Lautaro Martinez came off the bench and scored with his first touch, as Inter scraped a much-needed victory away to Parma.
Both sides rattled the woodwork with Gervinho and Marcelo Brozovic, while Danilo D’Ambrosio saw his goal disallowed for a handling offence.
The Nerazzurri were in crisis mode after one point and no goals in their three Serie A games of 2019. Coach Luciano Spalletti was feeling the pressure, but had to do without Borja Valero, Sime Vrsaljko, Keita Balde Diao and suspended Matteo Politano. As for the Ducali, they were fresh from a comeback to hold Juventus 3-3 in Turin and surprisingly in the running for a Europa League spot.
Parma won 1-0 at San Siro, but haven’t beaten Inter home and away in a single Serie A campaign since 1998-99. The Nerazzurri had a notoriously poor record at the Tardini, winning only four of their previous 24 top flight trips here.
Neither Mauro Icardi nor Joao Mario could get on the end of a dangerous Ivan Perisic ball flashed across the six-yard box, but Gervinho went so close when he cut back from the left flank and smashed a right-foot finish on to the crossbar.
Luigi Sepe bravely rushed out to smother at Perisic’s feet and Icardi couldn’t get on the end of an over-hit Perisic cross-shot.
Joao Mario had a great chance to score from 12 yards on a knocked-down free kick, but hit an embarrassing fresh-air shot.
Roberto Inglese managed to turn in the box and his finish sailed just past the far top corner with Samir Handanovic stranded.
After the restart, Sepe was alert to rush out and parry after Radja Nainggolan’s first touch had taken him clear on goal and Icardi’s header was wide of the near post on Perisic’s cross.
Danilo D’Ambrosio thought he had broken the deadlock with a free header from a Marcelo Brozovic corner on 54 minutes, but VAR confirmed he had turned in with his upper arm, misjudging the flight of the ball.
Moments later, D’Ambrosio had appeals for a penalty with his cross charged down, but it hit Alessandro Bastoni on the hip, as he had pulled his arm round his back in time.
Icardi turned wide from a flicked-on free kick, but seemed to be in an offside position anyway. Inter began to pin Parma back into their own half, but struggled to create genuine chances.
Lautaro Martinez came off the bench and opened the scoring within two minutes. Juraj Kucka was caught in possession, Nainggolan surged forward and threaded through for the Argentine, who held off his marker to smash into the roof of the net from a tricky angle with his right boot. That was Inter’s first Serie A goal of 2019.
The Nerazzurri had an extraordinary double chance, as Vecino managed to get past Sepe only to see Riccardo Gagliolo clear off the line, then the move continued and Brozovic’s curler bounced off the far post.
Handanovic still had some work to do in stoppages, as Inglese’s acrobatic volley happened to be straight at him.
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