Opening the 2021/22 Serie A campaign with a real statement on home soil last weekend, Inter Milan managed to make it back-to-back wins after a thumping 3-1 victory at the Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi on Friday night.
Despite falling 1-0 down away at Verona, the defending Italian champions really put on an eye-catching second-half display on the road as they extended on their early-season bounce under new boss Simone Inzaghi.
With their latest summer addition enjoying what was a fairy tale start to life at the Nerazzurri, we have taken a look at all the major talking points from Friday’s showdown in Veneto.
A stunning 24 hours for Correa
With it only announced 24 hours prior to Friday’s matchup at the Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi that Joaquin Correa had completed a shock move from Lazio, the 27-year-old couldn’t have wished for a better start.
Only able to squeeze in a single training session with his new teammates, the Argentina international certainly took his charge when his former Lazio boss chucked his new signing on with 15 minutes left on the clock.
Immediately cementing his spot as an Inter favourite, Correa managed to complete the Nerazzurri’s second-half turnaround as he looped his header past the scrambling Lorenzo Montipò just nine minutes after coming off the bench.
Not done there, the one-time River Plate starlet finished off Friday’s contest late into stoppage time as he thundered his low effort in the far corner and completed what was a fairytale debut for the defending Italian champions.
A tale of two halves for Inter
Failing to ask any real questions of Montipò’s goal in the whole of the first-half, there is no doubt that new boss Inzaghi would have been thrilled by the resolve that his side showed in front of a lively Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi crowd.
Welcoming back attacking talisman Lautaro Martínez after he helped Argentina lift the Copa America trophy over the summer, the high-touted forward managed to drag Inter level with a glanced header just 80 seconds after the restart.
Showing some of those gritty traits that they demonstrated under Antonio Conte on route to lifting the Serie A title last season, the former Lazio boss was right to praise his side’s eye-catching turnaround after Friday’s 3-1 win in Veneto.
Brining Correa over from Lazio only hours before kick-off, and opening the new season with a thumping 4-0 victory against Genoa on the opening weekend, life appears to be going well for Inzaghi in Milan.
Verona blow a golden chance
Opening the 2021/22 campaign with what was an action-packed 3-2 defeat at home against Sassuolo, many expected Eusebio Di Francesco’s wait for a first Verona win to only be extended on Friday night.
However, watching Ivan Ilić pounce on a loose ball from veteran keeper Samir Handanović after just 15 minutes and open the scoring with a smart chip, it is hard to doubt that the Gialloblu weren’t worth their half-time lead.
Despite what was a rugged display in the first-half, the one-time Roma boss couldn’t have seen his side get off to a worse start as they watched Martínez level the scoreline with just a matter of second played.
Once again showing a host of issues that haunted them at the back end of last season, fans around Veneto now find themselves on a run of form that has seen them fail to win any of their last 11 straight Serie A contests.
What’s next for both?
Watching themselves placed in Group D for this year’s Champions League group stage on Tuesday afternoon, a group they will share along with Real Madrid, the Nerazzurri will be heading into the international break riding a real high.
Making it back-to-back Serie A wins after Friday’s 3-1 victory on the road, the defending champions will be next seen on September 11th when they make the trip to Sampdoria.
As for what should be a downbeat Verona side, given a fortnight off to go back to the drawing board, Di Francesco will know that the pressure could already be starting to mount as they search for their first points of the season.
Facing what already could be a must-win clash, the Gialloblu will also be next seen on September 11th when they travel to Bologna.
Verona: Montipò (6), Magnani (4.5), Günter (5), Ceccherini (4), Faraoni (5), Hongla (6), Ilic (6.5), Lazovic (6), Cancellieri (5), Zaccagni (7), Barak (6.5)
Subs: Dawidowicz (5), Casale (5.5), Sutalo (5), Tameze (5), Lasagna (6)
Inter Milan: Handanovic (4.5), Skriniar (6), de Vrij (6), Bastoni (6.5), Darmian (7.5), Barella (7), Brozovic (6), Calhanoglu (5), Perisic (3), Martínez (7), Dzeko (5)
Subs: Sensi (N/A), Correa (10), Dimarco (5), Vecino (N/A), Vidal (7)
Goals: Verona: Ilic 15′ – Inter Milan: Martínez 47, Correa 83′, 90′
Yellow Cards: Verona: Magnani, Tameze – Inter Milan: Martínez, Brozovic
Referee: Gianluca Manganiello
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