Milan (AFP) – Inter Milan powered back from their midweek Champions League defeat by Real Madrid to sweep aside Sassuolo 3-0 and move second in Serie A on Saturday.
Antonio Conte’s side are on the brink of elimination from the elite European competition, but inflicted a first defeat this season on high-flying Sassuolo at the Mapei Stadium.
“We always play great games, but we still lack something in the finishing,” said Chilean Alexis Sanchez who scored after just four minutes.
“Against Real Madrid we made a lot of mistakes and we were timid coming onto the pitch.
“But I have faith in my teammates and we have to do well against both the big and the small teams.”
Top Inter scorer Romelu Lukaku started on the bench along with Ashley Young, with Sassuolo without their number one scorer Francesco Caputo.
Sanchez scored the first minutes into the game following good work from Lautaro Martinez and poor defending from Sassuolo’s Vlad Chiriches.
It was a nightmare match for Chiriches who then accidently turned a powerful Arturo Vidal centre into his own net, with the Romanian later limping off with a muscular problem.
Filip Djuricic missed a chance to pull the hosts back into the game, rattling the woodwork after 21 minutes.
Roberto Gagliardini added a third after an hour, sealing a win to boost Inter before next week’s European trip to Borussia Moenchengladbach.
Lukaku and Young came on in place of Lautaro and Sanchez for the final 10 minutes, with the Belgian forward having a goal ruled offside.
Conte also brought on Christian Eriksen, who looks set to leave Inter in January after just one year.
The Danish midfielder came on for Ivan Perisic for the final five minutes.
“In January, if the player (Eriksen) has not taken part in some matches, he will be the first to ask to be transferred,” Inter’s CEO Giuseppe Marotta had said before the game.
“But we will have to do it without controversy.”
Inter move second ahead of Sassuolo, with both teams on 18 points after nine games, two points behind AC Milan who host Fiorentina on Sunday.
A minute’s silence was observed before the game for Diego Maradona with a photo of the former Argentina and Napoli star also projected on giant screens in the 10th minute of all matches in Italy.
Champions Juventus, in fifth, head for Benevento later Saturday with Atalanta at home against Hellas Verona.
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