Inter vs Spezia 2-0: A Comfortable Win for Inzaghi’s Band

Inter enjoyed a comfortable night at the San Siro on Wednesday as they disposed of Spezia with goals from Roberto Gagliardini and Lautaro Martinez to grab their third Serie A win in a row. The Nerazzurri‘s success was never in discussion and enabled them to increase their pressure on Milan and Napoli as they wait for them to undertake their Serie A Round 15 tests.

Coach Simone Inzaghi pulled it off easily despite missing center back Alessandro Bastoni and having to deploy his back-three in an unprecedented fashion, with Danilo D’Ambrosio joining Milan Skriniar and Federico Dimarco at the back. Nicolò Barella and Matteo Darmian enjoyed a “day off” and were replaced by Roberto Gagliardini and Denzel Dumfries.

Thiago Motta lined up his Spezia side in a conservative 5-3-2 formation where both strikers Rey Manaj and Eddie Salcedo had previous experiences at Inter.

Gagliardini Fires It Home, but What a Service from Lautaro!

As one would expect, Thiago Motta tried to limit the damage for Spezia and his game plan seemed mostly preventing the Nerazzurri from making their play. Inter pushed a lot from the flanks, with defenders Dimarco and D’Ambrosio supporting the wingers in the offensive phase. However, it took 25 minutes before viewers could see the first shooting attempt, which came from Joaquin Correa.

The Spezia wall held for ten more minutes. Inter opened the scoring with a spectacular team effort embellished by a Lautaro Martinez back-heel pass for Roberto Gagliardini, who didn’t think twice about firing the ball past the Aquilotti goalkeeper with a clinical right-foot shot. It was Gagliardini’s first goal of the season, but much of the credit went to his Argentine teammate for his brilliant service.

Thiago Motta’s band had a reaction, however, and made a shiver run down Simone Inzaghi’s back just before the break, with a Kevin Amian header that called Samir Handanovic to action. The Inter captain had to pull off a fine save to deny the Frenchman and prevent Spezia from drawing level despite being totally outclassed from a ball possession perspective in the first half (71% vs 29%).

Lautaro Wraps It for Inter from the Spot

Despite two changes made by Thiago Motta after the break, Spezia didn’t manage to follow up with their pre-half time momentum and the control of the operations remain firmly in Inter’s hands.

Lautaro challenged goalkeeper Ivan Provedel and found him equal to the task, then Correa made the Spezia crossbar rattle with a terrific conclusion from outside the box. Marcelo Brozovic was also denied by Provedel – or rather hit the keeper with his close-range shot, depending on the point of view.

Inter’s second goal was an unavoidable consequence and came on 58 minutes, when debutant defender Jakub Kiwior deflected a volley from Lautaro with his hand. El Toro made no mistake from the spot after quarreling with Hakan Calhanoglu about who should take the penalty.

The score wouldn’t change anymore, despite Inter continuing to attack and Spezia trying to pull at least one back, especially with Manaj and Emmanuel Gyasi. 

What’s Next for Inter and Spezia

Inter travel to Rome on Saturday night to meet a scorned Roma side who just lost to Bologna. It will be a chance for the Nerazzurri to face José Mourinho as an opponent for the first time in Serie A.   

Spezia are heavily involved in the relegation battle and it was difficult to expect they would come out of the San Siro with some points. Their next effort is a home game against Sassuolo on Sunday and should make it for a more approachable test.



December 1, 2021 – Serie A 2021-2022 Round 15

SCORERS: 36′ Gagliardini, 58′ Lautaro Martinez pen.

INTER (3-5-2): Handanovic; D’Ambrosio, Skriniar, Dimarco; Dumfries, Gagliardini (87′ Vidal), Brozovic (88′ Vecino), Calhanoglu (69′ Sensi), Perisic; Lautaro Martinez (73′ Dzeko), Correa (74′ Sanchez) (Cordaz, Radu, Barella, Cortinovis, Zanotti, Carboni, Satriano) Coach: S. Inzaghi
SPEZIA (5-3-2): Provedel; Amian (46′ Ferrer), Erlic, Hristov, Kiwior; Kovalenko (65′ Maggiore), Sala (64′ Bourabia), Reca (46′ Bastoni); Salcedo (70′ Verde), Manaj, Gyasi (Zoet, Zovko, Nzola, Colley, Bastoni, Antiste, Nikolau, Strelec) Coach: Thiago Motta

REFEREE: Mr. Ghersini from Genoa
NOTES: Yellow Cards: Lautaro Martinez (I); Manaj, Kiwior (S); Added Time: 1st Half: 1′, 2nd Half: 4′