Fiorentina 1-3 Inter: Defending champions inspired by second-half comeback

By Sports Desk September 21, 2021

Inter completed a remarkable second-half turnaround with two goals in three minutes to defeat Fiorentina 3-1 in Tuesday's Serie A clash.

Riccardo Sottil deservedly opened the scoring after wonderful play down the left flank by Nicolas Gonzalez to edge Fiorentina into a deserved lead at the Artemio Franchi.

However, Matteo Darmian's driven strike restored parity after the interval and equalled a club-record 24-match scoring run in league games, only previously achieved way back in 1949-50.

Edin Dzeko and Ivan Perisic then netted either side of Gonzalez's needless two yellow cards in the space of a minute as defending champions Inter consolidated their position at the summit.

Samir Handanovic produced two early stops in a frantic opening 10 minutes, first to deny Dusan Vlahovic's poked effort towards the top-right corner and then Cristiano Biraghi's low drive.

Joseph Alfred Duncan blasted a speculative long-range attempt, which sailed narrowly over, before Gonzalez created the opener by sliding across goal for Sottil to tap-in.

Hakan Calhanoglu's free-kick almost found the visitors an equaliser against the run of play but Bartlomiej Dragowski parried away before Inter thought they had levelled through a Marco Benassi own goal, only to be denied by an offside in the build-up.

After the break, Vlahovic wasted an opportunity to double Fiorentina's lead and was made to pay for blazing over when Darmian arrowed into the bottom-left corner after a smart offload from Nicolo Barella.

Inter inflicted another blow through Dzeko, who climbed above Biraghi to head home from Calhanoglu's outswinging corner, before Lautaro Martinez spurned a glorious chance as he dragged wide from Barella's cutback.

Substitute Alexis Sanchez should have sealed the game, but he could only curl over before Gonzalez received his marching orders for two bookable offences, both for dissent.

Perisic then completed the comeback as he tapped into an empty net after being set up by Roberto Gagliardini's pass across goal.

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    The Germany forward failed to live up to expectations since moving from Leipzig to Stamford Bridge for a fee of £47.5million (€50m) two years ago.

    Although reports suggested his return would initially be on loan with an option to buy, the Bundesliga club have instead secured him on a contract that expires in 2026.

    The 26-year-old scored just 10 Premier League goals in 56 appearances for the Blues, having arrived at the club with 95 goals for Leipzig between 2016 and 2020 to his name – that remains a club record.

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    "I am incredibly grateful for the time I spent at this special club. At this point I would like to express my appreciation for my teammates, the coaches and staff, and especially for you, the special supporters of Chelsea Football Club.

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    Soon after, Leipzig confirmed the transfer had been completed.

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    Such has been Williams' quality, she was always considered a threat regardless of the surface – she's won each grand slam at least three times.

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    She has won 48 WTA Tour-level titles on hard courts, which is 11 more than anyone else (Graf) in the Open era.

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