LuLa Punish Sassuolo as Inter Go 11 Points Clear in Serie A Table

Antonio Conte’s men continued their march towards the Serie A title with a 2-1 win over Sassuolo at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza. Romelu Lukaku scored in the first half to give the Nerazzurri the lead, with Lautaro Martinez doubling their lead. Hamed Traore’s struck late for the visitors to make the final minutes of the game exciting.

With Milan drawing their last fixture at home to Sampdoria, crosstown rivals Inter had the chance to increase their lead at the top of the points table. This was exactly what they delivered on the night against an exciting Neroverdi side.

The match began with Inter attacking from the left flank through Ashley Young. He first sent a promising cross to Achraf Hakimi but the Morocco international could not convert. It was soon followed by Ashley Young’s race to the ball which earned Andrea Consigli an early caution for bringing him down outside the box.

The pressure from Young paved off in the tenth minute as he found Romelu Lukaku in front of the goal. The two former Manchester United players combined together, the latter glancing across the goal to give Inter the lead.

Not content to stay back and get pressurized, Roberto De Zerbi’s side went on the offensive. They gave a good account of their abilities as they bombarded Inter’s box with dangerous attacking forays. However, their efforts were thwarted by the alert Samir Handanovic.

Inter would claim the lead at half-time and after the break, both sides resumed hostilities. It was Sassuolo who had the first concerted effort through the boots of Pedro Obiang and Filip Djuricic. However, their efforts would not bear fruit.

The Neroverdi continued to build pressure as they were allowed possession on the ball by the waiting Nerazzurri. The ploy would go on to work in their favor but not without controversy. In one of these possession plays, Jeremy Toljan crossed the ball and found Giacomo Raspadori in the box. He was brought down but the referee waved play on.

Nicolò Barella relieved the resulting pressure with a clearance and found Romelu Lukaku. The Belgian would in turn pass it to the rushing Lautaro Martinez, who easily evaded the attention of Vlad Chiriches before attempting a shot on goal. Martinez sent the ball into the bottom right corner to double Inter’s advantage. The referee stopped the restart to confirm the foul on Raspadori and decided to stick with his decision and award the goal to the Nerazzurri.

Despite going down, Sassuolo’s intensity in attack did not drop. Their resilience paid off and they got their much-awaited goal in the 85th minute. Filip Djuricic’s bicycle attempt was blocked and the ball fell to Hamed Traore. The Ivory Coast international curled one into the back of the net to make it three goals in four matches.

The final minutes of the game saw both sides attack on full tilt. It was Inter who came close twice. Lukaku found an unmarked Alexis Sanchez in added time but the Chilean lobbed high over the goal. The next time, the Belgian tried his luck himself and sent it past Consigli but was adjudged offside in the build-up.

By the time Referee Massimiliano Irrati blew for full time, a jubilant Antonio Conte was waiting on the sidelines. The former Juventus and Chelsea manager has one hand on the Serie A trophy with Inter taking an unassailable 11-point lead at the top of the points table.

Meanwhile, Roberto De Zerbi returns to the Mapei Stadium wondering what else his squad would have done to get something from the fixture. Sassuolo have accumulated 40 points and realistically the best they can manage is an eighth-place finish.



April 7, 2021 – Serie A 2020-2021 Round 30

SCORERS: 10′ Lukaku (I), 67′ Lautaro Martinez, 85′ Traoré (S)

INTER (3-5-2): Handanovic; Skriniar, De Vrij, Darmian; Hakimi, Barella, Eriksen (59′ Sensi), Gagliardini (70′ Vecino), Young; Lukaku, Lautaro Martinez (76′ Sanchez) (Padelli, Radu, Ranocchia, Vidal, D’Ambrosio, Pinamonti) Coach: Conte
SASSUOLO (4-2-3-1): Consigli; Toljan (75′ Haraslin), Chiriches (90′ Karamoko), Marlon, Rogerio (30′ Kyriakopoulos); Obiang, Maxime Lopez; Traoré, Djuricic, Boga (80′ Oddei); Raspadori (Pegolo, Turati, Magnanelli, Peluso, Artioli, Piccinini, Saccani) Coach: De Zerbi
REFEREE: Mr. Irrati from Pistoia
NOTES: Yellow Cards: Barella, Young (I), Consigli, Traoré, Lopez (S); Extra Time: 1st Half 0′, 2nd Half 4′