Lukaku Brace Helps Inter in Comeback Win Over Torino

At the Giuseppe Meazza Stadium in Milano, Inter played host for the struggling Torino during an action-packed Sunday afternoon. The visitors had an unexpected 2-0 lead at the hour mark, but Inter were able to pull off an incredible comeback and earn a hard-fought 4-2 victory thanks to a Romelu Lukaku brace, as well as goals from Alexis Sanchez and Lautaro Martinez. 

Antonio Conte started the match with Alexis Sanchez partnering star-man Romelu Lukaku upfront – with Lautaro Martinez being given additional rest after returning from a busy international break. Achraf Hakimi and Ashley Young were deployed on the wings in the typical 3-4-1-2 formation.

On the other hand, the absent Marco Giampaolo wanted to rely on an all-Italian attack consisting of Andrea Belotti and Simone Verdi, but the captain got injured in the warm-ups so Simone Zaza was his last minute replacement. By the end of the first half Verdi took a knock as well and was replaced by Kevin Bonifazi. 

The first 20 minutes of the match saw goal-scoring chances from both sides. Out of nowhere, Verdi’s cross from the middle of the pitch found Zaza inside the Inter penalty box, but the Torino striker volleyed it just wide. 

Few minutes later, a corner for the Granata reached Cristian Ansaldi on the edge of the penalty area, but the Argentine failed to score against his former side, as his shot went straight to the middle of the goal as Samir Handanovic went down to catch it. 

In the 15th minute, Sanchez and Arturo Vidal linked up well to feed Romelu Lukaku. Torino goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu expertly denied the first real chance of the match for Inter. Additionally, the offside flag was raised as well. 

In another chance for the Beneamata, a cross to the penalty box was cleared by the Turin defense, but the ball ended up falling right at Hakimi’s feet, with the Moroccan failing to make the right contact as the chance was completely wasted. 

In the 21st minute, Tomas Rincon stole the ball in the middle and ran with it deep into the host’s area before setting up Zaza with a brilliant pass, but Handanovic was able to beat the former Juventus and Sassuolo striker as he closed down his near post. 

After a long period of slow action, Torino were suddenly able to take a lead deep into the first half’s stoppage time with some neat one-touch football. Soualiho Meïté’s fabulous back-heel assist released Zaza, and this time the Italian made no mistakes, burying the ball in Inter’s far bottom corner. 

After a quiet start to the second half, Inter thought they had a free-kick in the 60 minute, but the referee was called to check VAR for an earlier incident, and decided to give a penalty to Torino after noticing Ashley Young’s kick on Wilfred Singo. Ansaldi converted it and apologized from the absent Meazza crowds. 

Just when Torino were thought to be on their way to an unlikely victory, Sanchez got one back for Inter. The Chilean forward started the play himself, and then his compatriot Vidal delivered the ball to Lukaku who’s shot struck the woodwork. Luckily for the Nerazzurri, Sanchez was able to finish on the rebound. 

It only took the home side three additional minutes to level the score. Just after his introduction, Lautaro passed the ball to Sanchez, who ran away from the traffic inside the Granata box, before delivering the ball into the path of Lukaku who tapped in the easiest of finishes. 

The former Arsenal and Barcelona man then crossed a brilliant ball from a free-kick, but Andrea Ranocchia’s header went just wide. In the 84th minute, VAR gifted a penalty to Inter after a kick from Torino defender Nicolas Nkoulou on Hakimi. Lukaku sent Sirigu in the wrong direction as he completed his personal brace and put his side in the lead for the first time in the match. 

Inter weren’t done just yet, as they were eager to “punish” Torino who dared to score two goals in the Meazza. Substitute Ivan Perisic freed Lukaku on the left, and the Belgian giant noticed Lautaro’s run into the box and thus fed him with a great pass. The Argentine was able to put his name on the scoresheet with a powerful low drive. 

In the end, Inter did well to prevent an embarrassing defeat at the hands of a struggling side, as Antonio Conte should be thankful for his strikers, as well as his squad depth, for taking him off the hook. 



November 22, 2020 – Serie A 2020-2021 Round 8

SCORERS: 45’+2 Zaza (T), 62′ Ansaldi (T, pen.), 64′ Sanchez (I), 67′ Lukaku (I), 84′ Lukaku (I, pen.), 92′ Lautaro Martinez (I)

INTER (3-4-1-2): Handanovic; D’Ambrosio (65′ Skriniar), Ranocchia (74′ De Vrij), Bastoni; Hakimi, Gagliardini (65′ Lautaro Martinez), Vidal, Young (74′ Perisic); Barella; Lukaku, Sanchez (Stankovic, Radu, Eriksen, Darmian, Moretti, Nainggolan, Vezzoni, Wieser) Coach: Conte
TORINO (3-5-2): Sirigu; Lyanco, Nkoulou, Bremer; Singo, Meite, Rincon, Linetty, Ansaldi; Verdi (42′ Bonazzoli), Zaza (Rosati, Milinkovic-Savic, Izzo, Segre, Belotti, Rodriguez, Edera, Millico, Murru, Kryeziu, Buongiorno) Coach: Giampaolo

REFEREE: Mr. La Penna from Rome
NOTES: Yellow Cards: D’Ambrosio, Bastoni, Young (I), Verdi, Singo (T); Extra Time: 1st Half ; 2nd Half