Inter go 7 points clear of champions Juventus with 17th win of the season

Inter look on course to win their first league title in 11 years as they beat Genoa 3-0 at the weekend. Romelu Lukaku yet again was on hand to open up the scoring in a pretty much one sided game that they didn’t look like losing.

Inter got off to the best possible start as they were in front against Genoa within 60 seconds. Lautaro Martinez set up Lukaku who still had plenty of work to do but he lashed his shot into the net, and it was a superb goal to get the game going.

Matteo Darmian and Nicolo Barella had chances to double the lead in the first half and Barella’s chance came off the cross bar. But the first half would end 1-0 to the home side. Inter had dominated the first half and had 7 shots on target to Genoa’s two and they look hungry for more goals too.

Goals did follow in the 2nd half and this time Darmian made no mistakes as he was set up by Lukaku and just past the hour mark it was 2-0 to Inter and there was no coming back from that by the away side.

A few minutes later Alexis Sanchez made it 3-0 and it was game over. Although not before a VAR review but thankfully the goal stood. Inter are 4 points clear at the top after Milan also won at the weekend. But the big news was that Juventus had their game in hand in midweek and they could only draw 1-1 at Verona. They followed that up yesterday by beating Spezia 3-0 but the old lady are now seven points behind Inter and have now played the same games. One has to wonder if Juventus’ domination of the league is over?

Inter’s top scorer Romelu Lukaku had this to say after the game: We faced some defeats in these kind of games last season and we want to improve. I am really happy with the victory. Now we must focus on Parma, it’s not going to be an easy game. We want to show our opponents that we are here. We must focus on one game at a time. It was an important match after two back to back victories. We scored three goals and kept a clean sheet, perfect.”

Pirelli waving goodbye

In other news Pirelli the infamous shirt sponsors of Inter will be no more. With talk of Inter being sold in the summer and negotiations taking place it has been confirmed that the club will have different shirt sponsors from next season. Pirelli has had a strong association with Inter and they have been their official shirt sponsor for the past 27 years.

How well do you know Italian football? Do you want to battle the best Serie A Fantasy Managers? Play fantasyseriea.com now!

Antonio Conte finds the winning formula with Inter

It may have taken Antonio Conte two seasons at Inter, but the veteran tactician appears to have found the winning formula in Milano. The Nerazzurri have been in emphatic form in recent months and have since run away as title favorites. With both Milan and Juventus struggling for form, Inter is now well on its way to its first Scudetto in 11 years – but how have they got here?

Initially, Inter sporting director Giuseppe Marotta backed his manager heavily in the transfer window. The likes of Nicolo Barella, Romelu Lukaku, and Achraf Hakimi were all brought in and remain crucial pieces to the puzzle. That being said, it still takes a manager to put it all together.

Conte has toiled with a number of different lineups and setups before finally establishing his winning formula. The veteran tactician has since gone with Stefan de Vrij, Alessandro Bastoni, and Milan Skriniar at the back, offering the side some much-needed stability. The trio possesses an interesting blend of experience and youth and are all capable of playing from out from the back.

Beyond its staunch backline, Inter boasts one of Italy’s best midfield units. Conte has a number of options on the bench including Stefano Sensi and Arturo Vidal but appears to have finally decided on his best lineup. The former Azzurri boss deploys Marcelo Brozovic from the deepest role and flanks him with Christian Eriksen and Nicolo Barella.

The former was almost on his way out in January but has since undergone a resurgence of sorts. Eriksen has played a crucial role for Inter in recent weeks, adding creativity between the lines. Brozovic is tasked with sitting back and dictating the tempo, while Barella is Inter’s all-action midfielder. The former Cagliari man is a constant menace in the final third and is always looking to combine dangerously with Romelu Lukaku and Achraf Hakimi.

Moving forward to the attack. Inter’s one-two punch of Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez is among the very best in football. The Belgian international has taken his game to another level under Conte and enters the final stretch of the season in sensational form. Martinez, on the other hand, is arguably playing the best football of his young career, stringing together a number of positive outings together since the turn of the new year. The duo possesses the necessary speed, power, and skill to unlock any defence and could very well prove to be the difference for Inter.

