Inter fell to their third Serie A defeat of the season against Juventus following an eventful and controversial affair. For the first time since Opta started collecting such data in 2004/05, three penalties were awarded in a Serie A fixture between the Bianconeri and the Nerazzurri. One of these was saved by Handanovic (although Ronaldo, who had taken the spot-kick, scored on the rebound) and the other two were converted by Lukaku and Cuadrado.
HANDANOVIC EQUALS ZENGA’S NERAZZURRI APPEARANCE RECORD
Samir Handanovic saved his second penalty of the season, although it didn’t end well as Ronaldo turned in the rebound. It was an exact repeat of what happened against Ibrahimovic in the first Derby fixture of the 2020/21 campaign: a successful dive to his right but a subsequent goal conceded. Despite this, the Inter captain managed to keep out his 26th Serie A penalty and has thus built on the record he set when he saved that spot-kick against AC Milan, a stop which saw him surpass Gianluca Pagliuca (24) in terms of penalty saves in the Italian top flight. In the last ten seasons, only Andrea Consigli and Benoît Costil (both 16) have kept out more penalties than Handanovic (14) in the Top 5 European leagues.
Furthermore, thanks to his appearance against Juventus, the Slovenian equalled Walter Zenga’s record as the goalkeeper with the most Serie A appearances for Inter. Since becoming a Nerazzurri player, Handanovic has played 328 times in the Italian top flight and 388 matches in all competitions (the figures for Zenga are 328 and 473 respectively).
LUKAKU IMPECCABLE FROM THE SPOT
Romelu Lukaku scored a penalty against Juventus. Like always, he was impeccable from the spot, shooting in the opposite direction to Szczęsny’s dive. Since joining Inter, he’s netted all of the twelve spot-kicks he’s taken in Serie A and sent the goalkeeper the wrong way on each occasion. In all competitions, Lukaku has taken 15 penalties as a Nerazzurri player and scored every single one, with the respective shot-stoppers diving in the wrong direction 14 times. The last player to convert all of their first twelve spot-kicks in Serie A was Paulo Dybala in 2017.
Lukaku now has 23 goals to his name in the league. The Belgian has become just the fourth Inter player in history to bag at least 23 goals in two consecutive seasons in Serie A, following on from Mauro Icardi, Stefano Nyers and Giuseppe Meazza.
In scoring against the Bianconeri, Lukaku equalled his goal tally from last season in the Italian top flight (23). Taking into account his time in Serie A and the Premier League, only in 2016/17 (25), when he was an Everton player, has he done better than this in a single campaign.