Inter completed an extraordinary comeback from 2-0 down to beat Torino 4-2, with Romelu Lukaku inspiring his teammates.
Both sides were affected by COVID-19 following international duty, as the Nerazzurri lost Marcelo Brozovic and Aleksandar Kolarov, while Toro missed Amer Gojak, Sasa Lukic, Mergim Vojvoda, Samir Ujkani and coach Marco Giampaolo. To make matters worse, Andrea Belotti pulled out in the warm-up, replaced by Simone Zaza. Lautaro Martinez was rested in favour of Alexis Sanchez, as the upcoming Champions League showdown with Real Madrid was looming on the horizon.
Zaza had the first genuine scoring opportunity, sliding in at the back post to volley a long Simone Verdi cross on to the side-netting.
Inter were shaky at the back, as Samir Handanovic had to rush off his line to tackle Ansaldi, while when Romelu Lukaku forced a save from Salvatore Sirigu, he was offside.
Handanovic used his legs to deny Zaza at the near post after he was sent clear by Tomas Rincon, but there was more bad news for Torino. Having already lost Belotti in the warm-up, Verdi limped off too.
Despite all of that, Toro continued to have the best chances and Alessandro Bastoni ran a huge risk when wrestling Zaza on the counter-attack.
On the stroke of half-time, Soualiho Meite’s back-heel through ball sent Zaza clear and he thumped the finish into the far bottom corner to give the Granata a fully-deserved lead.
Ashley Young accidentally caught Singo in the ribs when trying to clear inside his own area. Play continued, but after viewing it again on VAR, the referee pointed to the spot for a penalty, as Young had completely missed the ball and only caught the man. Cristian Ansaldi converted emphatically into the roof of the net.
Inter fought back immediately, as Lukaku’s scorcher bounced off the crossbar and in the general chaos that followed, Alexis Sanchez fired in from six yards.
That woke the Nerazzurri up from their stupor and a whole other game began. Moments later, Lukaku again clipped the woodwork with a long-range left-foot strike that hit the outside of the upright.
Then, three minutes after the first goal, Inter equalised, with Alexis Sanchez dribbling into the box, rolling across and Lukaku tapping in from a yard.
VAR was involved again to turn the game around completely, as at first Achraf Hakimi was flagged offside when caught by a clumsy Nicolas Nkoulou challenge. However, the VAR spotted that Nkoulou had taken another touch first, which put Hakimi back in play, so Lukaku converted the penalty.
Toro fell apart completely and Lukaku added an assist to his game, rolling across from the left for Lautaro Martinez to tap in.
It still wasn’t over, as Handanovic needed one more save on Simone Edera’s free kick, but this was yet another second half collapse from Torino.
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