Serie A Club of the Round – Inter


Two of the top three teams got the job done in favorable match-ups: Inter bagged one more goal than Juventus, so the get the nod as club of the week. The Nerazzurri came into the game looking to atone for the brutal showing in Bergamo, where they conceded four goals.

As the seminal Champions League bout with Tottenham is coming up on Wednesday, Luciano Spalletti rotated his squad a lot, trusting Balde Keita and Lautaro Martinez up front and Borja Valero and Roberto Gagliardini in the midfield. Danilo D’Ambrosio filled in for the injured Sime Vrsaljko, while Radja Nainggolan was able to return to the XI after an ankle sprain.

The Beneamata generated tasty chances right off the bat: Marco Sportiello parried a header by D’Ambrosio and an effort by Keita, then Martinez misfired on a header from favorable position. It did not take long for the Nerazzurri to capitalize on their dominant start as, ten minutes into the game, Keita danced in the left-hand side of the box, eluded two defenders, and put it past the goalie with a lefty finish on the near post.

The home team slowed down a little after getting the lead, but still created some opportunities, the best ones coming from Martinez, who challenged Sportiello from distance, and a volley by Milan Skriniar on a set piece, but the goalie answered the bell both times. Nainggolan tried to rifle one home from medium range, but sent it wide, same for Matteo Politano at the beginning of the second half.

Samir Handanovic contributed to the win at the 53rd minute, when Daniel Ciofani escaped the defenders on a cross from the left and headed it home, but the no.1 was very well positioned and saved it with his legs.

Inter got the message and sealed the deal four minutes later with Lautaro Martinez, who beat Sportiello with a wonderful arching header on a cross by Keita. They cruised in the remaining portion of the match, mustering few more good chances, with El Toro super active. The third goal eventually arrived with ten minutes to go, as Politano perfectly fed Keita with a through ball and the Senegalese winger scored with a little curl in front of the goalie.

The Nerazzurri widened their lead over Lazio and Milan and got closer to Napoli, who are now just one point above them. The three goals and the clean sheet made it for a rich fantasy haul, with Keita pacing his squad with ten points, followed by Handanovic (7) and Martinez (6). The three defenders amassed five, the midfielders two for not conceding and Politano joined the party with an assist.

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