Goals from Hakan Calhanoglu and Lautaro Martinez ensured that Inter Milan defeated Venezia 2-0 to get to within a point of the Serie A summit.

It was not a vintage performance by any standards, but Simone Inzaghi’s Inter Milan made it three wins on the trot in all competitions with a 2-0 victory over Venezia.

Hakan Calhanoglu’s 34th-minute strike gave the Nerazzurri the lead before Lautaro Martinez put the result beyond doubt in second-half stoppage time. The win took the club to third spot, just a point behind AC Milan and Napoli at the top of the table. The two sides do have a game in hand.

The defending champions looked to be falling off the pace following Napoli and Milan’s early season form. However, both sides experienced defeats last week, handing Inter the opportunity to close the gap. They did just that at the Pier Luigi Penzo Stadium.

Inter can consider the scoreline slightly flattering given that they were far from their best on the day. It was, however, enough to get them over the line. With the festive season coming up, the Nerazzurri have a solid chance of putting together a run of wins.

It has been a sensational week for the Nerazzuri. They ended Napoli’s unbeaten run last week before booking their place in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League with a 2-0 win over Shakhtar Donetsk. Despite losing their manager and star players in the summer, the Italian giants still pack a punch. It will not come as a surprise if they find themselves in the title run during the business end of the season.

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The Hard Tackle now takes a look at how the Inter players performed on the night.

Samir Handanovic (6/10)

The veteran goalkeeper had to deal with just one shot on target from Mattia Aramu. He had little else to do otherwise and could have brought along a book to keep him busy.

Milan Skriniar (6/10)

A rather skewed rating given that he was hardly troubled by the Venezia attack. He was given so much space and time in the first half that he joined Nicolo Barella and Matteo Darmian in making forward forays. Skriniar can also consider himself unlucky not to have scored on the night.

Alessandro Bastoni (6/10)

The youngster continues his fine run of form in the Inter backline. Bastoni put up a solid performance and showed just how much he has improved with respect to last season. He looks set to have a key role for the Italians this term.

Federico Dimarco (6/10)

Just like his teammates at the back, Dimarco had little defending to do. He did, however, contribute to the attack and make several dangerous efforts from dead-ball situations. He continues to showcase his abilities as a nifty member of Inzaghi’s squad.

Matteo Darmian (6/10)

Another impressive performance by the Azzurri veteran. He had little defending to do and was largely involved in forward forays. He suffered what looked like a thigh strain in the second half and had to be taken off. Given his performances of late, Inter will hope that the injury is not serious.

Nicolo Barella (6/10)

The Italian international looked likely to start on the bench following his tired outing against Shakhtar Donetsk. The fact that he still got the nod over Arturo Vidal showcases the key role Barella plays in the Nerazzuri system. He showed excellent awareness and initiative on the pitch and helped Inter win the midfield battle with ease. Perhaps will be disappointed with not being able to find the back of the net.

Marcelo Brozovic (7/10)

The Croatian is proving indispensable for Inter and was once again among the club’s best performers. Venezia made it all the easier for him to dictate play by not putting a marker on him. The 29-year-old took full advantage of it, making yet another case for the club to hand him a new contract.

Hakan Calhanoglu (7/10)

The Turkish international stepped his game and put in a better showing than the one against Shakhtar Donetsk. He opened the scoring in the 34th minute, netting for the third straight Serie A match. He is stepping up at the right moment and could have a big role to play in the months to come.

Ivan Perisic (6/10)

The all-action Croatian showed much intent and constantly attempted to trouble Venezia down the left-flank. While there was no shortage of effort, the end product was lacking. Perisic has enjoyed better outings for the defending champions.

Joaquin Correa (5/10)

The striker struggled to make much of an impact and was poor throughout. There were moments where he threatened to create something, but it ultimately ended up in smoke. Correa will need to massively up his game to gain more playtime at the San Siro.

Edin Dzeko (6/10)

The Bosnian striker ran himself into the ground and was involved in all the positive attacking plays that the home side made. His major shortcoming was the inability to find the back of the net.

Substitutes

Matias Vecino (5/10)

Vecino replaced Calhanoglu in the second half, handing the Turkish international a much-needed rest. While he had little to do, Vecino also failed to impress whenever he was passed the ball.

Lautaro Martinez (6/10)

The Argentine international once again showcased his willingness to put in the hard work. He tirelessly harried the Venezia defence and slotted home the stoppage-time penalty with relative calm.

Denzel Dumfries (6/10)

The Dutch international looked good on the night and played with confidence after being brought on. Given Darmian’s injury, it remains to be seen if Dumfries will get the nod against Spezia at the weekend.

Roberto Gagliardini (NA)

It was an impactful appearance off the bench for the Italian star. He came on for Barella in the second half and was full of enthusiasm and energy.

Danilo D’Ambrosio (N/A)

The utility man once again impressed after being brought to feature in the three-person defence. He continues to be an excellent option off the bench for Inzaghi.

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