Cagliari vs Inter 1-3: Nerazzurri Don’t Give Up Scudetto Hopes

Inter keep clinging on their Scudetto hopes as they beat Cagliari 3-1 at the Unipol Domus on Sunday night, courtesy of Matteo Darmian’s opener and Lautaro Martinez’s brace. Charalampos Lykogiannis temporarily halved the gap for the Islanders who can still harbor a chance of avoiding relegation despite tonight’s loss.

Simone Inzaghi and his boys are not the masters of their own destiny as cross-town rivals Milan will need just one point next Sunday to capture the title. Still, the way the Nerazzurri disposed of Cagliari despite coming from a 120-minute Coppa Italia battle on Wednesday showed that Inter still want to have a say in the battle for the Scudetto.

The visitors opened the scoring after 11 minutes with a Milan Skriniar strike from a free kick service. However, the VAR helped referee Daniele Doveri spot a handball from the Slovakian defender in the build-up.

But Inter had to wait only ten more minutes before drawing first blood. Ivan Perisic crossed the ball from the left and found Darmian on the opposite flank ready to head the ball home, besting Lykogiannis in the process.

Cagliari were desperate to find an equalizer as they are heavily involved in the battle for survival but Alessandro Agostini’s side  were uncapable to pose any threat to Samir Handanovic. On the other hand, Inter kept the pressure on. In the 36th minute, Darmian served Lautaro but El Toro‘s left-foot shot was blocked by defender Luca Ceppitelli.

Then, it was Alessio Cragno to deny first Nicolò Barella and then Lautaro again to keep the score unchanged at half time.

It didn’t take long after the restart, however, for Inter to have their second. With 51 minutes on the clock, the Argentine striker finally found the back of the net. El Toro was brilliantly picked by Barella with a long-range pass and, this time, nutmegged Cragno to make it 0-2.

Lykogiannis prevented the rest of the game from turning into garbage time as he conjured a fantastic left-foot strike that sailed into the top corner of the goal, also thanks to an unlucky Skriniar deflection. But despite their good intentions, Cagliari didn’t manage to trouble the Nerazzurri again despite Agostini’s multiple substitutions and a change of module from a 4-2-3-1 to a 4-4-2.

And so, Inter could wrap the game with a third goal before full time as Marcelo Brozovic triggered a brilliant fast break and Roberto Gagliardini served Lautaro the chance to bag a brace with a fine left-foot chip.

Simone Inzaghi and his band are still alive but they will need to beat Sampdoria at the San Siro next week and hope the Sassuolo will make a full score against Milan to catch the Scudetto. Cagliari, on the other hand, still have a chance to preserve their Serie A status: they will need to win at Venezia and pray for Udinese to block Salernitana in the last campionato game. The final round of Serie A is not going to be one for the faint of heart.