Inter Milan have seized control of the Serie A title race with a 3-0 win away at bitter rivals AC Milan to open up a four-point gap at the summit. A Lautaro Martinez double and another Romelu Lukaku goal did the damage at San Siro on a day where the Belgium international also provided an assist. Ivan Perisic laid on the other two and Samir Handanovic came up big with key saves for Inter.
Antonio Conte easily won the tactical battle with Stefano Pioli, and the Nerazzurri are now firmly in the driving seat as they hunt a first Scudetto since 2009-10. Milan’s title charge, meanwhile, is crumbling with four losses from their last eight in Italy’s top flight.
Here are some winners and losers from the Derby della Madonnina.
Winner: Lukaku’s leadership
With one goal and an assist, it was another big contribution by the 27-year-old as Inter ran out worthy winners. Decisive as early as the fifth minute when he teed up Martinez, Lukaku got his deserved goal in the 66th minute after being supplied by Perisic. He lived up to the pre-match billing and also continued his impressive record against Milan.
Loser: Isolated Ibrahimovic
Milan’s aging talisman struggled along with his teammates on Sunday and was withdrawn with 15 minutes to go due to his lack of impact. The Swede might have five goals across all competitions so far in 2021 but those strikes came in just three games with braces against Cagliari and Crotone.
Winner: Mighty Martinez
Although he is not as much of a focal point for Inter as Lukaku, the Argentina international was equally as important to the result with two goals. The 23-year-old combined with the Belgian for his first and then doubled his tally 12 minutes into the second half from the first of Perisic’s two assists.
Loser: Ragged Romagnoli
Certainly not the only poor performer in the Milan side but a weak link in a leaky defense, Alessio Romagnoli endured a torrid afternoon and was unable to silence the dual threat of Lukaku and Martinez before Perisic also got involved.
Winner: Pinpoint Perisic
The Croatia international came into his own in the second half as he chipped in with a pair of assists for Martinez and then Lukaku to put the game beyond Milan’s reach after Samir Handanovic had performed miracles at the other end to keep Inter ahead.
Loser: Costly Calhanoglu
Like Romagnoli, by all means not the only poor performer in the Rossoneri ranks, just particularly ineffectual at a time when his future is up for debate due to his expiring contract with greater consistency required to justify the sort of wage rise it will take to keep him.
Winner: Handy Handanovic
Equally as key to the result as Lukaku, Martinez and Perisic, his goalkeeping clinic at the start of the second half was incredible and three key saves inside a minute kept Inter in front long enough for the killer goal to arrive just before the hour mark.