Inter regained parity at the summit of Serie A on Saturday evening, as the hosts strolled to a comfortable 4-0 victory over Thiago Motta’s Genoa.
I Nerazzurri took the lead on the half-hour mark, Romelu Lukaku powering home a perfectly-placed header from an Antonio Candreva cross. Inter doubled their lead only two minutes later, when Roberto Gagliardini’s deflected effort squirmed beyond Genoa goalkeeper Andrei Radu, following some great hold-up play from Lukaku.
Italian starlet Sebastiano Esposito converted from the spot on 63 minutes to bag his first league goal for Inter, putting the game well beyond their struggling visitors in the process. Lukaku added his second of the game only seven minutes later, blasting home a vicious strike which kissed the crossbar on its way past Radu.
The comfortable victory sees Inter go level with Juve on 42 points, as the two Italian giants go into the winter break with everything to play for in 2020.
Key Talking Point
Ladies and gentlemen, we have ourselves a title race. Maurizio Sarri’s Napoli pushed Juventus all the way during the 2017/18 campaign, but they ultimately fell at the final hurdle. The Old Lady have now won eight league titles in a row, and it was generally accepted that I Bianconeri would pick up number nine this year.
This Inter team may just be the one to break Juve’s domestic stranglehold though. Conte has got his players firing on all cylinders this season, and bar a couple of minor slip-ups, I Nerazzurri have been almost flawless. Inter go into the Christmas break level on points with the Turin side, and with both sides possessing bags of attacking firepower and defensive steel, this title race could really go all the way.
I Nerazzurri have been known to crumble in the past, but Conte is a proven winner (read: terrifying man) and his driven mentality may help his side get over the line this time round.
Substitutes: Sensi (7), Lazaro (6), Dimarco (6)
STAR MAN –
Everything positive that Inter created flowed through Lukaku, who constantly provided an outlet for his teammates, whilst bringing his colleagues into play as often as possible with some excellent work with his back to goal. The 26-year-old completed his brace in the second half, and was selfless in allowing Esposito to take the penalty which saw the teenager score his first Inter goal from the spot.
On his day, the former Manchester United man is simply unplayable. Inter just need that day to arrive more often.
Substitutes: Rovella (7), Favilli (6), Cleonise (6),
Inter can enjoy their Christmas break, knowing that they will be joint top going into the next round of fixtures, when Conte’s side will travel to Gennaro Gattuso’s Napoli.
Genoa are deep in a relegation battle this season, and Motta has plenty to contemplate over the winter break, before entertaining Sassuolo on 6th January.