The form team in Italy is not leader Juventus, despite its 2-0 win over Sassuolo. On a weekend when second-placed Roma lost to Sampdoria and third-placed Napoli drew at Udinese, Inter Milan took advantage of the opportunity to close the gap in the race for the Champions League places. After beating Pescara 3-0, Inter is now up to fourth and only three points behind Napoli.
New coach Stefano Pioli has overseen eight wins in 10 league matches since replacing Frank de Boer, and the current run, seven league wins and nine consecutive wins in all, is the club's best run for five years. Piolo has not made sweeping changes to the team, though he has brought back Marcelo Brozovic and Geoffrey Kodogbia after their exclusions under De Boer.
This is a decisive week for Pioli, as Inter faces the coach’s former side, Lazio, in the Coppa Italia quarterfinals before hosting Juventus next week. That should give a good indication of what this team is capable of.
“We’re doing good things, but I am sure we can do even better,” said Pioli. “I have players of a high level, but we’ve not yet reached our peak and that should give us real confidence going forward. We’ve done nothing yet, we are not in the position we want to be or playing the football we want.”
Pioli has his players working as a team and Inter, finally, is reaping the reward. Taking the next step and pushing for top-three is the next challenge.