A stunning volley from Nicolo Barella helped Inter Milan move up to 2nd place in Serie A after the Nerazzurri eased past Cremonese 3-1 at the Giuseppe Meazza.
The home side had the better of the proceedings early on, and took the lead in just the 12th minute with a clinical counter attack which all came from a Cremonese corner.
Barella led the charge with the breakaway, playing in Edin Dzeko in the box with a cut-back, but the Bosnian’s shot was saved by Ionut Radu. Unfortunately for Cremonese’s goalkeeper, Joaquin Correa was there to tap-in the rebound.
Inter then doubled their lead seven minutes before half-time as Barella lashed home a spectacular volley from the edge of the box from Hakan Calhanoglu’s chipped pass to leave the visitors with a mountain to climb.
Lautaro Martinez scored the Nerazzurri’s third of the night with fifteen minutes to play after yet another clinical counter attack which saw the Argentine finish well into the bottom corner.
Cremonese then had a late consolation in stoppage time as striker David Okereke placed a curling effort from distance beyond Samir Handanovic to get his side on the scoresheet.
Simone Inzaghi’s Inter team next come up against their fierce rivals AC Milan this Saturday in the Derby della Madonnina. Meanwhile, Cremonese’s wait for their first points of the season goes on.
TALKING POINT – INTER GET BACK TO WINNING WAYS
After suffering a disappointing 3-1 defeat away at the Stadio Olimpico against Lazio last time out, Simone Inzaghi will be happy to see his side get back to winning ways in Serie A, even if for the most part, it was straight forward against newly-promoted Cremonese.
The Nerazzurri’s danger on the counter attack was evident throughout the game, with two of their three goals scored via breaks down the pitch from Cremonese corners.
The win moves Inter above their rivals AC Milan and up into second place, as the Rossoneri could only draw 0-0 with Sassuolo earlier today. The two fierce adversaries will meet for the first time this season this coming Saturday, as the 232nd chapter of this historic derby takes centre stage in Italy.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH – NICOLO BARELLA
The 25-year-old Inter Milan midfielder produced a footballing clinic for his side this evening, as he showcased his talents with two direct goal involvements (one goal, one assist).
Inter seemed intent on trying to hit Cremonese on the break with quick transitions from back to front whenever the opportunity arose, and Barella, more often than not, orchestrated them from the centre of the pitch by making direct box-to-box runs. This was demonstrated in the lead up to both Inter’s first and third goals.
His highlight of the match was a superb volleyed strike from the edge of the 18-yard box which flew into the back of the net, and it was a goal that will definitely be shown again and again.
Inter Milan: Handanovic 7, Skriniar 6, de Vrij 7, Dimarco 7, Dumfries 7, Barella 8, Brozovic 7, Calhanoglu 7, Darmian 6, Correa 7, Dzeko 6. Subs: D’Ambrosio 6, Bellanova 6, Gosens 6, Martinez 7, Asllani 6.
Cremonese: Radu 7, Aiwu 7, Bianchetti 7, Lochoshvili 6, Quagliata 6, Escalante 6, Pickel 6, Ghlglione 6, Ascacibar 6, Dessers 6, Okekere 7. Subs: Vazquez 6, Valeri 6, Zanimacchia 6, Di Carmine 6, Castagnetti 6.
3’ – GREAT EFFORT! – Bianchetti trips Barella and Inter have a free-kick from around 25-yards out. Dimarco opts to take it rather than Calhanoglu and the Italian goes very close! He curls it over the wall but it narrowly sails wide of the post. Great chance!
12’ – GOAL! (Joaquin Correa) – Cremonese muck up a corner and Inter capitalise to score on the break! The attempted corner is aimed for a man at the edge of the box to shoot for Cremonese, but the pass does not find the man and finds Dimarco instead, and Inter launch an instant counter attack with so many bodies committed forward for the visitors. Barella picks up the ball and runs a good 40-yards with it up the pitch, before playing it centrally for Dzeko to strike, but his initial shot is tipped away by Radu. However, Correa is there to tap-in the rebound!
38’ – GOAL! (Nicolo Barella) – What a strike from Nicolo Barella! Absolutely stunning on the volley! The ball is worked into the box from the right on the break by Dumfries, and it finds Correa in the middle. The forward lays it off for Calhanoglu to his left, and the Turkish midfielder crosses it back towards the edge of the box for Barella to hit, and the midfielder volleys it home! Sensational from Inter.
75’ – GOAL! (Lautaro Martinez) – Inter are surely home and dry now! They execute their second counter attack of the night to perfection! The home side break forward once again from a Cremonese corner! The visitors have clearly not learnt their lesson. Barella picks up the ball and runs forward with it to the centre-circle. The Italian then plays a through ball for Martinez to chase, and the forward does brilliantly to hold off the defender and place the ball into the bottom-right corner from just inside the 18-yard box!
90’ – GOAL! (David Okekere) – The visitors get on the scoresheet! Okekere controls a loose pass on the edge of the area, before bending a superb strike into the far corner! Handanovic could only stand and watch that fly in!