With a 1-0 Derby d’Italia triumph over Juventus at the Allianz Stadium on Sunday, nter kept their Serie A title aspirations alive.
Despite being second best in the first half, Simone Inzaghi’s side took the lead shortly before the break thanks to Hakan Calhanoglu’s twice-taken penalty.
In the second half, Juve fought valiantly but were unable to get the equalizer that would have extended their unbeaten record in the Italian top division to 17 games.
Inter remained in third place, three points behind leaders Milan, while Juventus remained in fourth place, seven points behind the Rossoneri despite having played one more game.
Juve got off to a fast start, and Giorgio Chiellini almost put them ahead in the ninth minute when he deflected Samir Handanovic’s poor punch into the crossbar from close range.
Soon after, Paulo Dybala and Juan Cuadrado both went close from distance, while Alvaro Morata headed a decent position across the face of goal.
Despite Juve’s dominance, Inter took a stunning lead into the halftime break.
Following an extraordinary scramble, Wojciech Szczesny saved Calhanoglu’s initial spot-kick after Morata had clipped Denzel Dumfries, but the ball wound up in the back of the net.
However, as a Juve player stepped into the box too early, referee Massimiliano Irrati wrote that out, with Calhanoglu making no mistake from 12 yards at the second attempt.
Shortly after the hour mark, Dusan Vlahovic whipped wide following a clever turn, before Denis Zakaria thumped the post as Juve’s unbeaten run came to an end.
What does this imply? Inter’s smash-and-grab tactic
Inter’s solitary away victory over Juventus in 16 attempts in all competitions, and there’s no doubt they took advantage of their good fortune.
Juve had 23 shots in all, while the Nerazzurri only had five, with only one on target. But that was the one that mattered.
Brozovic makes a move.
At the heart of Inter’s midfield, Marcelo Brozovic was a rock. The Croatian international got the most touches (74) of any Inter player, and he had two more tackles than anybody else on the field.
Martinez was restrained.
Inter’s leading scorer in Serie A this season is Lautaro Martinez, but he didn’t even have a sniff here. Before being substituted by Joaquin Correa in the 59th minute, the Argentina international had not fired a single shot, and he may consider himself fortunate to have escaped a second yellow card for a late challenge on Chiellini.