Inter eked out a crucial 2-1 away victory over fellow top-four rivals Atalanta to go five points clear at the Serie A summit. Gian Piero Gasperini’s side opened the game on the front foot but failed to take advantage of early momentum, which eventually backfired.
Despite going 40 minutes without attempting a single shot, Inter broke the deadlock late in the first half through Hakan Calhanoglu. The Turk slotted home another penalty after Juan Musso tackled Matteo Darmian to the ground, handing Nerazzurri a narrow lead at halftime.
Only 12 minutes into the second half, Lautaro Martinez doubled the visitors’ lead with a delightful curling effort from an acute angle. But four minutes later, Gianluca Scamacca pounced on Ademola Lookman’s low cross to bring Atalanta back into the match.
Even though both sides had several decent scoring chances to change the scoreline, the result didn’t change until the final whistle. Simone Inzaghi can be proud of his men as they won a third consecutive Serie A match, consolidating their grip on their first Scudetto in three years.
On the other hand, Atalanta suffered their first home league defeat of the season following an impressive run of four wins and one draw across their first five outings in Bergamo. Inter also became the first team to score at the Gewiss Stadium this term.
Let’s look at the best and worst performers of the game.
His goal was a piece of art, showing why many consider him the most complete striker in Serie A. The Argentine proved his class and the saying – top players don’t need many chances to score. He had one half-opportunity and took it with authority.
Martinez’s strike put daylight between the sides and set the tone for the Inter win.
His captain’s goal would’ve gone in vain if it wasn’t for his heroics between the sticks. The Swiss goalkeeper produced another phenomenal performance, making several crucial saves, including a fabulous diving stop to deny Gianluca Scamacca’s half-volley from the edge of the box.
Sommer’s form at the start of his career in Serie A has quickly made Inter fans forget about Andre Onana.
What a performance from the ex-Sassuolo frontman! While the goal was a tap-in, his presence in the front third created all sorts of problems for Inter. He won numerous aerial duels and was constantly able to bring his teammates into play with clever lay-offs and movement off the ball.
In addition to picking up two bookings in the space of seven minutes to leave Atalanta a man down when they needed him the most, the experienced center-back struggled to contain Martinez and Marcus Thuram. It wasn’t his best display of the season by any stretch of the imagination.
Despite enjoying much of the ball, the versatile midfielder often failed to make the right choice, misplacing numerous passes and losing some crucial midfielder battles to Nicolo Barella.
Undoubtedly the Italian’s weakest night of the season! His lapse of concentration allowed Lookman to rob him of the ball and assist Scamacca, which could’ve returned to haunt Inter down the final stretch.
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