An article on Conte’s Inter would not be complete with a brief discussion on the wingbacks. Hakimi marauds the right flank at will, tormenting defenders, while Perisic’s improvement as a left wingback has been notable. Both wingbacks offer Inter the stability and creativity they need from the wide areas.

With Juventus in a transition season, the title is very much Inter’s for the taking. The Nerazzurri have been the best side in Italy this season and have shown no signs of slowing down. When Inter initially brought Conte in, the goal was to dethrone Juventus. With just 14 games left, the Italian tactician is set to deliver.

Join the most popular Fantasy Serie A game here: fantasyseriea.com

Lautaro Martinez the hero as Inter beat rivals Milan to go 4 points clear at the top of Serie A

What a moment this is for Inter who were already on top of Serie A before they played their city rivals Milan in the derby. But after a fantastic and dominating 3-0 victory over the Rossonieri they are now 4 points clear at the top and the clear favourites to win their first Scudetto in 11 years.

Lautaro Martinez who has perhaps played second fiddle but also teamed up so well with his strike partner Romelu Lukaku was brilliant. The 23 year old Argentinian rose to the huge occasion in style and scored the opening two goals. Martinez now has 13 goals this season.

Milan’s form has been in trouble for the last few weeks where they haven’t looked as dominant as they were before and the writing looked on the wall at San Siro as Inter took the lead after just 5 minutes. Lukaku lobbed the ball well and his clever pass found the head of Martinez who made no mistakes to put Inter in front.

There were good chances  for both clubs in the first half and apart from the goal one could say that this was an equal half. Milan’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic may not have agreed with that though and the Swede did have a couple of good chances to grab a goal back for the designated home side.

If Milan thought they were in the game because the half time score was only 1-0 then a poor 10 minute spell in the second sealed the clubs fate. It was Martinez again just before the hour mark. He received a ball from Ivan Perisic and Martinez at close range was in the right place at the right time to double Inter’s lead.

At this point Milan were still in shock when Lukaku, Inter’s top goalscorer, made it 3-0 after a mazy run. Lukaku who has called this season his best yet as a footballer was absolutely delighted. If Inter were going to beat Milan and confirm their greatest you get the feeling that Lukaku wanted to score in that game.

Much was said of course about the teams last meeting when Lukaku and Ibrahimovic clashed. Thankfully there would be no repeat of that but Lukaku did his speaking on the pitch and he will be very satisfied with that.

In fairness Milan didn’t play too bad and created many chances in the second half but those two quick goals killed off the game for them. Their title chances aren’t over yet of course and it will only take a slip up from Inter to let them back in. Juventus will also have a chance to win their 10th league title as they watch from the wings. It is sure to be an exciting finish this season, but for now with 15 games left to play Inter has taken control of the league.

Inter coach Antonio Conte was full of praise for his team and very proud after the game. He said: “My players deserve the praise it was a well-prepared game they were the absolute protagonists on the pitch. It was a nice game, it was a derby with a lot of pressure because both teams are up there in the table. I’m happy because we prepared the game well. We were good to make the most of the opportunities against a strong team.”

Inter will play Genoa next and although they will be the favourites to win the game, that is the type of fixture that could be a banana skin. What is sure about this season is that it is looking like it will be one of the best in years with 3 teams able to challenge for the title.

Do you have what it takes to challenge the best Serie A Fantasy Managers? If you’re for it play fantasyseriea.com!

 

 

 

Inter storm to the top of Serie A after win over Lazio as Milan collapse against Spezia

Finally it has happened for Inter and Antonio Conte, they are in 1st place in Serie A with 16 games to go as they convincingly beat a strong rival in Lazio 3-1.

