Whereas some of Europe’s top leagues are far from interesting, the Serie A title race can’t be missed. Both Milan clubs along with Napoli are embroiled in a tense battle for the Scudetto. Every fixture on the run-in will have massive ramifications on who will come out on top. One man who will be keen to have his say, despite Roma not being involved, is Jose Mourinho. Can ‘the Special One’ dent Inter’s title hopes?
Can Jose Mourinho Burst Inter Milan’s Bubble?
Both Sides Have It All to Play for
Simone Inzaghi’s Inter being embroiled in a title race is heavily trodden ground. So much so that the race for Champions League football is often overlooked in Italy. Juventus currently occupy fourth spot following Atalanta’s collapse but Roma and an in-form Fiorentina are still in the mix.
The latter have won their last three games, including an away tie at Napoli, and are unbeaten in six. Meanwhile, Jose Mourinho isn’t getting enough praise in the Eternal city. Their last league defeat came back in early January against Juventus and they are into the semi-finals of the Europa Conference League where they’ll meet Leicester City.
Roma sold out 60K tickets in less than 24 hours of them going on sale for their semi-final Conference League match against Leicester
They also sold out the away section at Leicester in 30 minutes
No surprises here. 💛❤️
— Italian Football TV (@IFTVofficial) April 21, 2022
Inter themselves are also performing very well. After a slight dry patch in front of goal, the Nerazzurri have won three Serie A fixtures on the bounce. Alongside their league form, Inter just nooked their place in the Coppa Italia final. Having drawn the first leg 0-0, Lautaro Martinez masterminded a famous San Siro night against their bitterest of rivals.
They drew three in four, the other being a 5-0 demolition of relegation-threatened Salternitana. Inter then went on the road to Turin and edged out Juventus in dramatic circumstances, with Hakan Calhanoglu scoring the only goal of the game from the penalty spot. Since then, they beat Hellas Verona and Spezia, both of whom have had impressive seasons.
The History of the Fixture
Jose Mourinho is no stranger to this fixture whatsoever. The Portuguese icon spent a few years in Milan and is now etched into their history books, and rightly so. The Portuguese brought two Serie A titles, a Coppa Italia and a Supercoppa Italiana to Milan. The pinnacle of his time with Inter is of course the infamous Champions League victory. In 2009/10, he guided his side beyond the likes of Chelsea, Barcelona and Bayern Munich.
They won’t show you or talk about this on the internet because it’s José Mourinho playing advanced & beautiful football with Roma🔥 pic.twitter.com/LlAds7W6eW
— ⭐️Soul CFC Daniel⭐️ (@xouldaniel) April 15, 2022
Prior to overcoming their city rivals in the semi-final, Inter faced and knocked off Roma in the Coppa Italia. Edin Dzeko and Alexis Sanchez were on target in that one. The former also found the back of the net when the pair last met in league action. The Bosnian scored in between strikes from Calhanoglu and Dutch full-back Denzel Dumfries. All three goals came in the first half in what was a romp, Jose Mourinho and co. being the victims.
Who can Make the Difference for Jose Mourinho?
In Roma’s last outing, the 1-1 draw at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona, substitute goalkeeper Daniel Fuzato saw red. Stephen El Shaaraway came off the bench to score the equaliser at the death, his sixth of the season. The trio ahead of him in the scoring charts are Tammy Abraham, Nicolo Zaniolo and Lorenzo Pellegrini have formed an imperious relationship which could make the difference for Jose Mourinho.
24 – Since the start of the current Century, Tammy #Abraham is the only third #Roma player able to score at least 24 goals in a single season after Edin Dzeko and Francesco Totti (2 times each). Pulling. #RomaBodo pic.twitter.com/eMjuBHShCv
— OptaPaolo 🏆 (@OptaPaolo) April 14, 2022
Edin Dzeko is regularly chosen to partner Lautaro Martinez upfront for Inter and he is of course a former Roma man. The striker made 199 appearances for the Giallorossi and scored 85 times. In Inzaghi’s system, just like with Antonio Conte’s full-backs play a key role. One of them is German Robin Gosens who arrived from Atalanta in January. He scored his first Inter goal against Milan this week and so could play a big role going forward. That being said, Ivan Perisic remains a key cog in the side.
Inter have a title on the line and Roma are chasing down Juventus for a top-four spot. Jose Mourinho will be back in familiar territory and it will be interesting to see what sort of reception he gets at the San Siro. Who will prevail in this true footballing cathedral?