A three minute double salvo from Inter was enough to get them past a plucky Benevento side 2-0 at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on Saturday night.
First, Milan Skriniar headed home from a Matias Vecino corner just after the hour, with the Uruguayan also turning provider for Andrea Ranocchia who grabbed the second moments later, it must be said that Benevento were much the better side up until they conceded.
Benito Viola was also sent off nine minutes from time after collecting two yellow cards
A disastrous run of games has seen Inter win just two of their last 11 Serie A matches, though they now move up to third in the standings, one point ahead of Roma who play on Sunday.
Despite a courageous performance Benevento are still yet to win away from home this season, with the defeat in Milan extending their run to 13 losses.
Surprisingly it was Benevento who made most of the early running, pouncing on the numerous mistakes from Inter, though unable to create any real danger.
Inter did have a couple of half chances with Eder put in on goal, but had the ball nicked from his feet as he was about to pull the trigger, then Ivan Perisic headed a Joao Cancelo cross wide.
Handanovic had to be alert as Andrea Coda launched a quick counterattack before cutting inside and blasting at goal.
Seemingly unable to string two passes together, Inter never troubled Christian Puggioni in the Benevento goal, and in fact looked vulnerable to Guilherme’s pace on the counter.
The first real sign that Inter were starting to get on top of their opponents was a long vicious drive from Matias Vecino which was punched out for a corner by Puggioni.
It should have been 1-0 to Benevento just before the hour after Enrico Brignola magnificently won the ball deep in his own half, before playing a wonderful through ball for Coda, but the striker lashed his and wide of the goal.
— Francesco Sanna (@Zio_FranK_1) February 24, 2018
There were shouts from Benevento for a penalty after Danilo Cataldi went tumbling in the box, unperturbed, Inter went right up the other end and Antonio Candreva fed Eder who tried to lob the goalkeeper but couldn’t keep the ball on target.
Inter took the lead on 66 minutes after Skriniar headed in from a Vecino corner, much to the home crowd’s relief.
— SerieAchannel (@SerieAchannel) February 24, 2018
It was two, just three minutes later after Ranocchia stooped low to nod in a Vecino freekick.
— InterYaSkriniar (@InterYaSkriniar) February 24, 2018
The wind was knocked out of Benevento’s sails and the never recovered their pre-goal rhythm and things went from bad to worse as Viola was given his marching orders 81 minutes in as Inter saw out the game to gain a valuable three points.
- Prior to tonight Inter’s last home Serie A game without a shot on target in the first half was back in September 2016 (vs Juventus).
- The first shot on target for Inter came in the 54th minute.
- Inter have won their last two home Serie A games after three draws and a defeat.
- Inter have scored the most headed goals in Serie A this season (11) – Benevento have conceded the most (12).
- Milan Skriniar has scored the joint most goals among defenders in Serie A this season (four).
- The last time Inter scored with two defenders in Serie A was in 20/02/2016 (D’Ambrosio and Miranda vs Sampdoria).
- Inter have scored 16 goals from set piece situations, only Juventus with 18 have scored more in Serie A this season.
- 10 touches in the opposition box for Benevento in the first half: record for them in away Serie A games.
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