Inter ended Napoli’s unbeaten record in Serie A this season, edging a five-goal thriller 3-2 at San Siro on Sunday night.
The visitors went into the game top of the table and they took the lead before Inter rallied to make it 2-1 going into half time. Lautaro Martinez would score a third early in the second half before Dries Mertens’ beautiful effort set up a dramatic finale, with Inter surviving an onslaught to triumph.
Napoli started in the ascendency and took the lead when Piotr Zielinski finished off a free-flowing counter attack, placing the ball into the top corner from just outside the box.
Inter responded well and drew level from the penalty spot before the half-hour mark. Following a VAR check, Kalidou Koulibaly was penalised for a handball in the box and Hakan Calhanoglu just sneaked his effort home from 12 yards.
Before the break the hosts completed a first-half turnaround, with Ivan Perisic flicking Calhanoglu’s corner in at the front post. However, goal-line technology was needed to verify that it went in.
15 minutes after the restart Inter had a third goal. Joaquin Correa was allowed to waltz through the entire Napoli midfield in transition and he slipped through Lautaro Martinez who – after missing a few good chances previously – made no mistake, producing a precise finish past David Ospina.
After this the game simmered down but Mertens set up a grandstand finish when he unleashed a sumptuous, dipping effort past Samir Handanovic.
Shortly after eight minutes of stoppage time were indicated, Napoli went agonisingly close to an equaliser with Handanovic doing superbly to deny Mario Rui a rare goal. There was time for more drama before the end too; Mertens blazing an effort over at the back post in the final minute.
Here are your Inter player ratings…
Samir Handanovic (GK) – 6/10 – Given little chance for either of Napoli’s fierce strikes. Made a big save in second-half stoppage time.
Milan Skriniar (CB) – 6/10 – Surprisingly effective in the final third at times. Kept Insigne fairly quiet.
Andrea Ranocchia (CB) – 6/10 – The Inter defender least involved in possession. It was an error-free display, though.
Alessandro Bastoni (CB) – 7/10 – Superb. Relished the physical contest with Osimhen before he was taken off. Composure personified in possession.
Matteo Darmian (RWB) – 6/10 – Solid and ventured forward effectively once or twice.
Nicolo Barella (CM) – 4/10 – Dispossessed cheaply in the build-up to Napoli’s opener. Generally off the boil all night.
Marcelo Brozovic (CM) – 7/10 – Excellent passing. He sprayed long balls for fun and kept it simple when required.
Hakan Calhanoglu (CM) – 8/10 – Turned up for the big occasion, as he did in the Derby della Madonnina, scoring and creating a goal in the first half.
Ivan Perisic (LWB) – 8/10 – Excellent. Constantly creating things and beating players with his precise dribbling.
Lautaro Martinez (ST) – 7/10 – Finishing was a bit rubbish, until he produced a wonderful effort in the second half.
Joaquin Correa (ST) – 7/10 – Did well for Inter’s third, although Napoli allowed him far too much time and space.
Edin Dzeko (ST) – 4/10 – Dispossessed in the build-up to Mertens’ strike. Suffered a head injury late on.
Arturo Vidal (CM) – 4/10 – A little bit wild. Picked up a booking just 10 minutes after coming on.
Federico Dimarco (CM) – 6/10
Roberto Gagliardini (CM) – 6/10
Martin Satriano (ST) – N/A
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