Inter Milan make it three wins in a row with victory over Spezia
Internazionale made it three league wins in a row with a 3-1 success at Spezia on Friday.
League leaders AC Milan beat Genoa later in the day to keep their spot atop the Serie A table.
After a cagey start, Croatian midfielder Marcelo Brozovic swept the ball home, on the end of Danilo D’Ambrosio’s knockdown, in the 31st minute to break the deadlock.
😎 | MR FRIDAY
— Inter 🏆🇮🇹 (@Inter) April 15, 2022
Chances came and went as Inter looked for the crucial second goal, before Argentine striker Lautaro Martinez nudged one into the net in the 73rd minute to put his side in command.
A fine late goal from Spezia captain Giulio Maggiore ensured a tense final few minutes for the title chasers, but substitute Alexis Sanchez’s stoppage-time finish put the game to bed.
The hard-fought success moved Inter onto 69 points from 32 matches, but Milan’s win over Genoa at San Siro kept them two points ahead of their city rivals. Spezia stay 15th on 33 points.
“I think it was a victory of maturity,” Inzaghi told Sky Sport Italia. “We knew it would not be easy. I did not like the first 10 minutes, we gave them too many opportunities with the ball. But it was an important victory for us.
“We are creating a lot of chances, helping us to win the last three games, which is huge for our confidence.”
One win in seven Serie A matches before their trip to fellow title hopefuls Juventus two weeks ago had seen Inter fall behind in the race for the Scudetto.
However, after grinding out a 1-0 victory in Turin, Inzaghi’s side have not looked back.
Following a couple of early scares in Liguria, Brozovic picked the perfect moment to score his first Serie A goal of the season to edge Inter into the lead.
Inter dominated the second half, and should have added a second through Ivan Perisic and Denzel Dumfries, before Martinez got the faintest of touches to a Perisic cross to increase the visitors’ lead.
Maggiore’s arrowing strike two minutes from time briefly lifted the home crowd, before Sanchez finished off a swift counter to seal the success.
Milan return to top of Serie A with battling victory over Genoa
Goals from Rafael Leao and Junior Messias earned AC Milan a 2-0 victory over relegation-threatened Genoa on Friday, with Stefano Pioli’s side returning to the top of Serie A.
Inter Milan had briefly climbed to the Serie A summit after their 3-1 success at Spezia earlier on Friday, putting pressure on their great rivals to respond as Milan look to win the Scudetto for the first time since 2011.
Without a goal in their previous two league games, Milan did not take long to get on the score sheet in the San Siro, with Pierre Kalulu picking out the perfect cross for Leao to volley home in the 11th minute.
But they again fell flat in the second half, struggling to find that killer second goal, with Genoa causing problems down the other end.
— AC Milan (@acmilan) April 15, 2022
Milan kept coming and finally made one count as Brazilian midfielder Messias hammered home three minutes from time to seal the win.
After securing their first win in three league matches, Milan moved onto 71 points from 33 matches, two clear of Inter who have a game in hand. Genoa remain 19th on 22 points, three points from the safety zone.
“The tension is felt, the pressure rises,” Pioli told DAZN. “I told the guys that last year there was tension because we didn’t know whether we could finish in the top four.
“Now the pressure is there but it must lead to positive energies because we are fighting for a goal [the title] that when we started working together we could not have imagined.
“For many of us it is the first time fighting for the Scudetto but we want to be winning again and this experience will prove useful in the future as well.”
Goals had been hard to come by of late for Milan. Prior to successive 0-0 draws in their last two matches, Pioli’s side had only managed four strikes in their previous five games in all competitions.
Leao is one of several out-of-form strikers, but showed no lack of confidence when he fired his first goal since the end of February into the net.
The hosts should have had another later in the first half, but Belgian midfielder Alexis Saelemaekers missed his kick with the goal at his mercy.
Veteran striker Olivier Giroud saw one acrobatic second-half effort flash wide, but otherwise, that final pass again was eluding Milan until the dying moments.
Substitute Ante Rebic turned provider for Messias, who converted from the rebound after his initial effort had been saved.
Defensively it was another successful night for Milan. Pioli is now only the third manager in the club’s history to keep a clean sheet in at least six games in a row in a single Serie A season.