Inter flex muscles with 3-1 triumph in Florence
FLORENCE – Inter produced a superb performance in the second half to come back from a goal and put Fiorentina at the edge of the sword at the Franchi.
The hosts took a deserved lead thanks to Riccardo Sottil, but a different Inter emerged after the restart and turned the game around with two goals in as many minutes by Matteo Darmian and Edin Dzeko. Ivan Perisic then focused on winning with a late third third to ensure the Nerazzurri remained in the lead.
La Viola got off the blocks and in less than two minutes Samir Handanovic had to make his first stop of the night – a feline dive at the feet of Nico Gonzalez.
In the 10th minute, the keeper was called up again to prevent Dusan Vlahovic’s fierce effort.
The waves of Viola continued and Cristiano Biraghi was the next to have his shot saved before another former Nerazzurri played Alfred Duncan.
Italiano had his team setting up a fierce pressing game and Inter struggled to set up any moves.
A goal for the hosts appeared in the air and it came in the 23rd minute: Gonzalez sprinted to the left and directed a low delivery to the back post, where the Sottil were rushing in place to get home.
Inter looked to be bouncing back, with Perisic looking particularly dangerous on the flank. The first opportunity arose at the half hour mark when Hakan Calhanoglu’s free kick was saved by Bartlomiej Dragowski.
The Nerazzurri then had the ball in the net – technically speaking, it was Matija Nastasic who put it in his own net – but Perisic was offside, so they came in at the break with one goal behind.
Simone Inzaghi’s men reappeared with a different proposition, but soon after, the coach lined up his first replacement, with Alexis Sanchez and Denzel Dumfries about to enter and Darmian ready to give way. Then fate intervened.
Before the change could be made, Darmian had completed a smooth first move by exchanging passes with Nicolo Barella and bringing the equalizer back to the line.
Three minutes later the comeback was complete: Dzeko climbed the highest to connect with the corner of Calhanoglu and come home our second.
The double blow cut the wind in the sails of Fiorentina and the Nerazzurri took the lead. Inzaghi brought in fresher legs and Inter controlled the game, with Nicolo Barella and Marcelo Brozovic dictating matters from the midfielder.
The hosts shot themselves in the foot 11 minutes from time when Nico Gonzalez was sent off after receiving two yellow cards for overdoing the protests.
The Nerazzurri took the opportunity to put the game to bed once and for all with a manual goal, substitutes Matias Vecino and Roberto Gagliardini providing the foil for Perisic to bring the score to 3-1.
The win – our 1,500th in Serie A – solidifies Inter’s place at the top of the table, with 13 points from five games, sending a message to the rest of the league in the process.
Fiorentina 1-3 Inter (HT 1-0)
Scorers: Sottil 23 (F), Darmian 52 (I), Dzeko 55 (I), Perisic 87 (I).
FIORENTINE (4-3-3): 69 Dragowski; 24 Benassi (29 Odriozola, 66), 4 Milenkovic, 55 Nastasic, 3 Biraghi; 5 Bonaventura (91 Kokorin, 84), 32 Duncan (7 Callejon, 84), 18 Torreira (34 Amrabat, 66); 33 Sottil (8 Saponara, 74), 9 Vlahovic, 22 Gonzalez.
Unused subscribers: 1 Terracciano, 25 Rosati, 2 Martinez Quarta, 14 Maleh, 17 Terzic, 42 Bianco, 98 Igor.
Coach: Vincenzo Italiano.
INTERIOR (3-5-2): 1 Handanovic; 37 Skriniar, 6 De Vrij, 95 Bastoni; 36 Darmian (2 Dumfries, 66), 23 Barella (8 Vecino, 70), 77 Brozovic, 20 Calhanoglu (5 Gagliardini 84 ‘), 14 Perisic; 9 Dzeko (7 Sanchez, 70), 10 Lautaro (32 Dimarco, 84).
Unused subscribers: 21 Cordaz, 97 Radu, 11 Kolarov, 13 Ranocchia, 33 D’Ambrosio, 38 Sangalli, 48 Satriano.
Coach: Simone Inzaghi.
Assistants: Costanzo, Passeri.
Fourth official: Zufferli.
VAR assistant: Carbon.
Reserve: Skriniar (I), Darmian (I), Calhanoglu (I).
Sent: Nico Gonzalez 79 (F).
Added time: 1 + 3 minutes.
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