Inter continued their Serie A title push in style on Sunday afternoon, as goals from Romelu Lukaku, Matteo Darmian and Alexis Sanchez swept aside Genoa at San Siro.
Lukaku’s strike set the tone for what would be a comfortable outing for the league leaders, as he took a pass from Lautaro Martinez in his stride within the first 30 seconds and charged towards Mattia Perin’s goal, eventually finding the bottom corner.
Inter had nine shots from within the box in the first half, the pick of the bunch coming from Martinez as he attempted to get the better of Perin with a spectacular overhead kick.
Antonio Conte’s team looked utterly dominant and just as anxieties were beginning to grow about whether the second goal would arrive, they found it. Lukaku, at the centre of everything, brought the ball forward and played in Darmian, who fired across Perin for just his second goal in Inter colours.
The home side hit their stride from there and had a third goal ten minutes later when Sanchez, fresh off the bench, headed in at the back post. There was a lengthy VAR delay after the goal was initially ruled out for offside on Lukaku, but it was eventually given, and sealed a comfortable win for Inter.
Let’s get our teeth into some Inter player ratings, shall we?
Samir Handanovic (GK) – 7/10 – Had his gloves tested a few times and was generally solid. Wore a cap in the second half which was nice to see.
Milan Skriniar (CB) – 6/10 – Busier than the other central defenders but only really had a couple of awkward clearances to deal with.
Stefan de Vrij (CB) – 7/10 – Held Inter’s shape together, saw more of the ball than any other player and played quarter-back for long spells. Strong performance.
Alessandro Bastoni (CB) – 6/10 – Keen to take risks on the ball but sometimes sloppy in possession.
Matteo Darmian (RWB) – 7/10 – Saw plenty of the ball in the final third. Gave Lennart Czyborra a lot to think about with his attacking runs and, while his killer touch was sometimes lacking, he made up for it with a great low finish for the second goal.
Nicolo Barella (CM) – 9/10 – Carted himself from box to box with no real regard for his own safety and took a sore one from Cristian Zapata for his troubles. Rattled the bar from 25 yards and played an underrated role in the buildup to the first goal. Instrumental.
Marcelo Brozovic (CM) – 8/10 – Pressed aggressively and covered plenty of ground from defensive midfield. Also instrumental
Christian Eriksen (CM) – 5/10 – Try as he might, he just doesn’t look natural in a midfield three.
Ivan Perisic (LWB) – 6/10 – Quiet by his standards. Doesn’t seem entirely suited to the wing-back role but pulled it off with minimal fuss.
Lautaro Martinez (CF) – 7/10 – Fed Lukaku for the opener and made his presence felt with a busy attacking performance. Had hearts in mouths with a stunning overhead effort that fell into Perin’s grateful gloves. Not his most vibrant performance but kept defenders guessing with his inventive link-up play.
Romelu Lukaku (CF) – 8/10 – Holding the ball up and laying it off to Darmian one minute, thundering past defenders and sticking the ball in the bottom corner the next. Should’ve had a hat-trick by half-time but happy to make do with a goal and an assist.
Alexis Sanchez (Martinez, 76) – 6/10 – Had the ball in the net within about 1.5 seconds even if VAR kept him waiting.
Roberto Gagliardini (Brozovic, 76) – 6/10 – On to shore things up in midfield and did a capable job.
Ashley Young (Perisic, 84) – N/A
Danilo D’Ambrosio (Darmian, 84) – N/A