Inter stroll past Spezia on Lukaku's San Siro return

Inter stroll past Spezia on Lukaku's San Siro return

updated at April 12, 2023 at 8:09 PM
Romelu Lukaku (left) congratulates Lautaro Martinez for Inter Milan's opener  against Spezia
Romelu Lukaku (left) congratulates Lautaro Martinez for Inter Milan's opener against Spezia. Photo: MIGUEL MEDINA / AFP
Source: AFP

Inter Milan made it two from two in Serie A with Saturday's comfortable 3-0 win over Spezia on Romelu Lukaku's return to the San Siro, while Domenico Berardi fired Sassuolo to a 1-0 win over Lecce.

Lautaro Martinez, Hakan Calhanoglu and Joaquin Correa struck to ensure a perfect six points for Simone Inzaghi's Inter as they bid to reclaim the league title from local rivals AC Milan.

Champions Milan make the short trip to Atalanta on Sunday in the weekend's headline match.

Lukaku might not have scored in front of his adoring home fans before being substituted in the 68th minute, but he was key to Inter's first two goals.

His perfect knock-down from Nicolo Barella's clipped pass allowed Martinez to break the deadlock 10 minutes before half-time, lashing home his opening goal of the season.

It was the first sign of the rebirth of a partnership which devastated Serie A during Lukaku's first spell at Inter before his disastrous big-money move to Chelsea last summer.

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The Belgium forward's charge towards the Spezia area seven minutes after the break ended with Turkey international Calhanoglu doubling the hosts lead with a cool low finish past Bartlomiej Dragowski.

Correa completed the scoring in the 82nd minute with a simple strike, brilliantly set up by fellow substitute Edin Dzeko.

Italy forward Berardi celebrated his new contract with Sassuolo by crashing home a winner against Lecce which left their promoted opponents on zero points.

The 28-year-old committed his future to the club on Wednesday by signing a three-year extension until 2027.

He ensured Alessio Dionisi's side got off the mark when he met a clearance from a corner with a volley which arrowed into the net.

It was the 102nd Serie A goal by Berardi, who has played his entire professional career at Sassuolo and was part of the team which got them into the top flight for the first time in 2013.

Saturday's early matches passed off without much incident, with goalless draws between Torino and Lazio, and Udinese and Salernitana.

AFP photo