Milan (AFP) – With thousands of fans celebrating outside the San Siro stadium and a guard of honour onto the pitch, Inter Milan celebrated their first Serie A title in 11 years at home on Saturday with a 5-1 goalfest over Sampdoria.
The match took place behind closed doors because of coronavirus restrictions but thousands of ‘Nerazzurri’ supporters gathered outside the San Siro to greet the team bus carrying players and coach Antonio Conte.
Sampdoria players formed the traditional guard of honour as the newly-crowned champions took to the pitch after sealing their 19th ‘Scudetto’ and first since 2010 last weekend.
Claudio Ranieri’s ninth-placed Sampdoria did not spoil the party with Keita Balde scoring the only goal for the visitors after 35 minutes.
Inter’s top scorer Romelu Lukaku and other players who played a key role in the title success stayed on the bench with Conte opting to start with some players who had been less present during the season.
Roberto Gagliardini opened the scoring after just four minutes latching onto an Ashley Young cross.
Alexis Sanchez added two more in a 10-minute first half spell, either side of Balde sending into goal off a rebound.
Substitute Andrea Pinamonti scored after the hour with Lautaro Martinez adding a fifth from the penalty spot with 20 minutes to go to seal victory against a side Inter had lost against earlier this season, just one of two defeats.
The entire team celebrated under the ‘Curva Nord’ tribune usually occupied by Inter fans.
“The satisfaction is immense, Inter had not won the Scudetto for 11 years,” said Conte.
“The fans have waited too long, we are happy to give this joy.”
– Napoli move second –
Earlier, Victor Osimhen scored twice as Napoli beat Spezia 4-1 to move second in Serie A to keep in the chase for a return to Champions League football next season.
Piotr Zielinski had opened the scoring after a quarter of an hour against the Ligurian side with Osimhen getting two more in the first half and then setting up Hirving Lozano for a fourth with 11 minutes to go.
Napoli are one-point ahead of three teams — Atalanta, Juventus and AC Milan — who are tied on 69 points before they play this weekend.
Gennaro Gattuso’s side had lost 2-1 to Spezia in Naples back in January, but hit back against the relegation-threatened side to extend their unbeaten run to 12 consecutive games.
Polish midfielder Zielinski finished off a Giovanni Di Lorenzo pull-back after 15 minutes and then provided the cross for Nigerian international Osimhen to score the second eight minutes later.
The Nigerian completed his first Serie A brace off a Lorenzo Insigne free-kick just before the break to bring his tally to seven goals in as many games.
The 22-year-old has scored a total of 10 goals in 21 games played this campaign.
Roberto Piccoli pulled a goal back for Spezia after an hour but Osimhen was on hand to roll the ball across for Lozano. The goal was confirmed after a VAR viewing.
Napoli lost all-time record goalscorer Dries Mertens to an ankle injury in the second-half just seven minutes after the Belgian came off the bench.
Juventus host AC Milan on Sunday in a clash of teams hunting a Champions League place, along with sixth-placed Lazio who travel to Fiorentina later on Saturday.
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