Inter have gone 11 points clear at the top of the table after another clinical performance to beat Sassuolo 2-1 with Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez goals, but there was controversy.
This Week 28 fixture was postponed due to a COVID outbreak in the Inter camp, which had since been entirely resolved. Alessandro Bastoni and Marcelo Brozovic sat out bans, replaced by Matteo Darmian and Roberto Gagliardini. The Neroverdi had Domenico Berardi, Francesco Caputo, Gregoire Defrel and Medhi Bourabia injured, Kaan Ayhan had COVID, but they again froze out Manuel Locatelli, Gian Marco Ferrari and Mert Muldur out of an abundance of caution following Coronavirus clusters in their international squads.
Sassuolo had a good start, Pedro Obiang drilling just wide, but Inter took the lead when Ashley Young floated in a cross for Romelu Lukaku’s flicked header from 10 yards. Surprisingly, that was the Belgian’s first headed Serie A goal since July 25 against Genoa.
Nicolò Barella was booked and will be suspended for the next match against his hometown club Cagliari. Inter also had penalty appeals when Barella's cross struck Rogerio on the wrist, but his arm was considered to be in a natural position.
The Neroverdi were trailing, but had 81 per cent possession in the opening 25 minutes at San Siro, as Inter focused entirely on defend and counter. That balanced out to just 70 per cent for the entire first half.
Junior Hamed Traore tested Samir Handanovic from distance and Milan Skriniar made a decisive block on Jeremie Boga from six yards, sent clear by Giacomo Raspadori.
This approach continued after the break, Obiang and Filip Djuricic off target, and Sassuolo had penalty appeals for a very obvious Stefan de Vrij shirt tug on Raspadori.
However, while they were protesting, Inter went on their first counter-attack of the second half and scored with Lautaro Martinez’s angled drive on an Achraf Hakimi pass.
Sassuolo did finally get their deserved goal when Hakimi gave it away and Junior Hamed Traore curled into the far top corner.
Alexis Sanchez could’ve made it 3-1 in stoppages, but his lob was off target. Lukaku also had the ball in the back of the net, but it was ruled offside.
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