Inter Milan saw themselves rise above Juventus into second place in Serie A thanks to their 2-1 victory over a spirited Benevento side at the Stadio Ciro Vigorito on Sunday.
A fine brace from Inter midfielder Marcelo Brozovic either side of the 20 minute mark saw Inter race into a 2-0 lead, before Marco D’Alessandro struck back for Benevento on the stroke of half time
In what was a rather slow quarter of an hour, where Inter largely dominated the early stages of possession, the game burst into life on the stroke of 20 minutes.
Following a fine, flowing move from Inter, Antonio Candreva found himself on the left-hand side of the 18 yard box, pulling off a neat inside step-over to evade his marker, shortly followed by a lovely chipped ball into the box where Brozovic, making a late run from midfield, was there to meet it with a powerful header into the top corner.
Just three minutes later, it was 2-0 Inter. Brozovic made a mazy run into Benevento’s half, being taken down by Costa after a swift pirouette by the Croatian near-enough 25 yards out from goal. Brozovic duly stepped forward for the resulting free-kick, and what a free-kick it was.
In what was a wonderful showing of technique, Brozovic struck it powerfully with the inside of his right foot, with the ball flying into the top right of Belec’s goal.
However, this sparked life into Benevento, with the Italians refusing to lie down. Just two minutes after the goal, Benevento had the ball in the back of Inter’s net.
Ledian Memushaj hit a wonderful strike from long distance which Handanovic could only watch, but it cannoned back off the crossbar. It fell to D’Alessandro, who dispatched the ball into the bottom right corner, but it was ruled out for offside.
Benevento came close a couple more times. There was a scramble in the Inter box following a corner, but Costa and Memushaj could only flap at their opportunities. D’Alessandro also came close, being played in behind Inter’s defence, but he steered his shot just wide of Handanovic’s left post.
Before you knew it, Inter had the ball in the back of Benevento’s net for the third time. Brozovic had the opportunity of a hat-trick denied by Belec, with the rebound being met by Icardi who placed it into the keepers net, only for it to be ruled offside.
On the stroke of half-time however, Benevento got what they deserved. Piettro Iemmello was well placed for a shot on goal, but decided to play in D’Alessandro, who beat Handanovic with a precise shot off the inside of his right post.
Benevento came out in the second-half frustrating Inter, looking to take the game to the Italian giants with a spirited display, and nearly got their reward with half an hour left to play.
After a lovely passing move from Bene, the ball went out to the right-hand side for Lombardi, who sprayed in a ball to the back post for D’Alessandro, who’s header came back of the post.
The game was much less open in the second compared to the first half, with Inter seeming more concerned with conserving their lead rather than adding to it.
There were a few opportunities for them to extend their lead, with Icardi blasting over a Perisic cut-back which he really should have done better with. Perisic also came close with a goal-bound curling effort, but the keeper managed to tip it over the bar.
Icardi, again, should have added to Inter’s lead, after being played through in behind the defence with a bouncing ball, but when faced one-on-one with Belec, his attempted chip went straight at the keeper.
Ultimately, Inter were able to hang on to their lead, despite a brave Benevento display, and retained their unbeaten start to Serie A this season.