NANJING – Inter defeated Lyon 1-0 this afternoon at the Nanjing Olympic Stadium, their second test of the tour of the Far East after Friday’s 1-1 draw against Schalke 04.
Stevan Jovetic’s strike midway through the second half was enough to hand the Nerazzurri victory in their opening match of the International Champions Cup China.
The game was slow to get going, mainly due to the stifling heat in Nanjing. The first chance fell to Lyon in the 20th minute, but Bertrand Traore shot narrowly over after Memphis Depay had burst up the middle.
Inter had chances through Miranda in the 21st minute and then Roberto Gagliardini five minutes later, but neither were able to sufficiently trouble Anthony Lopes in goal.
As usual during pre-season, the half-time whistle signalled a raft of changes, as Luciano Spalletti sent on Daniele Padelli, Federico Valietti, Milan Skriniar, Geoffrey Kondogbia, Gabriel Barbosa and Ivan Perisic.
The beginning of the second half saw both sides exchange chances, Ferland Mendy hitting the outside of the net and Kondogbia trying his luck with an acrobatic effort.
The Nerazzurri began to gain the ascendancy and a goal looked as if it was coming; both Jovetic and Barbosa went agonisingly close to breaking the deadlock.
The goal finally came in the 75th minute: Gabigol’s intense pressing forced the French defenders into a mistake and the ball popped out to Jovetic. The Montenegrin exchanged passes with Joao Mario before slotting home into an unguarded net.
The narrow win brings the curtain down on the Chinese leg of the Summer Tour for Inter. This evening they depart for Singapore, where they face Bayern Munich on 27 July and Chelsea two days later.
INTER 1-0 LYON (HT: 0-0)
Scorers: Jovetic 75.
INTER: 1 Handanovic (27 Padelli 45); 33 D'Ambrosio (31 Valietti, 45), 24 Murillo (Skriniar, 45), 25 Miranda (13 Ranocchia, 67), 55 Nagatomo; 5 Gagliardini (7 Kondogbia, 45), 20 Borja Valero (77 Brozovic, 67); 87 Candreva (96 Barbosa, 45), 10 Joao Mario (11 Biabiany, 88), 23 Eder (45 Perisic, 45); 99 Pinamonti (8 Jovetic, 45).
Subs not used: 46 Berni, 89 Pissardo, 59 Emmers, 61 Vanheusden, 63 Rivas.
Coach: Luciano Spalletti.
LYON: 1 Lopes (30 Gorgelin, 45), 4 Rafael (23 Tete, 45), 6 Marcelo (43 Gouiri, 45), 9 Depay (24 Mammana, 67), 10 Traore (44 Maolida, 45), 11 Diaz (22 Mendy, 60), 14 Darder (7 Grenier, 60), 15 Morel (5 Diakhaby, 60), 18 Fekir (8 Aouar, 45), 20 Marcal (3 N'Koulou, 60), 29 Tousart (12 Ferri, 60).
Sub not used: 27 Cornet.
Coach: Bruno Genesio.
Additional time: 4+2 minutes.