As much as we love drama in football and want to be a part of it, sometimes it’s nice to peer at the chaos from the safety of a lofty branch of a tree, or a fiercely guarded king’s throne.
Having been involved in final day scraps all too often in recent years, it was probably a refreshing break for Inter supporters to enjoy watching their players take to the hallowed San Siro turf as champions of Italy, prior to all the other peasants battling it out in the evening.
The Kings of Serie A were offered centre court on Sunday afternoon, where the nation watched them pull apart a ragged Udinese side limb from miserable limb. This fixture was the appetiser, the aperitivo before Sunday’s gargantuan top-four royal rumble involving Napoli, Milan and Juventus.
Inter went to town on Udinese on Sunday, demonstrating to the rest of Italy exactly why they are champions, and what they will have to overcome in order to be offered the luxury of playing at 3pm on the final Sunday of next season.
In fairness, their opponents had all the freshness of a group of teens who had stayed up playing the Eurovision drinking game into the small hours, while celebrating Maneskin’s own victory on behalf of the country.
I Nerazzurri still had a job to do though, they wanted to entertain the 1,000 spectators in the stadium. Antonio Conte’s men put on an absolute show for the loyal fans, scoring some fabulous goals in a wonderful 5-1 victory.
The game started well, with Ashley Young signing off with a goal, in what will probably be his final game in the black and blue of Inter. His strike was the difference for the majority of the first half, but another ex-Premier League star sent them into the break with a two-goal advantage.
Christian Eriksen, a man who has reinvented himself as a vital cog in Conte’s midfield this year, effectively killed off the game with a free-kick which somehow escaped the wall and left the keeper with no chance.
Lautaro Martinez slotted home a penalty for 3-0, and Ivan Perisic curled deliciously into the top corner to add a fourth. Romelu Lukaku’s close-range finish ended the scoring for the hosts, although the only blot on the copybook came in the form of an Udinese consolation from the spot.
It was the perfect way to end a successful season for I Nerazzurri. They were able to finally give their supporters something to cheer in the flesh, while several players were awarded the sendoff they deserved for the part they’ve played in this historical season.
The objective for next year is clear: go again, and hopefully win some trophies in front of their supporters. But for now, Conte and his players can revel in their successes, look back on their season with pride, and give themselves a pat on the back.