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Serie A heavyweights head-to-head

50-50 Challenge
 By Alex Shaw

European Report Cards: How has your team fared so far this season?

The ESPN FC crew discuss Borussia Dortmund's domestic struggles after a 2-1 defeat to Werder Bremen, finishing 2014 joint-bottom with Freiburg in the Bundesliga.

With football across Europe winding down for the winter break, it's time to have a look back at the campaign so far. We asked our ESPN FC bloggers to tackle seven questions on their side. Who's your side's unlikely hero, and who has work to do?

Each team's grade for the season so far is below -- and click on the team name for a comprehensive summary.

Click here for the verdict on all 20 Premier League teams.


Atletico Madrid: A-

Barcelona: C+

Real Madrid: A


Bayern Munich: A

 By Richard Hall

Inter Milan Report Card: The Nerazzurri's Serie A season so far

ESPN FC's Craig Burley joins Alexis Nunes to discuss the Europa League draw and which British sides need to take this competition seriously.

With Serie A winding down for the winter break, how have Inter Milan fared so far, and can this fallen giant awaken in the second half of the campaign?

Grade: D

Your Season So Far -- In A Sentence

This season started in a turgid manner, with the team showing no effort or desire, but mild improvements have been made since.


The highlight of the season has been the return of Roberto Mancini. The Inter manager has lifted the spirits of all associated with the Nerazzurri and has been the only...

 By Richard Hall

Inter struggling to get past fear factor

ESPN FC's Craig Burley joins Alexis Nunes to discuss the Europa League draw and which British sides need to take this competition seriously.

Inter Milan had to fight back to earn a 2-2 draw against Lazio after going two goals down in the San Siro. Mateo Kovacic's wonder strike and Rodrigo Palacio's first of the season enabled Roberto Mancini's men to regain some pride. The Inter coach bemoaned his team's start, accusing them of "playing with fear," but also praised their spirit.

This fear factor was borne under the stewardship of former manager Walter Mazzarri, and the Tuscan coach would often wonder why his team played in such a way....

Inter's Roberto Mancini owes some of his success to former club Lazio

Roberto Mancini has Inter playing at a different pace than under predecessor Walter Mazzarri.
Roberto Mancini and 11th placed Inter travel to Lazio, the club he helped end a lengthy trophy drought as a player and later became a indemand manager.

Roberto Mancini will swear Sunday's game against Lazio is just like any other.

When he re-encountered Lazio for the first time after leaving to become coach of Inter a decade ago, the Elegantissimo (very elegant) Mancio said: "I don't feel anything special on facing my old team and I couldn't tell you if they remember be with more anger or affection.

"I was very happy in Rome and have great memories of that period of my life. But now my mind is on other things. I have to think about winning, not...

 By Richard Hall

Five positives to take from Inter's performance at Chievo

ESPN FC's Craig Burley joins Alexis Nunes to discuss the Europa League draw and which British sides need to take this competition seriously.

Roberto Mancini collected his first Serie A win in his return as Inter boss against Chievo in a confident display at the Stadio Bentegodi. After a troubled few weeks Mancini will be relieved that he can look forward now, as his team gave him much to be positive about. The 2-0 win was not perfect by a long stretch, but it does show signs that a recovery is possible. It may be embryonic, but at least it's there.

Here are five positives from Inter's performance:

1. Formation

Mancini set his...

 By Richard Hall

Inter's struggles under Mancini continue with tough Chievo up next

Inter coach Roberto Mancini hands instructions to Hugo Campagnaro during the team's 0-0 draw against Qarabag in the Europa League.

Roberto Mancini takes his beleaguered Inter Milan to Verona on Monday night for a clash against in-form Chievo with storm clouds circling over his troubled side. Mancini rested players in midweek against Qarabag in a meaningless Europa League tie. Physically prepared they may be, but mentally they certainly are not.

Mancini's team had already topped their European group and therefore their away trip to Azerbaijan was a non-event. This was reflected in their lineup of young talent and players who...