Lautaro Martinez and Romelu Lukaku impressed as Inter Milan eked out a narrow 2-1 win over Torino on Sunday to consolidate their place atop the Serie A table.
The first half was a drab affair with neither goalkeeper being tested one bit. Torino came the closest to breaking the deadlock in the opening 45 minutes when Lyanco struck the crossbar with a headed effort, but the game remained goalless at half-time. Inter Milan upped the tempo post the interval and grabbed the lead just past the hour mark.
Romelu Lukaku converted from the spot after Lautaro Martinez was brought down inside the box by Izzo. The visitors nearly doubled their advantage shortly after but Achraf Hakimi was thwarted. Torino made their resilience count in the 70th minute, when Antonio Sanabria scored through a melee to make it 1-1.
However, Inter Milan would have the last laugh, as Martinez scored magnificently from a header, converting Alexis Sanchez’s dangerous cross with five minutes left in regulation time. With their spot atop the Serie A table secured for another week, The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Antonio Conte’s men.
Samir Handanovic: 6/10
There was not much that Handanovic could have done for the equaliser, but he was decent enough when called into action on a couple of occasions otherwise. Misplaced just one of the 17 passes he played all game.
Milan Skriniar: 6/10
One of those culpable in the moments when Torino pulled back on level terms as he did not quite put in enough effort to clear the ball out of danger. Otherwise, the Slovak was quite solid and made a couple of important clearances as well while often veering into the opposition half to initiate moves.
Stefan de Vrij: 7/10
As ever, de Vrij was the best of the lot at the back for Inter Milan, holding the fort incredibly well in the defensive line. Won 4 of the 5 duels he contested while making an important block as well. On the ball, he was extremely precise and lost possession just 5 times despite playing as many as 94 passes.
Alessandro Bastoni: 7/10
Decent display by Bastoni, who had more touches on the ball than any other player on the pitch on Sunday. The Italian international was quite solid off the ball, winning 8 of the 9 duels he contested while making as many as 4 clearances. The only moment of sloppiness was when he slipped and allowed Lyanco the chance to shoot at goal, but he was saved by the woodwork.
Achraf Hakimi: 6.5/10
A frustrating afternoon for Hakimi, whose final ball was not quite on point, though he did create a couple of chances. On another day, however, he could have celebrated a goal, only to be denied by Salvatore Sirigu on this day. Not tested a whole lot on the defensive front.
Seguimos por el camino correcto. + 3️⃣. Buen trabajo chicos 💙🖤.
We are still on the right Track. + 3️⃣. Good job guys 💙🖤. pic.twitter.com/zSdt4XwWQc
— achrafhakimi (@AchrafHakimi) March 14, 2021
Nicolo Barella: 6.5/10
Not the best of displays by Barella, although he still managed to be the most creative player on the pitch. Played a couple of key passes, but most importantly, he moved the ball forward with purpose. Worked his socks off defensively as well, although it was the fact that he went down that caused the melee before Torino equalised.
Marcelo Brozovic: 6/10
Some positive moments and some negative for Brozovic. While he saw a lot of the ball, the Croat did not quite push Inter forward with the right intensity, although he did play a couple of key passes. Imposing in the air, Brozovic’s presence helped during set-piece situations. Improved once Christian Eriksen was introduced.
Roberto Gagliardini: 5/10
A disappointing display by Gagliardini, who got a chance to impress as Eriksen was not fit enough to start. The Italian international, though, squandered his opportunity. While he did boast of an impressive 94 percent pass completion rate, he was rather passive on the ball and did not bring the added creative element that was required to break down Torino. Rightly taken off for Eriksen.
Ivan Perisic: 6/10
A solid effort for the most part by Perisic, who was not tested at all by Torino in the first half but did create a decent opening. However, there were times when the Croat was completely anonymous and he was replaced by Ashley Young in the 56th minute.
Romelu Lukaku: 7/10
A game of hits and misses for Lukaku. The Belgian striker created Inter Milan’s best chance of the opening period, sending in an inviting cross for Lautaro Martinez, who headed wide. However, he never got into good positions to score in the first half. Did get more involved post the interval and scored the opener from the spot. Had no other effort on goal, though.
8th time this season Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez are on the scoresheet for Inter in Serie A.
They've won all 8 😤 pic.twitter.com/TUL4DNYnWn
— B/R Football (@brfootball) March 14, 2021
Lautaro Martinez: 8/10
The man who made all the difference for Inter Milan on the day, Martinez looked the likeliest player to score for the visitors in the first half but he narrowly missed twice. Won the penalty that was converted by Lukaku before sealing all three points with a brilliant headed effort. A top-notch display.
Ashley Young: 7/10
On for Perisic, Young worked incredibly hard off the ball as Torino pushed forward in the final 30 minutes. When in possession, the Englishman utilised the ball smartly, although he was not as involved in the final third as Hakimi on the right flank.
Christian Eriksen: 7/10
On for the disappointing Gagliardini, Eriksen was a major upgrade in midfield and gave Inter Milan the impetus they needed to push for the opening goal.
Alexis Sanchez: N/A
While he does not get a rating, Sanchez played his part in earning Inter Milan the win, sending in a beautiful cross that was converted by Lautaro Martinez for the winner. Fine cameo.
Matteo Darmian: N/A
On for Hakimi, Darmian helped see the game out late on.
Matias Vecino: N/A
A late introduction in place of Lautaro Martinez, Vecino helped see the game out.