Inter vs Sassuolo 0-2: Raspadori and Scamacca Shock the San Siro

The string of unexpected results in this calcio weekend continued on Sunday afternoon at the San Siro as Sassuolo shocked Inter with goals from Giacomo Raspadori and Gianluca Scamacca. The Nerazzurri thus lost their chance to pass Milan at the top of the Serie A table, failing to take advantage of their city rivals’ faux pas with Salernitana on Saturday.

Sassuolo, on the other hand, collected another illustrious scalp – after beating even Milan on their home turf ealier this season. Since making their Serie A debut in 2012, Sassuolo evidenced themselves as what Italians call a mina vagante – literally a “wandering mine”, meaning that they could win or lose against anyone. Alessio Dionisi took the helm of it from Roberto De Zerbi this season and so far has been continuing the good job done by his predecessor. 

Simone Inzaghi made five changes versus his unfortunate Champions League game against Liverpool, most  notably deploying Alexis Sanchez in place of Edin Dzeko alongside Lautaro Martinez upfront, but it didn’t help.

Dionisi lined up his trusted 4-2-3-1 formation with Gianluca Scamacca acting as lone striker supported by Filippo Berardi, Giacomo Raspadori and Hamed Junior Traorè.

Raspadori – Scamacca One-Two Puts Sassuolo Ahead

It became clear that this was not going to be a good day for Inter right after kick off, with Traorè’s first shooting attempt coming within the first minute of play.

And indeed, Sassuolo opened the scoring after eight minutes. Berardi recovered the ball along the midfield line, snatching it out of Hakan Calhanoglu’s feet, and triggered the Neroverdi‘s fast break. Raspadori finalized it with a sharp shot that caught Samir Handanovic slightly unprepared. The Nerazzurri protested over an alleged Berardi foul but the referee waved play on.  

After goalkeeper Andrea Consigli’s defusion of Inter’s first challenge, Sassuolo doubled their lead on 25 minutes with the Inter defense’s gracious cooperation. The Nerazzurri‘s back-three vainly hoped for an offside call as Hamed Junior Traorè picked Scamacca with a cross from the left side, but the 1999-born was well in play and didn’t hesitate to whip the ball into the back of the net with a clinical header, making it 0-2.

Consigli palming away Milan Skriniar’s header just two minutes later showed that the Neroverdi had fate on their side – or perhaps just a very good goalkeeper, who also denied Roberto Gagliardini a few minutes later.

Inter’s demolition continued with a Berardi shot from the edge of the box that crashed into the crossbar, sparing more blushes to Inzaghi’s unrecognizable side. An Ivan Perisic effort on 42 minutes that sailed wide of the net was the only additional challenge the home side could come up with before the break.

Consigli Preserves the Lead as Sassuolo Weather the Storm

Some changes were to be expected among the Beneamata lines and indeed Denzel Dumfries made his entrance to the pitch together with Dzeko in the second half. Inzaghi placed the Bosnian alongside Lautaro Martinez while Sanchez moved to a trequartista position. There was one change for Sassuolo as well as Ruan Tressoldi replaced Kaan Ayhan, who had picked up an injury in the first half.

The substitutions did make an impact as Inter’s approach was way more aggressive after the restart. Sassuolo’s game plan, on the other hand, was the only possible one: hold on to their precious lead and try to punish the Nerazzurri on the counter again. 

Dzeko’s first chance came around the one-hour mark but the Bosnian experienced first hand that putting the ball past Consigli was not an easy task today, as confirmed three minutes later when the Neroverdi custodian   punched away the former Roma man’s header from close range.

If Dzeko fought like a lion, Lautaro confirmed his terrible run of form as he squandered a macroscopic chance on 72 minutes, pushing Inter’s morale further down. All the Argentine had to do was push the ball into the back of the net from point-blank range and yet, perhaps, it is not by chance that he has been goalless from open play since 10 games.

Inter’s momentum inevitably slowed down in the last portion of the game and Sassuolo even had their chances to make it three, first with a Raspadori lob saved by Handanovic and then with a Berardi curl that sailed inches away from the target. Dionisi’s final changes helped to preserve the double lead, especially in the person of Brazilian center back Ruan.

To add insult to injury for Inter, Stefan De Vrij’s possible 1-2 goal well into stoppage time was disallowed for an handball in the build-up. No, this was definitely not the Nerazzurri‘s day.



February 20, 2022 – Serie A 2021-2022 Round 26

SCORERS: 8′ Raspadori, 26′ Scamacca

INTER (3-5-2): Handanovic; Skriniar, De Vrij, Dimarco; Darmian (46′ Dumfries), Gagliardini (46′ Dzeko), Barella, Calhanoglu (78′ Vidal), Perisic (78′ D’Ambrosio); Sanchez, Lautaro Martinez (Cordaz, Radu, Kolarov, Ranocchia, Sangalli, Casadei, Carboni, Caicedo) Coach: S. Inzaghi
SASSUOLO (4-2-3-1): Consigli; Muldur, Chiriches, Ayhan (46′ Tressoldi), Kyriakopoulos; Frattesi (71′ Henrique), M. Lopez; Berardi (89′ Peluso), Raspadori, Traorè (78′ Harroui); Scamacca (70′ Defrel) (Satalino, Pegolo, Magnanelli, Rogerio, Oddei, Ciervo, Ceide) Coach: Dionisi
REFEREE: Mr. Fourneau from Rome
NOTES: Yellow Cards: ; Added Time: 1st Half 1′, 2nd Half 4′