Inter continued their perfect start to the Serie A season with a 5-2 thrashing of Benevento on Wednesday, in a victory that ought to offer encouragement to coach Antonio Conte.
Set on their way by Romelu Lukaku’s goal within the opening minute, the Nerazzurri were out of sight by half-time courtesy of a second by the Belgian and strikes from Roberto Gagliardini and Achraf Hakimi.
Despite Gianluca Caprari’s brace for the hosts, substitute Lautaro Martinez added gloss to the scoreline in the second half to secure a heavy margin of victory for Inter.
Attacking link-up suggests goals
Whilst Inter will come up against sterner tests than the somewhat naive defending of newly-promoted Benevento, the way in which the midfield linked up with forwards Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez will be of great encouragement.
The strikers immediately clicked with wing-back Hakimi to cause havoc in the first half, whilst Ashley Young was also able to get Lukaku in behind from the other flank.
With clever movement and an abundance of options off the bench, Inter look to be a deadly attacking outfit and could have doubled their goal tally in the second half, but for some wasteful finishing and the woodwork.
Defensive frailty rear it’s head
Undeniably a joy to watch going forward, Inter’s troubles appear to be at the other end as they shipped yet more goals. Having conceded three times against Fiorentina last time out, Conte’s side allowed Caprari in twice whilst Benevento also rattled the post.
The three-man defence looked vulnerable to pace and counterattacks, particularly as the Nerazzurri pushed forward in attack, whilst new arrival Aleksandar Kolarov was far from comfortable in a central role.
A determination to play out from the back also proved costly, with Caprari’s first coming from a dreadful clearance by goalkeeper Samir Handanovic, whilst Benevento pressure had Inter’s backline panicking.
Inter simply won’t get away with it against more ruthless and better quality teams, but Conte has something to work with.