Inter took their third win in four games, comfortably beating Salernitana 2-0 at the San Siro.
Simone Inzaghi has come under pressure after a shaky start to the season saw Inter lose five of their first 10 matches, but they are now four-match unbeaten and building on a promising 3-3 draw away to Barcelona with three points in Serie A.
A long-range strike from Lautaro Martinez gave Inter a first-half lead on Sunday, and while the hosts struggled to build on that lead, Salernitana rarely looked capable of being a big threat.
Nicolò Barella’s brilliant goal put Inter in complete control shortly before kick-off, putting the Nerazzurri two points behind the top four for at least a few hours.
The away resistance lasted only 13 minutes, when Martinez clumsily shot the ball past Luigi Sepe from 25 yards into the bottom left corner.
Edin Dzeko headed agonizingly far as Inter looked to take the game for Salernitana before Sepe saved Milan Skrinjar’s powerful shot from close range.
But Inter’s best opportunity to double the lead before half-time came at half-time – Martinez conceded the ball when he tried to deflect a Denzel Dumfries pass with a heel on goal, and Sepe deflected a point-blank header when the Argentine was offered a lucky reprieve.
Boulaye Dia forced Inter goalkeeper André Onana into action early in the second half, but points were awarded four minutes later.
Barella gracefully carried an accurate pass from Hakan Calhanoglu into the box, then dribbled the ball wide of a defender and shot with his left foot into the bottom right corner, sealing a routine win.
— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) October 16, 2022
What does it mean? – Inzaghi is gaining positive again
Not so long ago, Inzaghi threatened to lose his job. He hasn’t left the forest yet, of course, but things are moving in the right direction.
With three wins and a draw – which in itself was almost a victory – over the past 12 days, Inter are starting to look a little bigger than usual.
While it may not have been an exciting performance, you have to give credit to Inter’s professionalism. Salernitana was hardly a threat.
Calhanoglu pulls the strings
A lot of what was good about Inter’s game has to do with Calhanoglu. The Turkish international’s four key passes led to the win, and he also got an assist on Barella’s goal with that wonderful long-range pass into the box.
Piatek is practically anonymous
Former AC Milan striker Krzysztof Piatek was especially calm for Salernitana. It probably didn’t help that he was seemingly pushed to the right, but even then he could have been a little more involved. Unsurprisingly, the Poland international retired immediately after Inter’s second goal, having only one try, although he at least hit the target.
Key facts about opts
– Inter have won all four Serie A home matches against Salernitana, scoring at least two goals in all four of those matches.
– Salernitana lost all seven Serie A matches they played at the San Siro against Inter or Milan.
Martinez scored five goals in three Serie A games against Salernitana. He scored in two consecutive games for the first time since August.
– Since joining (2018), Martínez is the Nerazzurri player with the most goals scored from outside the box in all competitions (nine).
Barella has been directly involved in seven goals (three goals, four assists) in Serie A this season, more than any other Inter player. Lazio striker Sergej Milinkovic-Savic (10, 3 goals and 7 assists) is the only midfielder in the league who has been directly involved in more goals.
On Saturday, Inter will travel to Fiorentina, while Salernitana will host La Spezia the same day.