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Serie A | Inter 2-1 Genoa: Another step towards Scudetto

Inter Genoa

The Nerazzurri have now won all 12 competitive matches played in 2024, including a midweek rescheduled 4-0 victory over Atalanta. They had extra motivation as Juventus lost to Napoli last night. Alessandro Bastoni was suspended with Hakan Calhanoglu and Juan Cuadrado injured, plus Marcus Thuram and Francesco Acerbi only fit for the bench. The Grifone had lost only one of their last 11 Serie A matches and held Inter to a 1-1 draw in December.

Denzel Dumfries was going clear on goal until the first touch let him down, while Nicolò Barella met a Henrikh Mkhitaryan cross-field pass with a cushioned volley off the inside of the boot that nestled onto the roof of the net.

Genoa had a huge opportunity on 25 minutes, as Yann Sommer pushed away the Mateo Retegui header and Albert Gudmundsson got it all wrong on the rebound from three yards.

Instead, Inter took the lead when Kristjan Asllani sprung the offside trap on a smart Alexis Sanchez through ball and fired into the roof of the net from a tricky angle.

Barella also ran into the box and managed to get the shot away onto the side-netting, but was then wiped out by Morten Frendrup’s sliding tackle. The referee opted for a penalty and confirmed his decision even after evaluating the move from various angles on the VAR monitor, considering the tackle to be decisive in ruining Barella’s finish and not spotting Frendrup’s touch on the ball. Alexis Sanchez was given the penalty duties and converted for his first Serie A goal in two years.

Lautaro Martinez had more spot-kick appeals when his first-time strike hit Mattia Bani from point-blank range, but it seemed to hit his chest and not the arm.

Mkhitaryan was sent clear on goal only for Johan Vasquez to make the decisive sliding block, then after the restart blasted straight at Josep Martinez.

Lautaro’s curler was off target after a sensational aerial take on the Alexis Sanchez cross, but Genoa got themselves back into the game.

Aaron Martin nodded down the Stefano Sabelli cross and it was only cleared to the edge of the area for a marvellous left-foot Johan Vasquez volley into the far bottom corner.

Carlos Augusto stung Martinez’s gloves and Genoa did have the ball in the net for 2-2 on 66 minutes, but Vitinha had wandered offside on the Retegui flicked header before the volley into the near bottom corner.

Retegui failed to keep a free header on target from 12 yards, then saw his turn and strike charged down by Yann Bisseck in the box.

Barella blasted over from a Thuram pull-back and then Mattia Bani threw himself in the way of Carlos Augusto, who had been sent clear by a Tikus disguised pass. Martinez also got his gloves stung by Marko Arnautovic in stoppages.

The win allows them to reach 72 points, as many as Inter managed throughout all of last season.

Inter 2-1 Genoa

Asllani 31 (I), Alexis Sanchez pen 38 (I), Vasquez 54 (G)