Romelu Lukaku scored the only goal of the game as Inter Milan beat Bologna 1-0 away from home to take another step towards the Serie A title.

Inter Milan took a giant stride towards lifting the Serie A title as they defeated Bologna 1-0 at Stadio Renato Dall’Ara on Saturday night in what was a tightly-contested encounter.

Both teams made an enterprising start to the game, but it was Inter who broke the deadlock at the half-hour mark when Romelu Lukaku found the back of the net after a brilliant cross played in by Alessandro Bastoni. Bologna could have equalised before half-time, but Samir Handanovic denied Jerdy Schouten while Roberto Soriano missed a sitter in stoppage time.

Post the half-time break, both teams had a few half-chances but they lacked the clinical edge to make the most of it as Lukaku’s goal proved to be enough for Antonio Conte’s men to grab all three points. With both AC Milan and Juventus dropping points earlier in the day, it was a crucial win for the Nerazzurri, who now have an eight-point lead at the top with a game in hand.

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Samir Handanovic: 6/10

Back into the side after recovering from coronavirus, the Inter Milan captain made a good save towards the end of the first period. Was at hand to deny Nicola Sansone in the second period to protect his team’s narrow lead.

Milan Skriniar: 6/10

Kept things in check in the right-side channel with Bologna hardly able to pose a threat from his side. Made a joint game-high four clearances while distribution was precise as always, with the Slovak misplacing just three of his 43 attempted passes.

Andrea Ranocchia: 6/10

Stepping into the heart of the defence in place of Stefan de Vrij, the Italian did not offer the same quality on the ball as the man he replaced. But, Ranocchia was sound and reliable defensively and an imposing presence in the air.

Alessandro Bastoni: 7/10

Solid at the back for large parts as he read the game well, the young Italian also aided Inter’s build-up play from the back with his passing. Got forward and delivered a brilliant cross into the box leading to the only goal of the game. Booked and will now miss the next game.

Achraf Hakimi: 6/10

Usually a key attacking outlet for Inter, the Moroccan international, who has attracted Arsenal’s interest of late, did not provide much in the way of dangerous forward forays and chance-creation. But put in a solid effort off the ball, helping Inter keep things tight at the back.

Nicolo Barella: 6/10

A typically hard-working display from the Inter Milan midfielder as he looked to drive the team forward each time he got on the ball. However, Barella lacked the final ball to carve out the hosts’ defence. Seemed to grow tired as the game wore on and looked like he could do with a rest.

Marcelo Brozovic: 5.5/10

Did his bit in the middle of the park without really standing out on the night. Made three tackles and a couple of clearances, along with playing a key pass. Gave away a late free-kick in a dangerous position and the booking means he is suspended for the next game.

Christian Eriksen: 6/10

Looked the likeliest of the Inter midfielders to create chances on the night as he showed some neat touches and played some decent passes forward. Also had a free-kick fizz just past the post. Sacrificed in the second half for Roberto Gagliardini.

Ashley Young: 6/10

Coming into the side due to Ivan Perisic’s injury, the veteran had his task cut out against the in-form Andreas Skov Olsen and managed to keep him quiet for the most part even though he was not always comfortable. Played in Bastoni in the build-up to Inter’s goal.

Romelu Lukaku: 7/10

Did not have a lot of chances come his way on the night, but did pounce on the one in the first half to score what would prove to be the eventual winner. Had another shot blocked after the break. Has now scored 20 goals in Serie A this season, with only Cristiano Ronaldo (24) managing more.

Lautaro Martinez: 6/10

Worked his socks off when not in possession, but lacked that bit of quality on the ball to make things happen on the night. Did come close to scoring in the second half but his shot was deflected onto the woodwork.

SUBSTITUTES

Roberto Gagliardini: 6/10

Replaced Eriksen in the 61st minute. Did what was asked of him, adding more steel and solidity to the midfield.

Alexis Sanchez: 6/10

On for Martinez for the final twenty minutes. Made a couple of dribbles and played in a key pass in a lively cameo.

Matteo Darmian: 5/10

Came on for Young in the 71st minute. Helped Inter Milan shut up shop.

Matias Vecino: N/A

Stoppage time substitute for Barella.

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