clearly not being tasked with dropping deep c) being abandoned by his teammates.

Substitutes

DF, Cristian Ansaldi, 5 -- A very messy performance, but a shot in the arm in terms of intensity.

MF, Geoffrey Kondogbia, 5 -- Did what he was told by getting rid of the ball quickly, but showed little personality. The ball bounces off him on occasion, too.

MF Antonio Candreva, 6 -- Looked around with a bewildered expression, akin to the Tom Hanks slo-mo as he realises he's on Omaha beach. Toiled away, which was something.