Football Serie A

Five-star Inter in Seventh Heaven

Roberto Gagliardini got the first brace of his career along with Matteo Politano, Joao Mario and Radja Nainggolan as Inter crushed Genoa 5-0.

The Nerazzurri secured a seventh straight Serie A victory, but rested Mauro Icardi, Sime Vrsaljko, Matias Vecino and not fully fit Radja Nainggolan, with Joao Mario getting his second consecutive start. Genoa played at San Siro midweek, losing 2-1 in stoppages in their rescheduled Week 1 fixture with Milan. Domenico Criscito was suspended, Nicolas Spolli, Andrea Favilli and Federico Marchetti injured, but Capocannoniere Krzysztof Piatek was rested in favour of ex-Inter veteran Goran Pandev.

Genoa are now without a win in their last 13 Serie A visits to Inter, emerging with just three draws.

Lautaro Martinez and Ivan Perisic had great chances in the opening minutes, scuffing their finishes off target, but Darko Lazovic tried to score from an impossible angle rather than pull it back from the by-line after nutmegging Danilo D’Ambrosio.

Inter opened the scoring in a chaotic move when Davide Biraschi was caught in possession and Joao Mario set up Roberto Gagliardini to sweep in from close range. There was no offside flag, because Biraschi got a deflection on the assist.

Genoa were almost gifted an equaliser straight away, as Samir Handanovic’s abysmal clearance saw him nearly kick the ball into his own net on a Stefan de Vrij back-pass.

Instead, Matteo Politano snuck up behind Lazovic to meet a Joao Mario through ball and prodded his left-foot finish into the far bottom corner.

Lazovic went close again with a swerving volley off the outside of the right boot, but Inter dominated with Politano running on to a Marcelo Brozovic pass to sting Radu’s gloves, then on the corner Stefan de Vrij’s header glanced wide from six yards.

Straight after the restart, Inter made it 3-0. A long throw-in was flicked on for Perisic, Radu somehow scrambled it off the line from point-blank range, but Gagliardini fired in the rebound. It was the former Atalanta man’s first ever Serie A brace.

Piatek replaced Pandev, as the Macedonian Treble hero received a standing ovation from the San Siro crowd, and within 60 seconds had forced a save with his towering header, while Miguel Veloso’s deflected strike tested Handanovic.

Gagliardini incredibly came close to a hat-trick, but just failed to get his head to the Perisic cross. Even Radja Nainggolan made a late cameo appearance to prove he has recovered from injury.

There was still time for another surprise goal-scorer, as Joao Mario capped off a wonderful individual performance by drilling in a daisy-cutter from the edge of the box into the near bottom corner.

With the last kick of the game, Joao Mario whipped in a marvellous cross from the right for the head of substitute Nainggolan and 5-0.

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