Romelu Lukaku saved the day as Inter Milan scored two past a stubborn Genoa defence to climb to third onto the Serie A table.

Ronaldo Maran’s Genoa had lined up in a like for like 3-5-3 and came with the intention of shutting shop for the entirety of the game. Inter Milan would have wanted to make amends after their loss in the Milan Derby, and get back to winning ways.

Genoa’s game plan was working very well and if it were not for Nicolo Barella and Romelu Lukaku’s inventiveness, Inter Milan would have struggled to open up the Genoa defence as they did until the 64th minute. Lukaku scored his fifth goal in as many matches and it was him again who saved Inter from their blushes.

Danilo D’Ambrosio added a second soon via a header from a well worked set-piece and put the game beyond Genoa’s reach. All in all, it was a pretty mundane clash between the two clubs. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Antonio Conte’s men.

Samir Handanovic: 6/10

Handanovic earned his first clean sheet of the season but did not have anything to do for the entirety of the game as Genoa failed to hit the target. He touched the ball 26 times and looked calm and assured at all times.

Danilo D’Ambrosio: 8/10

D’Ambrosio scored the second goal of the night and his second of the season. The Italian turned the ball in from a corner that Ranocchia flicked on. He was otherwise solid in all departments. Played accurate long balls and crosses in possession and helped to keep a clean sheet without it. D’Ambrosio lost the ball a total of just 5 times.

Andrea Ranocchia: 7/10

Ranocchia held the heart of Inter’s back-three together with aplomb. His passing accuracy was at a high of 96% and he distributed the ball beautifully to all parts of the pitch. The Italian successfully dealt with all problems and was effective in soaking all the pressure.

Alessandro Bastoni: 7/10

Genoa were fairly lacklustre throughout the ninety and failed to pose any problems upon Bastoni. It was a positive return to the first team for the Italian, as they earned a comfortable clean sheet. The highly-rated centre-back would look to cement his spot in this talented squad.

Mateo Darmian: 6/10

Darmian put in a great shift on the right flank for the Nerazzurri. He did not create any clear cut chances except a brilliant pass to Lukaku for his second goal that was disallowed for being offside. Darmian played on both flanks and showed his versatility.

Marcelo Brozovic: 7/10

A stable performance as usual from the Croat, Brozovic had the most touches on the pitch and was absolutely fantastic on the ball. He played 6 accurate long balls and 2 key passes as well. He screened the defence well and recycled possession effortlessly.

Arturo Vidal: 7/10

Vidal was as good in the defensive phase as Brozovic was in the attacking phase. He produced the proper performance of a destroyer, winning 4 out of 5 ground duels and 100% of his aerial duels. He was also good in moving the ball up the pitch. Eventually subbed keeping the midweek clash versus Shakhtar Donetsk in mind.

Ivan Perisic: 6/10

Perisic played as a left wing-back in his new role at Inter Milan and looked very threatening. Every time Inter stretched the play towards the Croat, he looked very threatening, trying to make things happen. However, his final ball just was not up to the mark and he eventually got subbed off in the 58th minute.

Christian Eriksen: 6/10

Eriksen had a rather quiet game and was substituted in the 58th minute for Nicolo Barella, who had a far greater impact on the game. Eriksen’s passing completion rate was above 90% and he pinged accurate long balls on several occasions. The Dane also occupied a far more advanced position than usual as he looked to press far into the oppositions half and was often ahead of Martinez as well.

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Lautaro Martinez: 6/10

Martinez had a busy first half as he tried to get at the end of numerous crosses and took up dangerous positions. The Argentine was extremely lively and looked eager to get a goal and he even picked up a booking in an attempt to score a goal.

However, the intent shown by him did not result in anything as he failed to hit the target and completed a total of just 9 passes. Lautaro was eventually subbed off in the 72nd minute.

Romelu Lukaku: 8/10

Lukaku continued his prolific goalscoring form as he found the net for the fifth time in as many games in the Serie A. He combined beautifully with Barella and took a sublime first touch to slot the ball past Mattia Perin. He even pressed relentlessly, putting in an impressive defensive shift. Lukaku won 3 ground duels and made 1 clearance. Also had a good goal disallowed for offside.

Substitutes

Nicolo Barella: 7/10

Barella had an instant impact when he came on for Eriksen. The Italian brought zeal and directness into the midfield which resulted in a goal just six minutes after his introduction. Barella continued to keep the play ticking and make things happen.

He was the only player to create a big chance in the game. Barella earned some good rest in this game and would be raring to right the wrongs in Matchday 2 of the UEFA Champions League.

Achraf Hakimi: 6/10

Hakimi’s recent return from a false COVID scare meant that the Moroccan was unable to train properly before the game. His introduction in the 60th minute would have brought him some match fitness. Hakimi’s performance was safe and sound. He didn’t make any errors but you could see that he was trying to play the safer option at times.

Andrea Pinamonti: 6/10

It was a debut appearance for youngster Pinamonti who came on to replace Lautaro Martinez. The 21-year-old failed to make much of an impact in his short 15 minute spell. He had just one attempt on goal, which was also off target. If Conte can use him well, he could really reduce the workload on Martinez and Lukaku.

Radja Nainggolan: N/A

 Not on the pitch long enough to warrant a rating.

Aleksander Kolarov: N/A

A late introduction, Kolarov helped see the game out.

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