Looking at Inter-Juventus, one had the impression that the points are already heavy in Serie A, when it was only in October.
Both teams wanted to win without losing balance. The Nerazzurri almost scored the three points with the weapons of Juventus: to score, to defend, to strike against.
Simone Inzaghi’s plan was almost perfect as the Nerazzurri scored an early goal with Edin Dzeko. They conceded little to Juventus, defending well throughout the game, but a late penalty from Paulo Dybala spoiled what appeared to be a flawless program.
This kick will be the most debated incident among Serie A fans over the next few days.
Denzel Dumfries came in late to clear Alex Sandro and caught the Brazilian on the boot. The referee motioned to continue playing, but after more than a minute he was called by VAR to review him.
Serie A | Inter 1-1 Juventus: Dybala’s pen decides Derby d’Italia
At this point, Mariani awarded a penalty to the Bianconeri, which Dybala converted on his return to action after injury, scoring his fourth goal in all competitions this season.
Much can be said about such a challenge. Did Dumfries hit Alex Sandro? Yes. Was the contact worth a penalty? Not sure. Was it a clear and obvious mistake by the referee, so VAR had to call him? Probably not.
If Inter-Juve had been a Premier League or Champions League game, the referee would not have been called in to perform this VAR check.
The debate on the best model is wide open, but it is a fact that, apart from Inter-Juventus, VAR is used more often in Serie A than in other European leagues and competitions.
Inter must surely regret not having taken the three points and not only for this shot on goal.
The Nerazzurri remain seven points behind leaders Napoli and Milan, but there are questions regarding the use of substitutions by Inzaghi, especially tonight.
Furious Inzaghi sent off after a penalty decision at Inter-Juventus
The Serie A champions could have killed the game earlier, they were in control for a long time, while Juventus only became dangerous in the second half of the game when Massimiliano Allegri introduced Federico Chiesa and Dybala.
The Italian coach expected “a physical game” and for this reason he decided to throw Chiesa on the bench.
However, the Italian starlet was a game-changer with her pace and unpredictability, creating problems for the Nerazzurri who felt the three points could slip out of their hands as soon as they saw Chiesa and Dybala enter.
Inzaghi is right when he says Juventus could only score from the penalty spot. This is the feeling that the Old Lady gave this evening.
The Bianconeri do their best when they don’t have to play from behind. They thrive in counterattacks and this is how they can be dangerous against any opponent.
When they find opponents sitting deep, they have a hard time finding a way through. Partly because they don’t have a prominent center-forward and partly because they don’t have a lot of midfielders running in open spaces.
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A defeat would have destroyed their title hopes, while one point puts them still ten points behind leaders Napoli and one behind Rome in fourth place.
Both Juventus and Inter have their issues, but the big talking point in the game will always be that controversial kick and it comes as no surprise when it comes to Juventus-Inter.
Even their last meeting in May ended with huge arguments as Juan Cuadrado secured a penalty that ultimately proved crucial for Juve’s Champions League qualification last season.
But there are plenty of refereeing incidents that have gone down in history, the most prominent of which is the famous contact between Mark Iuliano and Ronaldo in 1998.
It’s part of history and tonight a new chapter of the book has been written. Juventus and Inter will soon have to forget about it to achieve their goals, as both sides have proven that they still have a lot of work to do to get themselves up there with Milan and Napoli.