Inter beats Genoa 5-0 for 7th straight Serie A victory
Inter Milan is proving to be a serious threat to Juventus' bid for an eighth successive Serie A title.
Roberto Gagliardini scored twice and Matteo Politano, Joao Mario, and Radja Nainggolan added the other goals as Inter beat Genoa 5-0 yesterday to move to within three points of Serie A leader Juventus, which hosted Cagliari late.
The seventh successive win for Inter moved the Nerazzurri level on points with Napoli, which beat Empoli 5-1 on Friday.
The result will boost Inter's confidence for Tuesday's Champions League game at home with Barcelona. The Catalan club beat Inter 2-0 two weeks ago.
Genoa, the only team to have taken points off Juventus this season, remained 11th but only four points off fourth spot.
Inter captain Mauro Icardi was rested for the match, while Genoa forward Krzysztof Piatek was surprisingly also on the bench despite having scored a leading nine goals.
Inter took control with two goals in as many minutes — both of them following mistakes by the Genoa defense.
Genoa failed to clear a ball in the area and Davide Biraschi inadvertently deflected Joao Mario's pass to Gagliardini, who swept in from six yards.
Moments later, Darko Lazovic completely miskicked his attempt at clearing Joao Mario's through-ball and Politano ran on and slotted it past Genoa goalkeeper Ionut Radu — who is on loan from Inter.
Genoa offered little, even when Piatek was sent on for former Inter forward Goran Pandev, five minutes into the second half.
By that point Inter was even further ahead. Radu did well to claw Ivan Perisic's attempt off the line but Gagliardini fired in the rebound.
Gagliardini had several chances to complete his hat trick before Joao Mario capped off a good performance with a lovely finish into the bottom right corner in stoppage time.
There was still time for Inter to score a fifth as Joao Mario sent in a cross for Nainggolan to head in, having come off the bench minutes earlier for his first appearance since injuring his ankle in the derby against AC Milan last month.
Alessandro Florenzi scored late on to rescue a 1-1 draw for Roma at Fiorentina.
Roma seemed to be heading for defeat when, five minutes from fulltime, Fiorentina goalkeeper Alban Lafont parried Aleksandar Kolarov's cross straight at Flo- renzi, who leveled with a scuffed volley.
Jordan Veretout gave Fiorentina the lead in the first half with a controversial penalty after Roma goalkeeper Robin Olsen was judged to have brought down Giovanni Simeone.
Both teams are two points behind fourth-placed Milan.
Roma visits CSKA Moscow in the Champions League on Wednesday.
Champions Juventus maintained their lead with another victory this time against Cagliari 3-1.
Inter’s Gagliardini celebrates after scoring one of his side’s goals