Inter had been on the tails of their eternal rivals Milan for the majority of the season and it will be a fantastic feeling to know that they are now kings of the hill so to speak. Milan were outclassed against lowly Spezia losing that game 2-0 in what was seen as a surprise result but Milan were never really in the game.

Inter and Lazio is always a big game and Lazio themselves have had a decent season and even after this defeat are only 2 points from a Champions League place. Inter knew this would be a hard game but Conte’s team dominated play from the first whistle and looked ultra confident throughout their play.

Inter took the lead when Lazio’s Wesley Hoedt committed a foul in the area and the referee pointed to the spot and Hoedt was quickly booked for his actions. Romelu Lukaku stepped up and made no mistakes shooting past Pepe Reina in goal. It was just the right start that the home side needed.

Lukaku made it 2-0 just minutes before half time but not before a VAR review and the goal was in the balance because of Lukaku’s position, the question was did the pass he receive come from his Inter team mate? If so the goal wouldn’t have stood but Lukaku rightly pointed out that the ball had indeed come off of an Lazio defender and the goal stood.

Just after the hour mark Inter were not cruising the game anymore when Lazio struck back after a free kick. The actual free kick was not the problem as the ball was going wide but the ball deflected from Lazio player Gonzalo Escalante and into the net. It was a lucky goal but all of a sudden Inter could feel the pressure at 2-1. It wouldn’t last.

Just three minutes later Inter scored a brilliant goal which would finish the game. Lukaku collected the ball down the right wing and with blistering pace just went past players like they were not there, he squared the ball to an unmarked Lautaro Martinez who scored his 11th goal of the season. The scenes of celebration were wild as the players along with manager Conte embraced.

Even though there was still thirty minutes to play Inter knew they had won this game and indeed it finished 3-1. Inter go top although only by 1 point and there is all to play for. Inter’s next game is against, wait for it…. Milan on Sunday. What a match that will prove to be 1st v 2nd.

Martinez the boy wonder staying with Inter for now

Lautaro Martinez has been brilliant for Inter and has scored 11 goals so far in the league and assisted in another 4 goals. All eyes are on the striker but he is set to stay at Inter, much to the relief of the fans. Martinez is expected to sign a new 3 year contract which would tie him to Inter until June 2024.

Lukaku the 2nd best striker in Europe in the fantasy rankings

The fantasy rankings has Romelu Lukaku as the 2nd best striker in Europe and the Belgian currently has 68 points and has scored 16 goals. He is only 5 points behind the number 1 striker which is currently Tottenham’s Harry Kane. Kane has scored 13 goals so far but has assisted in another 11. Making up the rest of the top 5 are Cristiano Ronaldo, Heung-Min Son and Luis Suarez.

How well do you know Italian football? Do you want to battle the best Serie A Fantasy Managers? Play fantasyseriea.com now!

 

 

 

 

Juventus knock Inter out of the Coppa Italia as Conte clashes with Juve president

Inter are out of the Coppa Italia after their 2nd leg semi-final clash ended 0-0 against Juventus. The first leg was won by Juventus 2-1 and so Juventus have made the final.

After the final whistle though it appeared that Inter coach Antonio Conte had raised his middle finger to Juventus officials, some have pointed out that it was directed at the Juventus president. However there have been claims that Andrea Agnelli swore at Conte and tensions boiled over.

The game itself had its moments but as the time ran down and Inter who needed to attack more got few chances the writing looked on the wall that they wouldn’t be able to conjure up a great comeback. The game as a whole felt level and even though Inter had created 18 goal chances only 4 of those were on target.

In the early exchanges as expected Inter attacked and Lautaro Martinez felt he should have had a penalty but it was waved away. Soon after Romelu Lukaku came close with a thundering header which wasn’t too far off of its target. With nine minutes of the game to go Achraf Hakimi who has been very impressive in attack even if he is a defender came close to scoring with a superb shot and had that gone in it would certainly have changed the complexion of the game and we would have been in for quite an exciting last 10 minutes or so.

