Inter Milan end Serie A campaign with a weary defeat at Sassuolo
Saturday's 3-1 defeat for Inter Milan at Sassuolo showed a team ending Serie A wearily, following a long and often criticised campaign.
This last whimper highlighted the problems Roberto Mancini still has at the club ahead of what will be a crucial summer in the transfer market.
Player ratings (1-10; 10=best; players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating):
GK Juan Carrizo, 5 -- Inter's reserve goalkeeper proved why he is the second choice with a very poor display. He was unlucky as Matteo Politano's sixth minute opener was deflected but from there, his match was filled with indecision and nerves. He showed little authority in his area and this affected the defence.
DF Alex Telles, 5 -- Had a poor game as Politano tormented him. He is creative when crossing and coming forward but the Sassuolo wide man pinned him back and he wasn't allowed to be innovative.
DF Juan Jesus, 6 -- The most confident of Inter's backline and played relatively well. He tried hard to command his teammates but it was to no avail as Sassuolo attacked in unison.
DF Jeison Murillo, 4 -- Good up until Christmas but his performances have been getting gradually worse since then. He is poor when not accompanied by Joao Miranda and Saturday was a particularly bad display. Not only was he found wanting on more than one occasion but he needlessly got sent off again, the third time this campaign, for two mindless yellow cards.
DF Danilo D'Ambrosio, 6 -- The full-back has spent all season defending well but offering little in attack. This time around, he showed his creative side going forward but this led to him neglecting his defensive duties.
MF Felipe Melo, 6 -- Superb at breaking up the play and often seemed to be doing this on his own but his distribution was lacking and he could not pass the ball quickly enough.
MF Geoffrey Kondogbia, 6 -- Has been fantastic in recent weeks and a superb asset to Mancini. But he struggled in the middle of the pitch and looked more like the player he was in the first half of the season rather than the marauding dynamo of the latter half.
MF Marcelo Brozovic, 6 -- Not at his best and looked sluggish at times. He did manage to create a goal for Rodrigo Palacio but he looked tired and ready for his summer break.
FW Eder, 6 -- Can never be criticised for not working hard enough. His endeavours, however, came to little. Much of the blame for this should come from the midfield, as they did not give him enough supply.
FW Stevan Jovetic, 6 -- Like Brozovic, he drifted in and out of the game, showing moments of excellence but then disappearing. The game was a microcosm of his season as he continues to be a beacon of inconsistency. He will need to improve a great deal if he stays next season.
FW Rodrigo Palacio 6 -- The Argentine striker, 34, managed to grab a rare goal in what could be his last outing in an Inter shirt. A man who has shown such industry, passion and work rate over the years unfortunately showed why he is nearly ready to hang up his boots. The quality is there but age is against him.
DF Yuto Nagatomo, 5 -- Brought on for D'Ambrosio on 66 minutes, he looked eager but wasn't effective again. Inter need an upgrade at full-back in the summer.
GK Ionut Radu, 6 -- The young Romanian goalkeeper made his debut in the Inter goal and did well. He has had a solid campaign with the Primavera and deserved his minutes.
DF Fabio Della Giovanna, N/R -- The centre-back came on for his debut.
Richard Hall is an Italian football writer contributing to ESPN, The Guardian, Daily Mail, IBWM and Football Italia. Follow him on Twitter @Gentleman_Ultra.