Last night Inter Milan lost to Barcelona 0-1 in the return leg, but successfully managed to move in to the Champions league final, thanks to their first leg win by 3 goals to one. This was an extraordinary match, not for the beauty of football on display but for the defensive tactics of Inter Milan. I have not seen another match which showcased such a spectacular and spirited defensive display.
Barcelona was the defending champions and currently the best team in the world according to many, having lost to Inter in the first leg, they were expected to be at their attacking best in their home ground. Yesterday’s did nothing to indicate they were the best in the world, with all their attacking might, spearheaded by Messi, they were unable to score more than a solitary goal. That goal too loses significance when you consider that it came very late after Inter having played with just ten men for nearly 60 minutes of the game, and that too which quite clearly was an offside. Inter was unlucky to have Motta dismissed before the 30 minutes mark which hardly looked like a serious foul.
It was wonderful to see spirited defensive display of all the 10 Inter Milan players against formidable opposition and they played like their life depended on it. It was very clear to see the influence of their coach, Jose Mourinho, as not even once in the match you felt that Inter looked like losing, apart for may be the last few minutes after the goal. The confidence of the Inter players was there for all to see.
I agree that their game may not be a treat to the eye, but what is the point of kicking the ball around to entertain the audience with out scoring goals. My question is if Barcelona is the best team in the world currently, what you would call a team which convincingly beat them with a goal aggregate of 3-2 in more than 3 hours of football, having played the last one hour with only 10 men.
I read a few articles in the morning and was really surprised to find them hesitating to applaud the great effort by Inter Milan, which prompted me to write this blog. Some coaches need a great team to win matches and some coaches make any good team perform great to win matches. Jose is one of the rare ones; no wonder than he is called the ‘Special One’.