Inter coach Conte had this to say after the game, “ We paid for the first leg, for some gifts we gave them. We tried to score until the end, because with one goal, they would have had more difficulty. I’m sorry because these are matches that are played in 180 minutes. Today we tried in every way with desire and determination. You make mistakes you have to learn from mistakes and then start over and try again.”

While the disappointment of going out of the cup at the semi-final stage has dampened spirits throughout the Inter squad they will now have to refocus for their next league game at the weekend and it won’t be easy as it is against Lazio.

As for the league the title is still on and Inter are in 2nd place on 47 points and just 2 points behind Milan who keep winning. Last weekend Inter recorded their 14th win of the season from 21 games played as they beat Fiorentina 2-0 away from home.

Nicolo Barella opened the scoring for the visitors after an Alexis Sanchez pass and his curling shot from the edge of the area was a stunner. That was Barella’s third goal of the season.

Early in the second half Ivan Perisic made it 2 after Hakimi broke free down the right wing and squared it to Perisic who was unmarked and it was an easy slot in. Lukaku missed a few good chances but this was a game that was never in doubt and Fiorentina were quite toothless.

Inter’s will play Lazio next on Sunday evening at San Siro while Milan are away to Spezia a day earlier.

How well do you know Italian football? Do you want to battle the best Serie A Fantasy Managers? Play fantasyseriea.com now!

Cristiano Ronaldo double hurts Inter in Coppa Italia as league chase remains on

Inter were the odds on favourites to beat Benevento this past weekend and they made no mistakes in winning the game 4-0 at San Siro.

Lautaro Martinez was among the scorers and Romelu Lukaku grabbed a brace in an easy win. The opening goal of the game came from an own goal though as Ivan Perisic’s free kick in swinging cross was met by Benevento’s Riccardo Improta who prodded home quite superbly to give Inter the lead. It was unfortunate but the early goal set the game up for Inter.

Inter played with a high intensity in the first half but some how managed just 1 shot on target the whole half as Benevento were happy to defend and created no chances themselves. Indeed it would be a game where the away side would not have a shot on target. The first half ended 1-0 to the home side.

Inter came out for the 2nd half even more fired up and it was little surprise that they doubled their lead in the 57th minute through Martinez who had been lively the whole game and saw an earlier effort ruled out for offside. This time his shot was precise and placed and at 2-0 the game was effectively over before the hour mark.

Ten minutes later a terrible mix up in defence for Benevento saw the ball fall for Lukaku who made no mistakes in scoring, it was such an easy goal that the Belgian didn’t even feel the need to celebrate. And soon after it was 4-0 and again it was Lukaku latching onto a ball in the area and scoring a very similar goal to his first. Lukaku now has 14 goals in the league and is only one behind Cristiano Ronaldo.

Christian Stellini in charge of Inter

Following Inter coach Antonio Conte’s sending off in the Udinese match which ended in a 0-0 draw assistant coach Christian Stellini was in the dug out and on press duties for this game and he will also be in charge when Inter face Fiorentina away from home in their next game.

Eriksen and Sanchez stay at Inter

A U-turn has been made by Inter and they have decided to keep both Christian Eriksen and Alexis Sanchez at the club for now. Eriksen was said to not fit into Conte’s plans but since December Conte has found a role for Eriksen and the player has responded and is in good form. As for Sanchez he seemed he was off to Roma in a swap deal for Edin Dzeko but at the eleventh hour that was called off. Indeed Sanchez played in the win over Benevento and even assisted in a goal.

Ronaldo scores a brace to give advantage to Juventus in the Coppa Italia

Inter are in trouble after losing the first leg of their Coppa Italia semi-final against Juventus at home. Inter took the lead in the game but eventually lost 2-1 thanks to two goals from that man Cristiano Ronaldo.

Lautaro Martinez who is in form opened the scoring when he got in front of his marker but Ronaldo converted a penalty and scored the winner when he pounced on a defensive mistake.

It was a game full of intensity and a special atmosphere even if the fans were not allowed to attend the game. There were plenty of chances for both sides, each having 5 shots on target in an absorbing game of football. It was no surprise that in the end 9 yellow cards were shown. It is advantage Juventus going into the 2nd leg.

