A Yann Bisseck header and a defensive masterclass from Inter were enough to push the visitors over the line in a 0-1 win over Thiago Motta’s high-flying Bologna.

Ahead of an important Champions League clash against Atlético Madrid in the second leg of the round of 16, Inter was expected to rotate slightly, but not give Bologna the benefit of the doubt too much. Bologna have been in incredible form this season, especially at home having only lost once previously to AC Milan, and have given top clubs many problems. Beating lost to Bologna in the Coppa Italia early in the season at the Giuseppe Meazza, Inter would now look to secure a win while giving rest to a few key players.

Bologna lined up as follows (4-1-4-1): Skorupski; Posch, Beukema, Lucumí, Kristiansen; Freuler; Odgaard, Ferguson, Aebischer, Saelemaekers; Zirkzee.

Inter lined up as follows (3-5-2): Sommer; Bisseck, Acerbi, Bastoni; Darmian, Barella, Çalhanoğlu, Mkhitaryan, Carlos Augusto; Alexis Sánchez, Thuram.

Inter had the opening opportunity of the match. In the fifth minute, Çalhanoğlu was able to spot the run of Alexis Sánchez in behind and found the Chilean forward, who chipped the Bologna goalkeeper and hit the crossbar. The forward was ready to pounce on the loose ball but the flag was up for offside.

This good spell of play for Inter continued into the 14th minute. Yann Bisseck, charging forward, slotted the ball through for Matteo Darmian who had made a nice overlapping run. The Italian wingback had a chance to shoot on net, but his effort was just inches wide of the goal.

In the 20th minute, Marcus Thuram was able to cut out a mistake from the Bologna defence. A wayward pass was caught by the Frenchman and the ball bounced to Nicolò Barella crashing into the box. Barella had a chance to shoot but was denied by Skorupski. This was the best chance yet and should have resulted in a goal!

Heading into the final ten minutes of the first half, Alessandro Bastoni made a wonderful cross from the far left side of the pitch in the 37th minute into the back post. Yann Bisseck, using his height and frame, dove to meet the ball and smashed it into the back of the net! No chance for Skorpuski to save, the ball bounced before meeting the top of the netting. A goal coming from Inter’s left centreback to its right centreback!

The second half was all Bologna. According to FotMob’s stats, Inter had zero shots and zero expected goals, while Bologna had 12 shots on goal. Sommer was called into action several times, each time coming up well to deny Thiago Motta’s side from equalizing. A true defensive masterclass from the Nerazzurri to keep their winning streak intact, while heavily rotating the lineup ahead of a massively important match against Atlético Madrid in the Champions League in just a few days and the next Serie A match being away at Napoli.

Following a narrow win, here is how we have rated Inter’s performers today.

Player Ratings

Yann Sommer – 7

Called into action much more than usual and came up massively each time. Made incredible saves.

Yann Bisseck – 7.5

Hardly put a foot wrong. Has grown into such a strong player and earned the trust of the club, rightfully so. Fantastic goal today and ended up being the winner.

Francesco Acerbi – 7

An enormous performance from the entire backline today and it started from the commanding central centreback.

Alessandro Bastoni – 7.5

One of his best performances of the season. Played an amazing ball for the assist and was deservedly rewarded. Defensively solid.

Matteo Darmian – 6

Classic, reliable Darmian performance. Started on the right, moved to the left at the half and did not struggle in the slightest.

Nicolò Barella (C) – 5.5

Questionable decision-making and missed a massive chance in the first half to open the score. Settled better into the match in the second half, but it is fair to expect much better from him.

Hakan Çalhanoğlu – 6.5

Returned from injury and did so in style. Played a strong 60 minutes before being taken off in view of the Champions League.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan -6.5

Had his engine going all game. Contributed well defensively.

Carlos Augusto – 7

Had a really strong first half before suffering a slight injury and being taken off as a precaution at the half. Made several good recoveries and even had some chances at goal.

Alexis Sánchez – 6.5

Was able to use his dribbling skills in tight situations and made the most of the start. Good performance.

Marcus Thuram – 6

Created some chances but wasn’t able to find many opportunities to test the goalkeeper.


Denzel Dumfries – 6

Used his physicality and was defensively solid.

Davide Frattesi – 6

Many more defensive actions than offensive actions, rare to see, but did well.

Kristjan Asllani – 6

Provided a creative spark in the second half, a strong performance on his and Inter’s birthday!

Marko Arnautović – 5.5

Was a physical presence up top. Unfortunately exited the match in the dying seconds with what seemed to be a hamstring/thigh injury.

Davy Klaassen – 5

Entered and was immediately shown a yellow card for dissent.