Inter maintained the pressure on league leaders Juventus with a thrilling 4-3 success over struggling Sassuolo at the Stadio Città del Tricolore.


Antonio Conte's side got the ball rolling after just 67 seconds, as Lautaro Martinez was fed on the edge of the box before cutting inside and bending a fine effort into the far bottom corner. 


The hosts hit back in fine style, however, as Domenico Berardi fired a fizzing low strike across goal and beyond Samir Handanovic to level matters.

Domenico Berardi

There were disallowed strikes for both sides after that, before the visitors seized control before half-time thanks to a brace from ​Romelu Lukaku, the second converted from the penalty spot.


Martinez made it four from a second penalty conceded by Sassuolo substitute Filip Duricic, before the hosts threatened a dramatic comeback with two late goals. First, Duricic made up for his error by stroking home from inside the penalty area, before Jeremie Boga's weaving run culminated in a superb low finish.


The visitors held on, though, to close the gap to Maurizio Sarri's Juventus at the top of Serie A to just one point. Here's 90min's review of the game.


SASSUOLO

US Sassuolo v FC Internazionale - Serie A

Player Ratings


Starting XI: Consigli (6); Muldur (4), Marlon (5), Peluso (6), Tripaldelli (6); Duncan (6), Magnanelli (6), Obiang (6); Berardi (7), Caputo (6), Traore (7)


Substitutes: Boga (7), Duricic (7), Toljan (6)


INTER


​Key Talking Point


Its fairly evident where ​Inter's issues lie.


The visitors conceded plenty of opportunities to their struggling opponents, with the gaps between midfield and defence being exploited on a number of occasions throughout the afternoon. 


Granted, they showed a clinical edge in front of goal, but the miscommunication in the centre of the park will have worried Conte as his side surrendered possession in midfield far too frequently.

FBL-ITA-SERIEA-SASSUOLO-INTER

Seemingly heading for a comfortable victory with the score at 4-1, the lapses in concentration that followed were inexcusable. With victory all-but assured, the collapse from there was inexplicable and it was backs against the wall stuff for the remaining ten minutes. 


There are a number of areas of concern for the former Chelsea boss, who knows more defending like he saw on Sunday will have them fighting for a European place, rather than challenging for the league title.


While such deficiencies will be ironed out over the course of the season, up front there will be no extra coaching sessions needed. Martinez and Lukaku seem a force to be reckoned with in ​Serie A this season, with the pair netting a brace apiece on a solid display for the Nerazzurri's forward line.


Player Ratings


Starting XI: Handanovic (6); De Vrij (6), Bastoni (5), Skriniar (7); Candreva (6), Barella (6), Brozovic (7), Gagliardini (6), Biraghi (6); Martinez (8), Lukaku (8*)


Substitutes: Politano (5), Lazaro (5), Vecino (N/A)


Star Man


His first touch still needs work, but at least his second and third touches tend to do the business. A fit and firing Romelu Lukaku will be crucial to Conte if he intends of giving Juventus a run for their money this season in Serie A.


He answered his manager's call once again with two goals against Sassuolo, as the Belgian quickly becomes of the most, if not the, most important member of this Nerazzurri squad.

​​

​​

​​

​​


Looking Ahead


Next Friday sees Sassuolo take on Verona for a late kick-off in Serie A, while Inter will turn their attentions towards their next ​Champions League match, as they play host to Borussia Dortmund in the group stages on Wednesday evening.