Inter were missing Lukaku because he had gained too many yellow cards in the competition and was suspended for the game. Afterwards coach Conte said: “Juventus made the most of two naïve errors to score their goals. We need to be more clinical and ruthless, as we created so much and you have to finish those chances against a side like Juventus. The performance was excellent, it was just the result that was negative. We had Juve on the ropes, it’s really disappointing, because we deserved much, much, more than the final result.”

The 2nd leg match will take place on February 9th.

Are you a Serie A expert? Can you defeat the top Serie A fantasy managers? If you think so, join today at fantasyseriea.com!

 

 

 

Inter knock Milan out of Coppa Italia and reduce gap at the top of Serie A to 2 points

Last weekend would have felt like an opportunity missed for Inter but they were back to good thoughts by midweek. In their latest league game Inter could only draw 0-0 away to Udinese. A point is good away from home but it would have felt like loss given that rivals Milan lost at home to Atalanta.

This past week presented a chance for Inter to join Milan on the same points, but it wasn’t to be. However Inter did close the gap to just 2 points to Milan and have applied a little more pressure on them. However Roma and Juventus also won at the weekend and the pressure is now on Inter themselves.

As for the Udinese game Inter were the best team and had more of the possession and some genuine chances on goal. They stayed well disciplined at the back and reduced Udinese to just 1 shot on target the whole game. Inter never seemed like they were going to lose this match, but they would have been frustrated at not scoring at least one goal.

Lautaro Martinez thought he had scored a goal for Inter after just six minutes of the game but VAR ruled it out for offside. Man of the moment Achraf Hakimi who for a defender has been superb in front of goal this season almost won the game for Inter with just a quarter of an hour left to play but his shot skimmed the post. It was one of those games that simply wasn’t to be for Inter. However they did avoid defeat and have now gone 3 games unbeaten.

Not beating Udinese though was overshadowed by Inter coach Antonio Conte being sent off just before the final whistle. Conte had a clash of words with the referee that reportedly continued after the game and in the tunnel where insults were heard. Whilst Conte could be looking at a two game suspension from the dug out the Italian FA may also look into what Fabio Maresca, the referee also said and he himself could be looking at a suspension.

Inter knock rivals Milan out of the Coppa Italia

Whatever the disappointment at the weekend it was made up in midweek in the Coppa Italia as the game of the round which had been hyped up for some time was won by Inter in the Milan derby.

What made the victory extra sweet for Inter was that they were losing the game 1-0 courtesy of a Zlatan Ibrahimovic opener. However with 20 minutes to go Inter were awarded a penalty and Romelu Lukaku converted it. But the game would end in dramatic style.

In the 97th minute, the game had to be extended because of injury breaks, who else but Christian Eriksen got the winner and sent Inter through to the next round. As everyone connected with Italian football knows Eriksen looked like a sure fire deal to be transferred out of the club this month as he didn’t seem to fit in Conte’s plans. But the coach had a change of heart just before Christmas and decided to keep Eriksen at the club, for this game at least that decision paid off richly.

Romelu v Zlatan

Romelu Lukaku and Milan’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic clashed on the pitch as the two brilliant strikers reached boiling point. It seemed that the two clashed on the pitch and Lukaku had reportedly ‘invited’ Ibrahimovic to meet him after the match. It sounded like fighting talk. Ibrahimovic is said to have replied ‘do your voodoo s***’.

Racial allegations were then thrown towards Ibrahimovic although it was quickly pointed out that the voodoo reference was  a joke from Lukaku’s days at his former club Everton.

Ibrahimovic has since apologised to Milan for the row with Lukaku which ended with the Swede sent off just before the hour mark. On reflection it seems that Ibrahimovic was not being racist but cheeky, oh these derbies always bring out passions, and this match was no different. Who can wait for the Milan derby in the league? That game is scheduled for February 21st.

