September 16, 2017 / 3:31 PM / a year ago

Soccer: Inter strike late to maintain perfect start

MILAN (Reuters) - Inter Milan scored twice in the last 10 minutes as they defied hot and windy conditions to claim a fortuitous 2-0 win at lowly Crotone on Saturday and extend their perfect start to the Serie A season.

Soccer Football - Serie A - FC Crotone vs Inter Milan - Stadio Ezio Scida, Crotone, Italy - September 16, 2017 Inter Milan's Milan Skriniar celebrates scoring their first goal with Ivan Perisic and teammates. REUTERS/Ciro De Luca

Milan Skriniar and Ivan Perisic were on target for Inter, who finished seventh last season, as Luciano Spalletti’s side survived a difficult second half to make it four wins out of four.

Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic made difficult saves from Aleksandar Tonev either side of halftime as Crotone, the only team still to score this season, threatened a repeat of April’s shock 2-1 win.

But, after barely threatening in the second half, Skriniar put Inter ahead in the 82nd minute, scoring at the third attempt after he miscued the first and had the second charged down before finally sticking the ball past Alex Cordaz.

To add insult to injury for winless Crotone, Perisic grabbed a second for the visitors in stoppage time.

“It was hot, the pitch was very dry and the wind caused us some problems in the first half,” Inter coach Luciano Spalletti said.

“To have adapted to these conditions, that means that we have great quality.

Soccer Football - Serie A - FC Crotone vs Inter Milan - Stadio Ezio Scida, Crotone, Italy - September 16, 2017. Inter Milan's Ivan Perisic scores their second goal. REUTERS/Ciro De Luca

“We struggled a bit, Handanovic made two important saves but to win like that is a sign of adaptability, mental toughness and great personality,” added the shaven-headed coach.

Spalletti’s previous team AS Roma had to contend with a torrential thunderstorm in the first half as they overcame promoted Verona 3-0, with Edin Dzeko scoring twice after Radja Nainggolan had set them on their way.

Roma, last season’s runners-up, have six points but have played only three games. Verona, who had Samuel Souprayen sent off in the 66th minute, have one point.

Fiorentina forward Federico Chiesa scored a goal worthy of his father in their 2-1 win over Bologna when he cut inside and sent a right-foot shot curling into the top corner.

“It was very similar to the ones my father used to score and that makes me happy,” said the 19-year-old.

Chiesa’s goal put Fiorentina 1-0 ahead in the 51st minute and, although Rodrigo Palacio equalised one minute later, German Pezzella’s header gave the Violets three points.

Enrico Chiesa played for several top Italian clubs, including Fiorentina, and was regarded as one of the country’s top strikers during the 1990s.

Inter moved three points clear at the top of the standings on 12 before Juventus and Napoli, the only other teams to have won their first three games, play on Sunday.

Soccer Football - Serie A - FC Crotone vs Inter Milan - Stadio Ezio Scida, Crotone, Italy - September 16, 2017. Inter Milan's Ivan Perisic celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates. REUTERS/Ciro De Luca

Crotone, who pulled off one of the greatest escapes in Serie A history to avoid the drop last term, have one point and look to be in for another hard season.

Reporting by Brian Homewood; Editing by Ed Osmond

0 : 0
  • narrow-browser-and-phone
  • medium-browser-and-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser
  • wide-browser-and-larger
  • medium-browser-and-landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser-and-larger
  • above-phone
  • portrait-tablet-and-above
  • above-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet-and-above
  • landscape-tablet-and-medium-wide-browser
  • portrait-tablet-and-below
  • landscape-tablet-and-below