APPIANO GENTILE – The Nerazzurri started their pre-season in style, which, like last season, began with a friendly against Lugano, a team from the Swiss Super League. At the Suning Training Centre, goals from Dalbert, Lautaro (2), Lukaku and an own goal sealed a 5-0 win for Antonio Conte’s side as they prepare for their first competitive fixture of the season,on 26 September when they face Fiorentina.
25 days after their disappointment in the Europa League final in Cologne, Inter returned to the pitch, with Achraf Hakimi and Aleksandar Kolarov making their debuts for the Club. Moreover, Coach Conte took the opportunity to try out two different formations, one for each half, in the Nerazzurri’s first pre-season test of the season.
There were new faces on both flanks in Coach Conte’s starting eleven, with Dalbert starting on the left after returning from his loan spell at Fiorentina, and new signing Hakimi on the right. Beyond that, the picture was one of continuity from last season: the Nerazzurri’s well-established 3-5-2 formation held up well, and they were quickly able to impose their dominance over Lugano, making great use of the space in the wide channels. Inter were quick to open the scoring against the Swiss side, who are due to play their first match in the Swiss Super League against FC Luzern on Saturday, with our two wingbacks combining to start the Inter party. Hakimi raced down the right wing, and the goalkeeper getting a touch on the cross before it fell at the feet of Dalbert, who made light work of the finish on the volley, making it 1-0 to the hosts. Thus, the Brazilian was our first goalscorer of the season, following in the footsteps of Stefano Sensi, who was the first to get his name on the scoresheet in Lugano last year.
Jacobacci’s squad were by no means down and out after the early goal, showing pride and purpose on the pitch as they sought to demonstrate that they were much more than just a pre-season sparring partner for the Nerazzurri. Inter had a real match on their hands, even if the Nerazzurri weren’t rushed off their feet. Lugano were keen to put Handanovic to the test, and on two occasions, they came close to finding the breakthrough, in similar circumstances. Gerndt and Bottani both sought to drive it in with low left-footed strikes, with the former just wide, and the latter rattling the post. Two important wake-up calls for an Inter side that lost Barella, who was replaced by Agoumé after a hard blow to his arm. Later in the second half, Inter looked too much to handle for the Swiss side, thanks to some savvy changes to the game plan, and plenty of space being found on the left wing. In the 36th minute, Inter added two more goals to their lead in the space of less than a minute, sealing the result for the Nerazzurri.
Inter took a 2-0 lead through a great ball from Hakimi, who put a low driven cross into the box that Kecskes turned into his own net. Seconds after the restart, Sanchez won it back with ease, racing through the Lugano defence and picking out Lautaro, who made no mistake with the shot, making it 3-0 to the Nerazzurri. The Nerazzurri found a fourth on the stroke of half-time, with Sanchez and Lautaro linking up once more: the Chilean caught the Lugano defence napping and again found his Argentinian teammate, who outwitted Osigwe with a body feint and stroked home.
In the second half, Conte made a series of changes, with Kolarov making his Nerazzurri debut in the number 11 shirt, playing in the back three. Early in the second half, Romelu Lukaku really made his presence felt in attack alongside Salcedo, and managed to win himself a penalty, which he converted emphatically, giving the Nerazzurri their fifth. After Lukaku’s goal, the Nerazzurri slowed their tempo considerably, holding on to possession deep in midfield, denying Lugano any opportunity to threaten them, as they had done in the first half.
Lukaku managed to put the ball in the net once again, but only after the referee had blown his whistle, while Perisic and Young got stuck in on the wings. In the later stages of the match, Lugano also made a number of changes as the intensity of game decreased, with Inter coming out with a 5-0 win in their first friendly outing of the 2020/21 season.
The Nerazzurri’s next outing will be their joint training session with Carrarese, scheduled for Friday 18 at 17:00 CEST at the Suning Training Centre. Then, on Saturday, they will return to San Siro for a friendly against Pisa.
INTER 5-0 LUGANO | MATCH DETAILS
First half line-up
INTER (3-5-2): 1 Handanovic; 37 Skriniar, 13 Ranocchia, 95 Bastoni; 98 Hakimi, 23 Barella (32 Agoumé 21'), 12 Sensi, 5 Gagliardini, 29 Dalbert; 7 Sanchez, 10 Lautaro.
Second half line-up
INTER (3-4-1-2): 97 Radu; 33 D'Ambrosio, 6 de Vrij, 11 Kolarov; 15 Young, 77 Brozovic, 44 Nainggolan, 14 Perisic; 24 Eriksen; 9 Lukaku, 19 Salcedo.
Unused substitutes: 27 Padelli, 30 Esposito, 31 Pirola.
Coach: Antonio Conte.
LUGANO: 58 Osigwe (76 Soldini 65'), 3 Guerrero (29 Jovanovic 65'), 4 Kecskes (6 Covilo 46'), 5 Maric (47 Selasi 63'), 10 Bottani (23 Ardaiz 46'), 11 Holender (79 Sefraj 65'), 14 Sabbatini (95 Manicone 65'), 16 Lavanchy (80 De Queiroz 65'), 19 Gerndt (8 Lungoyi 46'), 22 Guidotti, 24 Lovric (88 Centinaro 65').
Goalscorers: 4' Dalbert, 36' autogol Kecskes, 36' e 43' Lautaro, 47' Lukaku (Pen.)
Referee: Abdoulaye Diop.
Assistants: Cucinotta, Marotti.