Do you have what it takes to challenge the best Serie A Fantasy Managers? If you’re for it play fantasyseriea.com

 

Martinez the hat trick hero as Inter hit Crotone for 6

Inter beat Crotone 6-2 to march on in Serie A and they are just a point behind Milan in what is looking like a two horse race now for the league title.

Inter have not lost in 10 games and they have earned 26 points from their last 30 as they continue their relentless route chasing Milan. It was a fantastic performance from Antonio Conte’s team although what was incredible is that they actually went behind in the game.

Crotone took a surprise lead as early as the 12th minute from a headed cross but less than 20 minutes later Inter were leading the game. First through Lautaro Martinez who hadn’t stopped scoring goals up until now but had gone a little goal shy for his standard. Martinez smashed home superbly from a Romelu Lukaku assist and even though it was only 1-1 you got the feeling at that moment that there would only be one winner. Soon it was 2-1 due to an own goal, though it appeared that Martinez had scored his second but replays showed he clearly hadn’t.

But the excitement was not over yet when just a few minutes later Crotone were awarded a penalty and converted for 2-2, the teams went in at half time with this score. Whilst Inter had been technically the much better side there was no denying that the visitors had played a good first half and had many threats on goal themselves.

Martinez made it 3-2 just before the hour mark from a tight angle- he was so full of confidence in this game. A few minutes later the power and strength of Lukaku shrugged off a few defenders to make it 4-2 and now the game looked like Inter would collect all three points.

A 5th goal came and it was Martinez’s hat trick after he was in the right place when a shot was saved but he pounced on the re bound with his head from just a few yards out. Achraf Hakimi who has been in brilliant form for Conte’s team rounded off the game by making it 6-2. Matteo Darmian assisted Hakimi who scored from a thundering shot and the defender ironically probably scored the best goal of the game.

Inter’s 3 best performing players so far this season:

1. Romelu Lukaku 52pts

Lukaku has scored 12 goals and assisted in a further 3 and is having arguably his best season in his career to date and has the most points of any player at Inter.

2. Lautaro Martinez 42pts

Martinez recently picked up 14 points in one game v Crotone and looks like being one of the really special forwards in this new era of football. He has scored 9 goals and made another three.

3. Achraf Hakimi 32pts

Hakimi looks like he is everywhere on the pitch and has so much passion and desire. For a defender his stats are fantastic and he has scored 5 goals and assisted in another three. He has also helped to keep 3 clean sheets.

How well do you know Italian football? Do you want to battle the best Serie A Fantasy Managers? Play fantasyseriea.com now!

Inter record 10th win of the season as they hunt down Milan in Serie A

10 wins from just 15 games means that Inter are just a single point behind their rivals Milan in the chase for the Serie A title.

For Inter it would have been 11 years next year since they won the league and Milan 10. The two teams from the San Siro have had to watch Juventus run riot in the league over the past 9 incredible seasons, that could be set to end this season though. Milan are 10 points in front of the old lady although the champions do have game in hand. But Milan end the year as ‘winter champions’ and that could be a good omen.

As for Inter they have been incredibly strong this season and if not for Milan’s brilliant start which has seen the black and reds go unbeaten so far Inter would easily be top. Inter themselves have only lost one game and this latest victory against Verona away from home means that Antonio Conte’s side have won their last 5 games in a row and would be 1st in the league on form.

Just before Christmas was the last batch of Serie A games to take place this year and Inter travelled to Verona. It would be a game that Conte’s team would win 2-1.

Inter played some good football in the first half but it wasn’t a memorable one for either side as they had just 1 shot on target each and the first 45 minutes ended with the score at 0-0.

However just seven minutes into the 2nd half Inter were able to break the deadlock through striker Lautaro Martinez. It was an important feat for the Argentine player given that he had been quiet in front of goal in the last few weeks. A cross by Hakimi found an unmarked Martinez who swung his body in the right direction to score a fine goal, with the way the game was panning out it felt like it could be the only goal of the game and the winner.

