Despite missing several first-team stars, including captain Lautaro Martinez, Inter maintained their superb Serie A form with a 2-0 home win against mid-table Lecce. Goals on either side of halftime propelled Simone Inzaghi’s side to a fourth consecutive league victory, re-establishing a four-point lead on second-placed Juventus.
Both sides had their chances in the opening half an hour, but fans at Giuseppe Meazza had to wait until the 43rd minute for the deadlock-breaker. Summer addition Yann Bisseck opened his Inter account on the stroke of halftime, directing his thumping header after Hakan Calhanoglu’s inch-perfect set-piece delivery into the far right of Wladimiro Falcone’s goal.
Inter flew out of the traps at the start of the second half, but conversion emerged as a problem for the Serie A leaders. Inzaghi was desperate for his side to kill the game off with an all-important second goal, and Nicolo Barella listened to his prayers. Marko Arnautovic delivered an eye-catching backheel flick to the Italian midfielder, who had no problems beating Falcone with a composed finish in the 78th minute.
Barella’s strike put the game to bed, allowing Inter to routinely close the game off, making it four consecutive league wins on home turf.
Yann Sommer – 7
The veteran goalkeeper pieced together another impressive performance, especially in the first half, to register his 12th clean sheet in 17 Serie A appearances.
Yann Bisseck – 7.5
Before opening the scoring, the highly-rated youngster missed a glorious chance to put Inter in front. In addition to his unexpected attacking contribution, the German defender was solid at the back.
Francesco Acerbi – 7
He’s aging like a fine wine. Entrusted with the keys to Inter’s backline, the ex-Lazio star was dominant on and off the ball, leading Inzaghi’s defense by example.
Alessandro Bastoni – 6.5
Though he was arguably the least impressive Inter defender today, he was still confident enough to help Sommer record another shutout.
Carlos Augusto – 6.5
Filling Federico Dimarco’s shoes is not an easy job, but the Monza loanee worked his socks off on both ends of the pitch, proving a decent alternative to the Italian left-back.
Hakan Calhanoglu – 7
Not only did he provide a crucial assist for the opening goal, but the Turkish midfield dynamo was the mastermind behind every attacking movement Inter had to offer this evening.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan – 6.5
His work rate is admirable, especially considering his age. But he couldn’t influence the game despite putting a shift in again.
Nicolo Barella – 7.5
The former Cagliari man grabbed a late goal to cap off a brilliant individual display. One of his best performances of the season!
Matteo Darmian – 6
Far more comfortable in a center-back role, he struggled as a right-back, failing to create depth down the flank while often leaving Marcus Thuram to fight his own battles.
Marko Arnautovic – 6.5
There was skepticism over his ability to deputy for Martinez, but the aging striker silenced his critics with an energetic showing, rounded off with a top-class assist.
Marcus Thuram – 6
Atypically quiet, especially at Meazza, the Frenchman couldn’t connect with his teammates tonight.
Kristjan Asllani – 6.5
Took Calhanoglu’s place when Inter were already running down the clock.
Alexis Sanchez – N/A
Benjamin Pavard – N/A
Davy Klassen – N/A
Davide Frattesi – N/A
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