Torino 0-3 Inter: Lukaku keeps Conte's men on Juve's tail

By Sports Desk November 23, 2019

Inter moved back to within a point of Serie A leaders Juventus with a comprehensive 3-0 away win over Torino.

After kick-off was briefly delayed to allow for water to be swept from the pitch amid heavy rain, Lautaro Martinez scored his eighth goal of the season in the 12th minute.

Twenty minutes later, Stefan de Vrij's first strike of 2019-20 had Inter two ahead and Romelu Lukaku scored his 10th Serie A goal of the campaign after the break to wrap up the points.

In-form Lukaku is the first Inter player to score 10 goals in the first 13 matchdays of a debut Serie A season since Stefano Nyers in 1948-49.

It was a frustrating start for Torino, who lost influential captain Andrea Belotti to injury and fell behind before they could bring on Simone Zaza as his replacement.

They were caught out by Matias Vecino's header which allowed Martinez to race clear and find the bottom corner with a right-footed finish.

Simone Verdi fired narrowly wide at the other end, but Salvatore Sirigu had to produce an excellent save from Lukaku's powerful header and Inter doubled their lead from the resulting corner, Cristiano Biraghi's in-swinging cross from the right tapped in by an unmarked De Vrij at the back post.

A magnificent stop from Samir Handanovic in first-half stoppage time preserved Inter's two-goal advantage, the goalkeeper diving to claw away Verdi's deflected cross.

The visitors lost Nicolo Barella to an injury of their own and were relieved when Armando Izzo sent a good headed chance off target just after the break.

Inter made sure of victory after 55 minutes, though, Lukaku's right-footed effort going through the legs of Bremer and beating Sirigu after he had been found by Marcelo Brozovic.

Handanovic was at his best once more to tip away Verdi's free-kick but a home fightback never looked likely in the latter stages.

 

What does it mean? Inter make light work of Torino test

After Juventus had battled back late on to earn a win away to Atalanta earlier on Saturday, this fixture and the difficult playing conditions presented a potential obstacle for Inter.

The Nerazzurri had not won in five league meetings against Torino, but they negotiated the challenge comfortably to remain right behind Juve at the top.

Brozovic brilliant for Inter

Brozovic had an excellent performance, creating five chances for his team-mates including Lukaku's goal, while he had more passes and touches than anyone else in Antonio Conte's side as he constantly looked to get involved.

Torino defence found wanting

Torino have only won once in eight league matches and their early defending here gave them little chance of getting back on form.

The backline was completely caught out when Sirigu's clearance was headed back towards them by Vecino for the opener, while the second goal saw a quick corner surprise them, with Biraghi given time to deliver his cross and no defender in the vicinity of goalscorer De Vrij.

What's next?

Inter will look to build on this result when they are away to Slavia Prague in the Champions League on Wednesday, before a home league game against SPAL on Sunday. Torino are away against Genoa on Saturday.

Related items

  • Lyon star Hegerberg suffers ACL rupture but vows to bounce back Lyon star Hegerberg suffers ACL rupture but vows to bounce back

    Lyon's superstar striker Ada Hegerberg faces a long spell out of action after rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee in training.

    The Norwegian landed the inaugural women's Ballon d'Or in December 2018 to reflect her status as the world's leading player, but now she faces a challenging road to recovery.

    Hegerberg announced on Twitter: "So here it is. I ruptured my ACL this weekend. This is a setback for me, but I'm going to work through this with all my heart and my energy. The best is yet to come. YOU'LL SEE ME SOON!"

    Lyon confirmed the blow, announcing on their website: "Lyon regret the injury to Ada Hegerberg, victim of a rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament in the right knee, that occurred in training.

    "The operation date will be determined in the coming days and the unavailability will be corresponding to the known statistics for this type of injury.

    "Lyon will offer Ada the best surgical conditions and post-operation rehabilitation to return her to full strength."

    Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas sent a message to 24-year-old Hegerberg, writing on Twitter: "You are very strong Ada, on and off the pitch! We're all going to work to get you back in the best condition to return even stronger.

    "We'll be at your side, the Lyon women will stay at the highest level waiting for your return."

    Lyon sit top of the French women's championship with 38 points from 14 games, and Hegerberg has scored 23 goals in 18 matches across all competitions this season.

    She controversially missed last year's World Cup, having made herself unavailable to Norway because of her stance over how women's football is treated in her home country.

