Parma’s recent woes at the Stadio Ennio Tardini continued on Saturday evening as Lautaro Martinez struck in the second half to secure three important points for Inter.
Now with just one win from their last eight at home, Parma are without as much as a goal in five of those games, as their early-season form in Emilia-Romagna continues to fade.
Inter struggled to break Roberto D’Aversa’s side down for the majority but they finally found a way through thanks to Radja Nainggolan rediscovering something resembling his Roma self in the second half as he assisted the Argentine.
Gervinho had the game’s first chance as he channelled his mazy best to dazzle the Inter defence and find himself some space in the box but his driven effort crashed off of Samir Handanovic’s crossbar.
The Crociati continued to have the clearer of the chances and it was Roberto Inglese who saw himself have the next. Inglese did well to work himself some space in a tight situation in the Inter box before getting a shot on goal, but his attempt was always dragging wide of the post.
Luciano Spalletti will be disappointed with his side’s first-half work and the Nerazzurri spent the majority of their time aimlessly putting crosses into the hosts’ box, but Bruno Alves was on hand to deal with everything that came near him and Luigi Sepe had an uncharacteristically strong command of his area.
Joao Mario did see a decent chance fall his way as a ball dropped 12-yards from goal but the Portuguese European champion wildly swiped at the ball and failed to make any contact, allowing Param to break.
Inter had more joy at the beginning of the second half and even had the ball in the net through Danilo D’Ambrosio, who appeared to have headed home a corner. But their joy was short-lived as referee Massimiliano Irrati consulted VAR and rightly ruled the goal out for handball.
The crossing continued and it was from another that Mauro Icardi could have scored, but he could only divert wide from close range.
Gervinho’s pace and unpredictability continued to be Parma’s outlet and he broke before releasing Inglese, though the No.45 couldn’t find enough space to get a strike on target.
Lautaro Martinez, only recently introduced, did open the scoring with a well-taken effort with what was one of his first touches, if not his very first involvement.
Juraj Kucka was foolishly caught in possession by Radja Nainggola, who showed signs of his Roma self to burst forward and slip the Argentine through between Alves and Alessandro Bastoni. Lautaro held off the challenge of Simone Iacoponi to dispatch a powerful effort at Sepe’s near post.
From then, Inter continued to have the best of it and the Gialloblu’s poor home form worsened.
The Ninja lives
It hasn’t been easy for Nainggolan at Inter, but the Belgian showed glimpses of what he still has to offer at the Tardini.
The battling midfielder looked something like the player the Biscione thought they had signed in the summer as he played a pivotal role in the game’s only goal, fighting to dispossess Kucka before setting off and slipping Lautaro through.
It was evident to see what it meant to him as he punched the air in celebration and the sizeable travelling support thanked him with prolonged applause when Spalletti chose to replace him late on.
He was down, but don’t rule Nainggolan out just yet.
Bruno Alves dominates in defeat
Parma have won just once in their last eight games at the Tardini but without Bruno Alves things would be a whole lot worse.
Their Portuguese captain leads by example and, yet again, he and Alessandro Bastoni were impressive at the back for the Crociati.
At opposite ends of their respective careers, the pair again showed how well suited they are to one another as they dealt with everything thrown at them in the first half and while Inter deserved their win, Parma’s defensive pairing didn’t deserve to be on the losing side.