MILAN - Luciano Spalletti’s Inter picked up a valuable three points at the end of a hard-fought match on Saturday. The 2-0 win over Benevento came courtesy of a one-two punch from centre-backs Skriniar and Ranocchia. The Nerazzurri, therefore, go up to 51 points and are temporarily third ahead of both Roma and Lazio.
The first chance of the match fell for the Nerazzurri. Nine minutes in, Vecino played it over the top for Candreva who ran into the box but he was tackled just when he was about to shoot. From the following Cancelo corner, Gagliardini nodded on at the front post but the ball went out. In the 17th minute, there was another cross from Cancelo. Perisic got away from Sagna but couldn’t keep it on target. Benevento showed what they could do in the 23rd minute with a counterattack from Brignola and the Nerazzurri rearguard blocked his strike from the edge of the area. The visitors were dangerous once more in the 29th minute as Coda got away from Skriniar and fired off a powerful shot, Handanovic saved with some difficulty and Ranocchia arrived to clear. Inter responded in the 39 with some clever interplay as Perisic sent D’Ambrosio into the box but his cross was cleared for a corner by Sagna. The teams went back to the changing rooms with the game goalless.
The second half began with a change for the away side, with Cataldi replacing Djuricic at the interval. Vecino soon tried his luck with a long-range effort in the 54th minute, although Puggioni punched it out for a corner. De Zerbi’s side had a great chance in the 58th minute, with Brignola playing in Coda who wasted a good one-on-one chance by shooting over. Inter then responded in the 63rd minute, with Candreva sliding in Eder who chipped the ball over. Spalletti soon sent on Karamoh for Rafinha, with the game’s opening goal coming not long after. Vecino flicked on a corner from Cancelo, with Skriniar nodding home from the back post. With the Nerazzurri’s opener coming in the 67th minute, they then doubled their lead just two minutes later. Cancelo swung in an enticing set-piece, with Ranocchia executing a perfect diving header. Benevento were reduced to 10 men following Viola’s sending off, before then nearly conceding a third in added time. Candreva received possession in the area, only for Djimsiti to successfully intercept. The final whistle was blown following four minutes of added time, with Inter ultimately winning 2-0. Now it’s time to focus on the #DerbyMilano!
INTER 2-0 BENEVENTO
Goalscorers: 67' Skriniar (I), 69' Ranocchia (I)
INTER: 1 Handanovic; 7 Cancelo, 13 Ranocchia, 37 Skriniar, 33 D'Ambrosio; 11 Vecino, 5 Gagliardini; 87 Candreva, 8 Rafinha (65' 17 Karamoh), 44 Perisic (81' 77 Brozovic); 23 Eder
Substitutes: 27 Padelli, 89 Pissardo, 2 Lisandro, 9 Icardi, 20 B. Valero, 21 Santon, 25 Miranda, 29 Dalbert, 99 Pinamonti
Coach: Luciano Spalletti
BENEVENTO: 81 Puggioni; 83 Sagna, 6 Djimisti, 16 Tosca, 3 Letizia; 30 Sandro (66' 4 Del Pinto), 14 Viola; 99 Brignola, 66 Guilherme, 31 Djuricic (46' 8 Cataldi); 11 Coda (85' 25 Diabatè)
Substitutes: 22 Brignoli, 18 Gyamfi, 20 Memushaj, 21 A. Costa, 23 Venuti, 26 Parigini, 29 Billong, 33 Iemmello, 87 Lombardi
Coach: Roberto De Zerbi
Bookings: Candreva (I), Ranocchia (I), Del Pinto (B)
Red cards: 80' Viola (B) for two yellow cards
Added time: 0' + 4'
Assistants: Longo, Santoro
Fourth Official: Sacchi
VAR operators: Maresca, Fiorito