Inter Milan delivered a clinical performance as it made the most of the opportunities to secure a 3-0 victory at champions Napoli on Sunday, propelling them back to the Serie A summit.
While Napoli posed a challenge throughout the match, Inter was lethal in front of goal with Hakan Calhanoglu, Nicolo Barella and Marcus Thuram all scoring at crucial moments when Napoli were gaining momentum in the match.
Inter leads Serie A with 35 points, two points ahead of second-placed Juventus after 14 matches.
The loss is another setback for Napoli’s hopes of retaining the title as it now trail Inter by 11 points. It is in fifth spot level on 24 points with AS Roma who is fourth.
Napoli began the game with vigour as Eljif Elmas fired a powerful shot from a distance that forced a save by Inter goalkeeper Yann Sommer at the expense of a corner.
Despite wearing their orange third kit, Inter’s players had trouble finding each other early in the match. Their momentum frequently faltered and Napoli created opening down the flanks.
Around the half-hour mark Napoli’s Matteo Politano tried a long-range shot after being fed by Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, only to see his effort strike the crossbar.
Inter then scored against the run of play just before halftime as Calhanoglu fired a precise low shot from outside the box into the bottom corner of the net for the breakthrough.
In the second half, buoyed by a noisy home crowd, Napoli continued its offensive push, with Kvaratskhelia’s angled drive on the hour mark narrowly missing the target.
But in the 61st minute Napoli’s second-half momentum was derailed when Barella received a cross in the box and skilfully slalomed past two defenders before placing the ball beyond keeper Alex Meret to double Inter’s lead.
Thuram sealed the points with a goal five minutes from time when he ghosted into the box unmarked to tap home substitute Juan Cuadrado’s precise cross for Inter’s third.
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