  • Guardiola vows he did not mean to offend Man City fans with crowd comments Guardiola vows he did not mean to offend Man City fans with crowd comments

    Pep Guardiola has accepted he made a "mistake" when questioning why Manchester City fans did not fill the Etihad Stadium for their last home game.

    City's treble-winning boss faced a rare backlash from his own club's supporters following Sunday's FA Cup tie against Fulham, having spoken of his surprise at the 39,223 attendance.

    The clash with Manchester United in Wednesday's EFL Cup semi-final second leg is expected to be much closer to the 55,000 capacity.

    Speaking about City fans after the 4-0 win over Fulham, Guardiola said that "hopefully they will support us more" in the United game.

    However, some responded by quickly pointing to a recent heavy load of fixtures, and the cost of attending every game, and their stance has prompted Guardiola to reflect on his comments.

    The former Barcelona head coach said he had not realised the match was televised live by the BBC, with the terrestrial coverage a likely factor in the below-average crowd figure.

    "Never was it my intention to offend them, they are part of us," he told a news conference on Tuesday when discussing the fans' reaction.

    "Since I arrived here from day one until the last day, what I want is to fight and play as well as possible to see the Etihad full every single day, every single day.

    "So it belongs to us to play well, to seduce them to come. The only reason why we do our job is not for the titles, it's to go to the Etihad Stadium and see it absolutely full and the people together, enjoying the games together."

    A number of City fans have stressed it is not the team's performance level, but instead the expense involved in buying tickets and getting to games, that means they may sometimes stay away.

    Guardiola stressed he understood their situation, saying: "It's not necessary to tell me because I was part of that when I was a little boy with mum and dad. I know exactly what happens."

    And he looked to explain his weekend remarks by pointing to how significant a game he considered the Fulham fixture - saying he felt the FA Cup held more appeal to City than European glory.

    "Since I've arrived here, I learned from English football how important the Premier League and the FA Cup are - more important to this club than the Champions League... much, much more," Guardiola said.

    "We knew it through the club and I experienced it.

    "It was my mistake: I thought it's Sunday, one o'clock, today it will be full. I didn't know it was on BBC One, not Sky."

    Guardiola still wants to see City's home full for every game.

    He said: "We tried to do our best to let them be proud for our team, and I will try it again to push them to be with us as much as possible.

    "If it's possible to be every game full, full, full, it would be better."

  • Guardiola warns Man City 'to be careful' as United eye cup comeback Guardiola warns Man City 'to be careful' as United eye cup comeback

    Pep Guardiola has urged his Manchester City players to keep their cool in the heat of Wednesday's derby against Manchester United as they bid to seal a place in the EFL Cup final.

    Armed with a 3-1 lead from the first leg at Old Trafford, City approach the return fixture in the semi-final as firm favourites to reach the March 1 showpiece at Wembley.

    However, City know all too well how potent United can be on their day, having suffered a home league defeat to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men in December.

    Guardiola vowed he and his team have never been complacent, and he is optimistic that attitude will be enough to deliver an aggregate success.

    "It's Man United. They can do it and have done it," Guardiola said. "In this kind of game, against this kind of team, with this incredible history, they have pride and I know, I know how difficult it would be to reach the final."

    Speaking about the need to concentrate against neighbours who have endured a difficult Premier League campaign so far, Guardiola indicated he trusted his players to bring the right application.

    "Never was my team complacent during four years - never," he said. "We have to be careful about their skills, we have to be careful about the counter-attack, we have to be careful about the set-pieces, we have to be careful about how good they can play if we let them play.

    "We will have to defend. They don't have anything to lose so they are going to attack. We will have to control our emotions. We have to try to score goals."

    Asked about possible squad rotation, a fired-up Guardiola stressed managers should be allowed to select their teams as they feel appropriate.

    That issue has picked up traction in the wake of Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp saying it would be the club's under-23 side that face Shrewsbury in their FA Cup fourth-round replay at Anfield, given the first team will be taking their mid-season break.

    "Listen," Guardiola began. "We accept the schedules, the competitions, the games every two or three days, but don't tell the managers which selections you have to choose, please. It's our job."

    City have a doubt over centre-back Aymeric Laporte but are expected to field a strong side, being eager to give United no hint of weakness.

    They could have won by a greater margin at Old Trafford in the first leg, when Red Devils boss Solskjaer said City's strong line-up was a sign of their "respect" for United.

    Guardiola said in Tuesday's news conference: "I show respect for my opponents from day one, from when I started with the second team at Barcelona to today, sat in front of you here.

    "I took that selection (at Old Trafford) and tomorrow I will take another selection."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.