Genoa’s resurgence under Davide Ballardini continued this weekend, as an own goal from Andrea Ranocchia and a second half strike from Goran Panev see off a hapless Inter side.
The in-form Rossoblu started well, pressing from the front in search of an early goal; and they almost had their reward on two occasions inside the opening ten minutes.
A mazy – rather surprising run – from former Inter striker Goran Pandev culminated a low shot from just inside the 18-yard box being well saved by Samir Handanovic.
1 – That was Andrea Ranocchia’s first own goal in Serie A, in his 186th appearance in the Italian top-flight. Happenstance. #GenoaInter
— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) February 17, 2018
Moments later, I Nerrazurri’s number one almost turned from hero to villain, when he allowed a Pandev cross to loop slowly over his head and onto the underside of the crossbar. Luckily for the Slovenian international however, he proved to the first player to react and was able to subsequently collect the ball on the goal line.
On the stroke of half time, Genoa finally struck lucky through a rather comical own goal from the somehow always comical Andrea Ranocchia. Rather than blatantly being at fault for his side’s concession of a goal however, this time, the error prone centre half unfortunately got in the way of a Milan Skriniar clearance; which after ricocheting off the shin of Ranocchia, looped over Handanovic and into the back of the net.
At the start of the second half I Nerrazurri pressed forward in search of an equaliser, but on the hour mark, former Inter forward Pandev emphatically dashed these hopes.
By not celebrating Pandev shows more respect for the Inter shirt than any of the current Inter players do
— Siavoush Fallahi (@SiavoushF) February 17, 2018
After Skriniar cleared a corner kick to the edge of the penalty area, the 34-year-old forward was able to brilliantly control a Diego Laxalt shot from the edge of the box, before turning and coolly sliding the ball under the onrushing Handanovic.
Luciano Spalletti immediately reacted to the concession of a second goal, bring on new signing Rafinha for the more defensive minded Matia Vecino.
Despite this attacking change, Inter rarely threatened the Genoa goal until the final ten minutes of the game, with youngster Yann Karamoh coming closest with a long range effort that flew just over the crossbar.
In the final ten minutes, Spalletti’s men began to press forward with more urgency, but still largely struggled to any explicit chances.
The win moves I Rossoblu on to 30 points for the season and – most importantly – 13 points clear of the relegation zone. Inter on the other hand, remain two points adrift of Roma in third place, and precariously just two points clear of Lazio, who face Hellas Verona this weekend.