Lautaro Martinez nets brace as Inter Milan crush Fiorentina to go top of Serie A

By Sports Desk September 03, 2023

Lautaro Martinez scored a second-half brace as Inter Milan moved top of Serie A after easing to a 4-0 victory over Fiorentina to extend their 100 per cent start to the season at San Siro.

The hosts began to press from the off and Denzel Dumfries half-tested returning Fiorentina goalkeeper Oliver Christensen – who missed Thursday’s Europa Conference League qualifying play-off with Rapid Vienna – with an easy shot.

Marcus Thuram headed Dumfries’ cross straight at Christensen after 11 minutes as Inter looked for an opener.

Eight minutes later, the home side came close with their first real chance of note as Thuram continued to cause Fiorentina problems but he fired over the crossbar after a nice run.

The summer signing from Borussia Monchengladbach did finally break the deadlock with his first goal for Inter midway through the first half.

Federico Dimarco whipped in a well-timed cross to pick out Thuram, whose powerful header from the centre of the box beat Christensen.

The hosts came close to doubling their lead on the half-hour mark and Thuram was again well placed to claim his brace but he could not turn Alessandro Bastoni’s cross home as he fired over.

The Viola were pushing hard for an equaliser as the half started to draw to a close but were yet to really test Inter goalkeeper Yann Sommer.

While – at the other end – a brilliant Inter free-kick from Turkey midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu was well kept out by the diving Christensen and Thuram fired another wasted chance over on the stroke of half-time.

Fiorentina looked like they might try their luck early in the second half but were easily thwarted by the Nerazzurri, who proved too strong for their opponents and found their rhythm soon afterwards.

The hosts doubled their lead – following a chance where Dumfries struck the post – after 53 minutes as Martinez went on a run from outside the box and slotted home Thuram’s cross with a great strike straight down the middle.

Inter were given the chance to extend their lead further before the half-hour mark as they were awarded a penalty for a foul by Christensen on Thuram.

Calhanoglu made no mistake to score his first goal of the season as he sent his powerful spot-kick to the keeper’s bottom-left, leaving Christensen diving down to his right.

Inter continued to dominate and put the result beyond doubt with 17 minutes remaining as Martinez tapped the ball home after beating his opponent to substitute Juan Cuadrado’s inch-perfect cross into the box.

Fiorentina could find no reply as the hosts kept their clean-sheet record intact for the season while moving above rivals AC Milan at the top of the table.

Related items

  • Van Dijk welcomes Slot arrival as Liverpool captain commits to Reds future Van Dijk welcomes Slot arrival as Liverpool captain commits to Reds future

    Virgil van Dijk insists his future remains solely with Liverpool as the Reds captain welcomed incoming Dutch compatriot Arne Slot.

    Slot will replace Jurgen Klopp as Liverpool manager, with the Dutchman expected to take charge at Anfield from Saturday after sealing his switch from Feyenoord.

    The soon-to-be Liverpool boss leaves the Netherlands after three highly successful seasons with Feyenoord, having led them to the league title in 2023.

    Slot will be welcomed by two fellow countrymen on the red side of Merseyside, with Van Dijk and Ryan Gravenberch eager to link-up with their new manager.

    As Netherlands began their Euro 2024 training camp on Monday, Van Dijk told a news conference: "I still have a year left on my contract.

    "I am club captain and I have made it clear I am there for the new coach and enthusiastic over the next season.

    "Obviously, there will be a lot of changes but I am confident we will make a big success of it.

    "I congratulated [Slot] of course and I'm really pleased for him and his family. We spoke about the team and the future but now my focus is fully on the national team."

    Slot's reign ended with six straight league wins and Feyenoord did not lose any of his final 20 Eredivisie matches at the helm, their last defeat coming against PSV on December 3.

    The 45-year-old oversaw exactly 150 games in charge of Feyenoord across all competitions, winning 98 of those contests (65.33 per cent).

    Slot also won the KNVB Cup glory in April, overseeing a 1-0 win over NEC Nijmegen in the final of that competition, and Gravenberch believes that success has earnt his Liverpool move.

    "I think he can be good for my career, he's a coach who wants to play good football," added Gravenberch.

  • UEFA and FIFA warned to halt Super League opposition by Spanish court UEFA and FIFA warned to halt Super League opposition by Spanish court

    FIFA and UEFA have been told to stop their opposition against the European Super League (ESL), with a Spanish court ruling warning of anti-competitive behaviour and abuse of a dominant position.

    Madrid's commercial court said on Monday the European and world governing bodies violated competition law by banning and punishing clubs from participating in a proposed new tournament.

    FIFA and UEFA were told to reverse any anticompetitive actions committed in the past after A22 Sports Management, the company behind the plan to create the ESL, brought the case to Spanish court.

    "It's an important step towards a truly competitive and sustainable club football landscape in Europe," A22 CEO Bernd Reichart said in a statement after the ruling. 

    "For too long UEFA has been allowed to control and dominate club football at European level."

    Reichart added that UEFA's position on the ESL has "stifled innovation for decades", though celebrated "the era of the monopoly [as] definitively over". 

    The case was also brought against LaLiga and the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), though that pair and UEFA insisted the court ruling did not explicitly support the creation of the Super League.

    "The court has not given the green light to, nor has it approved, projects like the Super League," UEFA said in a follow-up statement. 

    "In fact, the judge has asserted that the Super League project has long been abandoned and that she cannot be expected to rule on any abstract projects.

    "In short, the judgment does not give third parties the right to develop competitions without authorisation and does not concern any future project or indeed any modified version of an existing project."

    English football's so-called 'big six' – Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham – were founding members of the original Super League project in April 2021.

    Yet those Premier League clubs quickly withdrew amid fan protests and pressure from the football authorities, with Milan, Inter and Atletico Madrid following a similar suit.

    UEFA has since changed its rules around new competitions following the collapse of the ESL proposal in April 2021 and the court says those new rules are unaffected by Monday's ruling.

    "The court also confirmed that the current version of UEFA's authorisation rules [as adopted in June 2022] is not affected by today's ruling," the European governing body added.

  • Bonmati named Women's Champions League Player of Season for second straight campaign Bonmati named Women's Champions League Player of Season for second straight campaign

    Aitana Bonmati secured the Women's Champions League Player of the Season for a second straight campaign after guiding Barcelona to European glory.

    The Spain international scored in Saturday's 2-0 victory over Lyon in the final, helping Jonatan Giraldez's side clinch an unprecedented quadruple.

    Fellow Ballon d'Or winner Alexia Putellas produced the other goal in that victory, but Bonmati was named Player of the Match after another eye-catching performance.

    With six goals and six assists, the 26-year-old managed more goal contributions than any other player in this season's Champions League, and that earned Bonmati further individual recognition.

    "She influenced the game all over the pitch in and out of possession. High progressive passes, high ball recoveries and scored a great goal," UEFA's technical observer panel said in a statement.

    Bonmati also scored eight goals in Barcelona's victorious Liga F campaign this season, helping the Spanish giants win the competition for a fifth consecutive time.

    Having already won the Ballon d'Or and FIFA's best women's player award for 2023, this UEFA award caps a fine season for the impressive Bonmati.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.