GENOA - Inter tonight cruised to a 4-0 victory against Genoa at the Ferraris, solidifying their third-place position in Serie A. They now boast a four-point advantage ahead of Milan and are eight points in front Lazio and Atalanta, who both have a game in hand.
It was one-way throughout on Tuesday, with the Nerazzurri attacking relentlessly right from the off. Gagliardini was the main man in terms of goals, scoring twice similarly to this season’s earlier match against Genoa, with Icardi and Perisic also on the scoresheet. Politano was the immediate threat at the start of the match, initially playing in Perisic in the 11th minute, whose strike was deflected out for a corner. One minute later, Nainggolan also tried his luck with his right foot although this led to the first of many saves for Radu. Next up was Politano in the 13th minute, whose effort flew over. Nerazzurri pressure soon paid dividends in the 15th minute, and deservedly so. The opening goal stemmed from a left-sided cross from Asamoah, with Gagliardini putting Inter 1-0 up thanks a precise strike past Radu. Two minutes later, a header from Perisic forced a save from Radu, while Icardi then angled an effort off the woodwork in the 20th minute.
Genoa’s first real chance arrived just before the half-hour mark, yet Kouame couldn’t keep his header on target. This was followed by yet another chance for Perisic in the 35th minute, although the game’s key moment arrived four minutes later. This came when Icardi was brought down in the area by Romero in the penalty area, who was initially released by D’Ambrosio. With no doubts in his mind, Mariani awarded Inter a spot-kick and sent off the Rossoblu defender. Icardi stepped up to take it, making no mistake in sending Radu the wrong way. In what was Icardi’s 10th goal of the season, it was also his 123rd in an Inter shirt, duly matching Christian Vieri in eighth place in the Nerazzurri’s list of all-time list of top goalscorers. There was one late chance for Nainggolan just before the break, yet the half-time whistle was blown with Inter 2-0 up.
Inter looked to come forward after the break, but despite being a man down Genoa did manage to force Handanovic to make his first real save of the game as he denied Pezzella after 52 minutes. The Nerazzurri then went up the other end and got their third goal of the match: Nainggolan made a superb challenge to win the ball back before Icardi, who had received the ball from Asamoah, played a lovely ball through to Perisic, who slotted past the goalkeeper with his right foot. Inter were in full control and came close to making it 4-0 after 72 minutes through Nainggolan, but Genoa’s goalkeeper was there to make the save after the Belgian midfielder had combined well with Politano. The Italian then nearly found the back of the net himself prior to being replaced by Borja Valero, but Radu dived to his left to keep out his sweet strike. 15 minutes before the end, Genoa had their biggest chance of the game: Bessa looked to pick out Kouame in the six-yard box, but Handanovic got down low to make the save. In the 82nd minute, Inter got their fourth of the match: Gagliardini headed home Perisic’s corner to put the icing on the cake for Spalletti’s men.
A fantastic, fully deserved and very important victory for Inter, who now sit on 56 points as they look to secure Champions League qualification. Their next match is just around the corner: on Sunday at 18:00 CEST, they’ll face Atalanta at San Siro. The momentum gained from this match will hopefully push the team on in this game too.
GENOA 0-4 INTER
Goalscorers: 15' Gagliardini, 40' Icardi (pen.), 54' Perisic, 81' Gagliardini
GENOA: 97 Radu; 32 Pedro Pereira, 17 Romero, 87 Zukanovic, 13 Pezzella; 8 Lerager, 21 Radovanovic (81' 15 Mazzitelli), 18 Rolon; 27 Sturaro (65' 24 Bessa); 11 Kouame, 9 Sanabria (41' 14 Biraschi).
Subs: 1 Marchetti, 93 Jandrei, 3 Gunter, 10 Lapadula, 19 Pandev, 22 Lazovic, 33 Lakicevic, 39 Favilli, 44 Miguel Veloso.
Coach: Cesare Prandelli
INTER: 1 Handanovic; 33 D'Ambrosio, 37 Skriniar, 23 Miranda, 18 Asamoah; 5 Gagliardini, 77 Brozovic (65' 15 Joao Mario); 16 Politano (74' 20 Borja Valero), 14 Nainggolan, 44 Perisic; 9 Icardi (80' 11 Keita Balde).
Subs: 27 Padelli, 8 Vecino, 13 Ranocchia, 21 Cedric, 29 Dalbert, 61 Colidio, 74 Salcedo, 87 Candreva.
Coach: Luciano Spalletti
Bookings: Lerager (G), Asamoah (I), Zukanovic (G)
Red card: Romero (G) al 39'
Added time: 2' + 0'
Assistants: Vuoto, Tasso
Fourth official: Chiffi
VAR officials: Di Bello, Liberti