The best game on paper going into the round turned out to be a riveting contest and therefore Inter-Juventus easily gets the nod this weekend.
The Beneamata had a perfect record prior to Sunday, while the Old Lady had dropped two points so far. Antonio Conte confirmed his standard lineup, with Romelu Lukaku returning after missing one with a quad problem. Maurizio Sarri picked Paulo Dybala up front and Federico Bernardeschi in the hole instead of the predicted Aaron Ramsey.
The guests broke the deadlock right away after four minutes, as Miralem Pjanic sprung Dybala loose deep with a ball over the top, La Joya got away from Milan Skriniar just enough to uncork a powerful cross-shot through the defenders’ legs that Samir Handanovic was unable to parry away. He had not scored since April, while it was the first time Inter had conceded in the first half so far this season.
Cristiano Ronaldo almost doubled the lead right away, but his snapshot rattled the crossbar. After 15 minutes, Nicolò Barella tried to connect with Lautaro Martinez with a cross in the box, but Matthijs De Ligt, while trying to forestall the striker, clearly deflected the ball with his forearm. El Toro converted the penalty in uncatchable manner right in the bottom right corner.
Later on, Wojciech Szczesny managed to save a wicked shot by the Argentinian forward after he and Lukaku had combined on open space and bamboozled the Bianconeri defenders. Near the 30-minute mark, Inter lost one of their main men so far, Stefano Sensi, who bowed out due to a groin issue. The Madama had the final two chances of the first half with Ronaldo, who was denied by Handanovic in the first one, and then scored after a lovely interplay with Dybala on the edge of the box, but the teammate was slightly offside on the assist and the VAR confirmed it.
Juventus continued to have the upper hand after the break and Handanovic had to stop two more good attempts, one by Bernardeschi from instance, the other coming out on Dybala, who had escaped in the box. Sarri tried to go all-in by inserting Gonzalo Higuain for Bernardeschi, but Il Biscione resumed attacking, as a matter of fact Matias Vecino hit the post on a deflected effort, so the coach pulled the plug after ten minutes, subbing in Emre Can for Dybala and moving Rodrigo Bentancur, who replaced Sami Khedira earlier, to the hole.
With ten minutes to go, the Uruguayan starlet served a terrific through ball for Higuain after a quick combination with Ronaldo and El Pipita finished with aplomb in front of the goalie. Juventus had 24 straight passes before scoring. The Nerazzurri tried to respond in the scarce time left, but Szczesny rushed on Vecino in their only real chance.
Juventus surpassed Inter and now lead Serie A. In the fantasy game, the scorers Dybala, Higuain and Martinez picked up four points, Bentancur one for the helpers, while Pjanic just one because he was also booked.
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