Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Sassuolo 1-2 Inter: Dzeko and Martinez put champions second

SoccerNews in Serie A 2 Oct 2021

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Inter came back from behind to beat Sassuolo 2-1 thanks to second-half goals from Edin Dzeko and Lautaro Martinez at the Mapei Stadium on Saturday.

Domenico Berardi put his side in front from the penalty spot in the first half after Jeremie Boga was tripped by Milan Skriniar.

However, Dzeko equalised with a second-half header just a minute after being brought on, before winning the penalty that fellow striker Martinez converted to hand the Nerazzurri all three points.

The result lifts Inter into second place just one point behind Serie A leaders Napoli, who have a game in hand.

Nicola Barella flashed a strike past the top-right corner and Gregoire Defrel called Samir Handanovic into action inside the opening seven minutes.

It was Sassuolo who opened the scoring, as Boga was upended by Skriniar after cutting into the box from the left and Berardi emphatically dispatched the penalty, smashing into the bottom-right corner past Handanovic, who guessed the right way but could not get a touch on it.

The two goalkeepers had to be alert after the half-hour mark, with Andrea Consigli parrying Barella’s powerful half-volley before Handanovic tipped Berardi’s spectacular long-range effort over.

Just before the break, Stefan de Vrij’s awful back-pass was pounced on by Defrel, who raced through on goal before going down as Handanovic jumped between him and the ball, but no foul was given, much to the ire of the hosts.

Inter levelled in the 58th minute, as Ivan Perisic’s superb cross from deep was headed in by substitute Dzeko, who made an instant impact off the bench.

Nineteen minutes later, Dzeko was involved again as he raced onto a pass into the area and was barged over by Consigli, earning a spot-kick that Martinez coolly tucked into the bottom-right corner.

The Bosnia striker had a couple of chances to add to his tally, but had a goal chalked off for offside after a VAR check and then fired narrowly over.

 

What does it mean? Inter set scoring record

Inter have now scored two or more goals in 12 league matches in a row, overtaking their longest such run in the competition (11), recorded in 1943.

In doing so, they maintain their unbeaten record to rise above rivals Milan and put pressure on league leaders Napoli heading into the international break.

Dzeko proving to be a shrewd signing

Dzeko is the first player to have scored at least six goals in Inter’s opening seven Serie A games in their first season with the club since Ronaldo in 1997/98. 

The striker was brought in to help fill the void left by Romelu Lukaku, who departed for Chelsea, and is proving to be a great acquisition.

Big-game Berardi

Sassuolo star Berardi continued his terrific record against teams starting the matchday in the league table’s top three, and now has eight goals and three assists in 11 such matches. 

The winger scored 17 times last term as the Neroverdi finished eighth – over a quarter of the team’s final total of 64 strikes – and he will need to be prolific again is his side are to build on a strong campaign.

What’s next?

Inter travel to face Lazio on October 16, while Sassuolo have a trip to Genoa.

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