Inter ensured they kept the pace with Serie A leaders AC Milan at Christmas as they secured a 2-1 win over Hellas Verona on Wednesday.
The Nerazzurri closed out 2020 with victory at the Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi thanks to Lautaro Martinez’s volley early in the second half and a towering Milan Skriniar header, either side of Ivan Ilic’s equaliser for the hosts.
Victory kept Inter just one point behind crosstown rivals Milan following their last gasp win over Lazio later in the evening, whilst also moving them six points clear of the chasing pack.
Unstoppable Inter hitting form
Questions were raised about coach Antonio Conte following a dismal showing in the Champions League that culminated in elimination from European competition at the Group Stage, but Inter have bounced back in style.
Since a damaging 2-0 defeat at home to Real Madrid in late November, Inter have won all but one of their eight matches in all competitions since. Meanwhile, a come-from-behind victory over Torino in the weekend prior to that defeat against the Spanish champions sparked the first of a seven match winning run in Serie A, for the first time in over two years.
This dominant form over the past month has propelled the Nerazzurri back into contention for the Scudetto and Conte will desperate to carry this momentum into the new year, with crucial clashes against Roma and Juventus to come in January.
Inter’s firepower leading the charge
Despite only keeping three cleans sheets in Serie A this season, Inter have maintained their title challenge through their dominance at the other end of the pitch.
The Biscione have netted 108 goals in this calendar year in all competitions, their joint-best return since 1930, whilst pipping free-scoring Roma to be the top scorers in the league at Christmas.
Second half dominance has become a staple of this Inter team this term and was proved once again in Verona as they put a tricky Hellas to the sword. Indeed, no team in the top five European leagues can match 23 goals netted by Inter after the break this season.
Milanese showdown for the Scudetto
Victory at the Bentegodi allowed Inter to pull clear of the remaining challengers and set up a post Christmas Scudetto dogfight with bitter rivals Milan.
It promises to keep the entire city on tenterhooks as the pair look to end Juventus’ dominance, with the Derby della Madonnina in early February set to carry even greater importance.
Whilst Milan look invincible at the moment, Inter’s stunning form has ensured that a gripping title race could be on the cards in 2021 and the abundance of goals in the Nerazzurri camp may well swing it Inter’s way.