Inter moved 11 points clear at the top of Serie A thanks to a 2-1 victory over Sassuolo at San Siro on Wednesday evening, with Antonio Conte’s side edging closer to their first Scudetto since 2010.
The home side hit the front with just ten minutes on the clock, as Romelu Lukaku stole a yard in the Sassuolo penalty area before diverting Ashley Young’s cross into the bottom corner with a superb glancing header.
The early goal sparked the visitors into life and they dominated possession for much of the game. However, as their pressure began to grow, a brilliant Inter counter-attack saw Lukaku thread the ball through to Lautaro Martinez and the Argentine hitman coolly applied the finish.
Roberto De Zerbi’s side were rewarded for their fine performance with a lovely late goal from Hamed Traore to make the score 2-1, though they just couldn’t find themselves an equaliser.
The victory stretched Inter’s winning run at home in Serie A to 11 games and they now look odds on to be crowned Serie A champions with just nine games to go.
That’s the match highlights done with, now to those Inter player ratings.
Samir Handanovic (GK) – 6/10 – Given very little to do in the first half and spent much of it just distributing the ball to his teammates. Tested a little more in the second 45 and there was little he could do about the Sassuolo goal, but a decent display.
Milan Skriniar (CB) – 7/10 – Superb bit of defending denied Jeremie Boga the chance to equalise on the stroke of half-time. Defended well all evening and was crucial to securing the three points..
Stefan de Vrij (CB) – 6/10 – Stepped into midfield where he could as he looked to alleviate the Sassuolo pressure that was building.
Matteo Darmian (CB) – 6/10 – The former Manchester United man slotted comfortably into the Inter backline and he rarely looked flustered despite the mounting Sassuolo pressure.
Achraf Hakimi (RWB) – 7/10 – Boundless energy down the Inter right. Showed great footwork whenever he emerged into the Sassuolo penalty area and he was a constant outlet.
Nicolo Barella (CM) – 7/10 – Picked up an early yellow card and will subsequently miss his side’s home clash with Cagliari at the weekend. Composed himself following the booking and dominated the midfield, spreading the play and keeping things ticking over.
Christian Eriksen (CM) – 4/10 – The game passed him by for much of the evening. Ended up trudging off just before the hour mark having had very little impact on proceedings.
Roberto Gagliardini (CM) – 6/10 – Broke up play in midfield well and helped to curtail a number of Sassuolo attacks. Showed quality in the final third as he looked to pick out Lukaku in the middle on a couple of occasions.
Ashley Young (LWB) – 7/10 – Lovely cross to set up Lukaku who handed Inter the lead. Helped drive his side up the field as they looked to spring the counter-attack with Sassuolo pressing as the game wore on.
Lautaro Martinez (ST) – 6/10 – Couple of loose touches in and around the visitors’ penalty area early on. Regained composure after a shaky start and produced a brilliant finish to secure the three points.
Romelu Lukaku (ST) – 9/10 – Beautiful header to open the scoring. Comfortably the best player on the pitch, linking up play with the midfield and stretching the visitors’ backline. Sassuolo can feel hard done by to come away empty-handed but in truth this man was the difference between the two teams.
Stefano Sensi (CM) – 5/10
Matías Vecino (CM) – 6/10
Alexis Sanchez (ST) – 6/10