However just 10 minutes later Verona found an equaliser. Ivan IIic could hardly miss as a cross should have easily been covered by Inter goal keeper Samir Handanovic but the keeper made a rare mistake and fumbled the ball into the path of IIic who was just a few yards from goal and it was 1-1.

With Romelu Lukaku having a quiet game it would be left to an unlikely hero for Inter to get the winning goal. Aptly named Milan, his full name Milan Skriniar of course, the defender rose high to head in a powerful shot which left the keeper stranded. Skriniar looked surprised and this was his first goal of the season, but what an important one to give Inter all three points.

Inter’s next game is at home against Crotone who are in 19th place on January 3rd.

Best Inter Players for Each Position So Far This Season

Goalkeeper: Samir Handanovic 8pts

This was an easy one given that Handanovic has played every game and Inter’s other keepers haven’t had a chance yet. However one would expect more points from a goalkeeper whose team are in 2nd place. This is because Inter have conceded goals and he has only been able to keep 3 clean sheets so far.

Defender: Achraf Hakimi 28pts

Hakimi has been very solid and is by far leading for Inter’s defenders. Along with his 3 clean sheets he has also contributed to seven goals for the club, scoring 4 and assisting in 3 which of course is very impressive for a defender.

Midfielder: Nicolo Barella 16pts

Barella leads from Roberto Gagliardini by two points and has been a very important player for the club scoring once but also assisting in a further 4 goals.

Striker: Romelu Lukaku 46pts

Easily out in front is the one and only Lukaku who has been magnificent this season. He already has 11 goals and has assisted in 2 more and is feeling very confident. Last season was a landmark one for him and this one could even be better.

How well do you know Italian football? Want to challenge the best Serie A Fantasy Managers? Play www.fantasyseriea.com now!

Romelu Lukaku can fire Inter to the Serie A title as club win 6th game in a row

One week and two wins have kept Inter in 2nd place in Serie A but the gap between them and their rivals Milan is now just 1 point. The good news is that the 3rd placed team Napoli are six points behind Inter and because the 9 time in a row champions Juventus lost at the weekend they are also trailing by six points.

It has been an incredible week for Inter who first had to face a top 4 rival in Napoli in midweek. It was always going to be a tricky game for Antonio Conte’s men and they were clearly the second best on the night. But in the end it didn’t matter, Inter came out 1-0 winners after a moment of madness from Napoli’s Lorenzo Insigne who gave away a penalty.

Romelu Lukaku kept his nerve to score his 10th goal of the season and the penalty would ultimately separate the teams. It was a huge win for the club.

Coach Conte was of course in full praise of his team. “A win like this one can do well, that’s what I told the boys.  It was not easy, Napoli are a great team It was a tactical match, with great respect on both sides. It was not a great game, but these are important points against an ambitious team like Napoli, always protagonist of our championship, these points are worth double.”

Inter followed up this win with another victory at the weekend as they beat Spezia 2-1. In fairness the first half was nothing to write home about as Spezia set up to defend and try to get a point at San Siro. It was no surprise that the first half ended 0-0. And Spezia had zero shots on goal and even Inter only had one.

The breakthrough finally came later in the second half when a terrific Lautaro Martinez pass found Achraf Hakimi on the right hand side who still had plenty to do but the in form player made no mistakes to put Inter 1-0 up.

A few minutes later it felt like game over when VAR had to intervene after an incident in the Spezia area which awarded a penalty to Inter. Lukaku who had scored against Napoli in the previous game from the spot came forward again and yet again made no mistakes to score his 11th goal of the season. Spezia did pull one back right at the death but the game was over and Inter saw it out.

In the fantasy points Romelu Lukaku leads with 46 points. The defender Achraf Hakimi who has scored 4 goals and been involved in seven altogether in a quite remarkable season so far has 29 points. In third place is Lautaro Martinez with 28.

How well do you know Italian football? Want to challenge the best Serie A Fantasy Managers? Play www.fantasyseriea.com now!