Inter were held to their second consecutive 1-1 draw, this time with Marco Mancosu cancelling out an Alessandro Bastoni opener in Lecce.
The Salentini were without a single home win this season and on a run of four consecutive Serie A defeats, also missing Marco Calderoni, Diego Farias and Yevhen Shakhov, so moved to three at the back. Inter could start Stefano Sensi and Nicolò Barella together for the first time since October, but Roberto Gagliardini, Matias Vecino, Kwadwo Asamoah and Danilo D’Ambrosio didn’t make the trip.
Romelu Lukaku drilled just wide from the D, but Lecce really should’ve taken the lead on eight minutes when Marco Mancosu incredibly turned over when undisturbed at the far post on Andrea Rispoli’s cross.
Lukaku did have the ball in the net, but only after the referee had blown the whistle for his foul on the defender.
There was controversy moments later, as Giulio Donati was booked for a studs-up challenge that caught Barella flush on the shin. After an on-field VAR review, the referee stuck by his original decision that it was just a yellow, but it was a close call.
Marcelo Brozovic could not have come much closer to an opening goal, as after a give-and-go with Lukaku on the edge of the box, his right-foot curler thumped the upright.
Brozovic threatened again on Lautaro Martinez’s lay-off, forcing a double save from close range out of Gabriel.
There was controversy on the stroke of half-time, as the referee pointed to the spot for a penalty. However, Khouma Babacar clearly headed the ball down on to Sensi’s hand, with his arm flush to his body. It could not be considered handball, something the referee realised after an on-field VAR review.
Lecce came out fighting for the second half, Donati’s control and finish deflected wide at the back stick, while Sensi’s free kick was off target from just outside the box.
Sensi stung Gabriel’s gloves and from that corner kick routine, a cross found substitute Alessandro Bastoni relatively unmarked for a free header from seven yards. He had just replaced Diego Godin and scored his second Serie A goal of the season.
However, Bastoni was caught a little distracted for the Lecce equaliser, as Mancosu got in front of him to volley in the Zan Majer cross from six yards.
Filippo Falco came on and almost turned the game around completely, his free kick curling over the wall to bounce off the near upright.
Inter tried to the bitter end, but Lecce were well worth their 1-1 draw, the same result that leaders Juventus had at the Stadio Via del Mare earlier this season.
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