Lautaro Hat-Trick Sends Six-Goal Inter Milan Top Of Serie A

Inter Milan’s Argentine forward Lautaro Martinez kisses the ball after scoring the 3-2 goal during the Italian Serie A football match Inter Milan vs Crotone on January 3, 2021 at the Giuseppe-Meazza (San Siro) stadium in Milan. MIGUEL MEDINA / AFP

 

Lautaro Martinez scored a hat-trick as Inter Milan kicked off 2021 in blistering form with a 6-2 win over lowly Crotone on Sunday to take top spot in Serie A.

Inter claimed an eighth consecutive league win to move two points ahead of AC Milan who travel to midtable Benevento later on Sunday with champions Juventus hosting Udinese.

Martinez and Romelu Lukaku proved decisive for the northerners, the strike duo being involved in five of Inter’s goals.

Antonio Conte’s side had been pegged back 2-2 at the break with Niccolo Zanellato breaking through with a 12th-minute header for the promoted Calabrians who are second from bottom with the worst attack in the league.

But Martinez picked up a Lukaku cross to pull the hosts level eight minutes later.

Martinez had a role in Inter’s second just after half an hour when Crotone defender Luca Marrone turned the ball into his own net under pressure from Argentina forward.

Vladimir Golemic put the sides level six minutes later after Arturo Vidal fouled Arkadiusz Reca, with Conte replacing the Chilean midfielder after the break.

Martinez pulled Inter ahead before the hour connecting with a Marcelo Brozovic through ball and headed in his third with 12 minutes to go off a rebound.

Lukaku blasted in his 50th goal in the Inter jersey after 64 minutes before going off after taking a knock to his thigh, before Achraf Hakimi sealed the win with three minutes to go.

“There is a great desire and it shows,” said Conte as Inter target their first Serie A title since 2010 with their European campaign over this season.

“It’s important to continue like this, we produce and create a lot, we score a lot of goals, it’s a pity for the goals conceded.”

AFP

Champions League: Inter Milan Beat Dortmund, Boost Last 16 Hopes

Dortmund’s Swiss goalkeeper Roman Buerki (Rear) deflects a penalty shot by Inter Milan’s Argentinian forward Lautaro Martinez (L) during the UEFA Champions League Group F football match Inter Milan vs Borussia Dortmund on October 23, 2019 at the San Siro stadium in Milan.
Marco Bertorello / AFP

 

Lautaro Martinez and Antonio Candreva scored in either half to boost Inter Milan’s Champions League last 16 hopes on Wednesday with a 2-0 win over Group F rivals Borussia Dortmund.

Argentina forward Lautaro Martinez continued his fine form scoring after 22 minutes in the San Siro, but missed a chance for a second from the penalty spot eight minutes from time.

But Candreva sealed the three points a minute from time to move Antonio Conte’s side move off the bottom of Group F having fallen 2-1 to Barcelona and holding Slavia Prague 1-1.

Inter join Dortmund on four points with Barcelona top with seven points from three games.

The Germans suffered their first defeat of the campaign after a 2-0 win over Slavia and holding Barcelona to a goalless draw.

Stefan de Vrij sent the ball through for Martinez in the opening half an hour with the Argentine beating the offside trap as well as goalkeeper Roman Burki from close range.

The 22-year-old’s goal, his second consecutive in the Champions League after scoring against Barcelona and fifth in four games for Inter, was confirmed by VAR.

Inter could thank captain Samir Handanovic for keeping their advantage into the break with the goalkeeper diving low to clear a Jadon Sancho angled drive.

Candreva sent a shot over just after the break as Inter pushed to close off the game.

Conte gave 17-year-old Sebastiano Esposito his Champions League debut coming on after an hour in place of Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku.

Handanovic again did well to deny Julian Brandt after 64 minutes, with Martinez shooting just wide after 73 minutes.

Dortmund’s best chance came late when Thorgan Hazard broke down the left to send through for Sancho but Marcelo Brozovic cleared the danger.

Esposito earned a penalty for Inter as he raced towards goal forcing a foul from Dortmund’s Mats Hummels to the delight of the 60,000 crowd at the San Siro.

Burki denied Martinez a brace from the spot but Candreva powered forward with a minute of normal time to play to seal victory with his fifth European goal leaving Burki with no chance.

AFP