GENOA – Inter needed that bit of inspiration to find a way through and break down a solid and compact Genoa side. After an uneventful first half and a frustrating start to the second, Romelu Lukaku left his mark. After being picked out by Barella, the Belgian striker finally gave Inter the lead against Maran’s side, who finished the match without having had a single shot on target. D’Ambrosio’s late header then sealed a richly deserved victory. These are three vital points for the Nerazzurri, who have managed to bounce back following their defeat in the Derby.
The aim was to break through. However, it was a struggle in the first 45 minutes, with Inter failing to conjure up a single shot on target during the opening period. This was surprising, because this had never happened to Conte’s side before. On the other hand, Genoa never really threatened Handanovic’s goal at all, failing to put together any real attacking moves. With Eriksen and Perisic heavily involved, Inter dominated, but their attempts to knock down the Rossoblù wall initially came to nothing. The Nerazzurri’s first effort came on the 14-minute mark, with Lautaro firing over the bar. Then, in the 26th minute, the ball fell to Vidal in the penalty area, but the Chilean’s shot was blocked by Bani. Inter had a good overall shape but failed to land a blow: the teams headed into the break on level terms.
It was much the same story at the start of the second half: Genoa were happy to defend and Inter continued to come forward in search of a goal. The Nerazzurri needed something different, and Barella was the man to supply it. After coming on as a substitute, the Italian midfielder played Lukaku in with an excellent pass, and the latter did superbly well to control the ball, leave Goldaniga chasing shadows and smash the ball into the net. It was the Belgian’s fifth league goal in five games and one which gave the Nerazzurri the lead. Now a goal behind, Genoa failed to respond, with Ranocchia and his defensive teammates able to nullify every foray forward from the Rossoblù. Then, at the other end, two Inter defenders combined to double the Nerazzurri’s advantage: Ranocchia was able to flick on Brozovic’s corner and D’Ambrosio was there to nod in from a yard out. It’s the second time that the Italian has found the net this campaign, and he’s now scored at least two goals in each of his past seasons with the Nerazzurri. A 2-0 scoreline was deserved for Inter, who were also able to welcome Andrea Pinamonti back to the pitch for his sixth Nerazzurri appearance and first match since he returned to the Club (his last appearance was in February 2018 when Inter played Genoa away from home).
Inter comtinued to dominate as the match drew to a close, with Pinamonti, Kolarov and Nainggolan all having long-range efforts at goal. However, no further goals were scored and Inter picked up their third league win of the season, moving on to ten points in the process.
GENOA 0-2 INTER
GENOA (3-5-2): 1 Perin; 13 Bani, 2 Zapata, 5 Goldaniga; 18 Ghiglione, 11 Behrami (21 Radovanovic 61'), 47 Badelj (16 Zajc 61'), 65 Rovella (24 Melegoni 84'), 99 Czyborra (88 Pellegrini 46'); 19 Pandev, 37 Pjaca (61 Shomurodov 65').
Substitutes: 22 Marchetti, 32 Paleari, 14 Biraschi, 23 Destro, 55 Masiello, 70 Parigini, 90 Dumbravanu.
Coach: Rolando Maran.
INTER (3-4-1-2): 1 Handanovic; 33 D'Ambrosio, 13 Ranocchia, 95 Bastoni; 36 Darmian (11 Kolarov 80'), 22 Vidal (44 Nainggolan 80'), 77 Brozovic, 14 Perisic (2 Hakimi 58'); 24 Erisken (23 Barella 58'); 9 Lukaku, 10 Lautaro (99 Pinamonti 72').
Substitutes: 27 Padelli, 35 Stankovic, 6 de Vrij, 42 Moretti, 46 Vezzoni, 48 Carboni, 49 Satriano.
Coach: Antonio Conte.
Goalscorers: 64' Lukaku (I), 79' D'Ambrosio (I)
Bookings: Lautaro (I)
Assistants: Alassio, Bottegoni.
Fourth Official: Manganiello.
VAR and VAR Assistant Di Bello, Liberti.