An opening minute Romelu Lukaku goal helped Inter to a 3-0 win over Genoa on Sunday, moving the Nerazzurri seven points clear at the top of the Serie A table.
Lukaku raced clear to fire Antonio Conte’s side ahead with Inter’s first attack at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, before setting up Matteo Darmian in the second half as Antonio Conte’s side inflicted a first league defeat on Genoa in eight games.
Substitute Alexis Sanchez stepped off the bench late on to head in a third with his first touch, as Inter extended their gap at the top ahead of second-placed AC Milan’s clash against Roma on Sunday evening.
Inter made a blistering start to the match and were ahead after only 35 seconds, as Lukaku played a one-two with Lautaro Martinez, then showed strength and guile to drive from deep in the Genoa half and into the box and firing past Mattia Perin.
It was almost 2-0 with barely five minutes played as Martinez broke the offside trap to latch onto Nicolo Barella’s through ball, but his squared pass was cut out before Ivan Perisic could tap in at the back post.
At the other end, Marcelo Brozovic was caught in possession and Gianluca Scamacca tested Samir Handanovic from range, but the goalkeeper showed good hands to hold it.
Inter were finding joy in behind the Genoa defence and wing-back Darmian went just wide after sprinting onto Lukaku’s threaded pass and lofting the ball over Perin, whilst moments later Barella curled a shot from distance against the crossbar from a cutback.
The visitors were struggling to contain Lukaku and the Belgian’s pace on the ball was proving a constant threat, forcing Perin into two strong saves midway through the first half.
The goalkeeper was forced into action once more to deny Martinez after quick interplay on the edge of the box, before holding an acrobatic volley from the Argentine as Inter dominated the first half.
Inter continued to push for a second goal after the break and Lukaku saw a shot blocked, whilst Barella blazed well over from a good position. The Nerazzurri were enjoying more of the ball but struggled to force an opening, whilst Genoa were also blunt in attack.
Just as the Grifone were edging their way back into the match, Inter doubled their advantage through Darmian. The former Manchester United defender drilled into the bottom corner from inside the box after being teed up by Lukaku for his first league goal of the season.
Inter wrapped up the win soon after when Lukaku met a lofted Perisic pass to force a fine save from Perin, before substitute Alexis Sanchez headed the follow up in with his first touch. After a lengthy VAR check, the goal was awarded and Inter closed in on the three points.
The hosts were piling on the pressure and only a stunning Perin save denied Danilo D’Ambrosio from curling in a fine fourth late, as the Nerazzurri ran out comfortable winners.
Inter look to continue their charge towards a first Scudetto since 2010 when they take on Parma on Thursday, whilst Genoa look ahead to the Derby della Lanterna against Sampdoria the day before.