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Icardi’s brace leads Inter Milan to 2-0 win over Atalanta

The Nerazzurri return in solid form after international break; move into second in Serie A.    

FC Internazionale v Atalanta BC - Serie A
Mauro Emanuel Icardi of FC Internazionale Milano celebrates his second goal during the Serie A match between FC Internazionale and Atalanta BC at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on November 19, 2017 in Milan, Italy.
Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images

Mauro Icardi collected his 12th and 13th goals of the season and Inter Milan moved to second in Serie A after a 2-0 win over Atalanta Sunday at the Stadio Guiseppe Meazza.

The win came at an opportune time after Juventus dropped a 3-2 decision to Sampdoria and AS Roma topped Lazio 2-1 in the capital derby. The Nerazzurri are two points back of league-leading Napoli and two in front of Juventus.

The loss kept Atalanta winless away from the Stadio Atleti Azzurri d’Italia.

For Icardi, it was a good start off an international break where he did not suit up for Argentina, deciding instead to rehab a knee injury suffered against Torino.

In the 24th minute, Borja Valero played a nice flick-on to Icardi the broke him free just outside the area, but Etrit Berisha fell on Icardi’s delivery that was not necessarily hit very hard. The pass by Valero stonewalled José Luis Palomino and Icardi gained a step to press the issue.

That seemed to open up the Inter offense as the Nerazzurri took a couple of shots on goal, but crosses were off the pace and shots couldn’t find the target.

Later in the half, Antonio Candreva had an opportunity to put the ball into the area, but struck it away from any friendly players and right to the boots of Palomino.

In the 40th minute, Candreva sent in a nice ball and Icardi seemed to be in position to push the ball in, but was handled by Andrea Masiello and Ivan Perisic couldn’t reach the ball in time. Both Perisic and Icardi advocated by a review for a possible penalty, but to no avail.

In the first half, possession was nearly equal with the Nerazzurri holding the ball for 52 percent of the half. Both teams managed three shots on goal and fouls — albeit lenient from main official Fabbri — were also equal at six apiece.

It didn’t take long for Inter to start to challenge in the second half as Perisic delivered a great cross to give Icardi a near open header that Berisha was able to collect after shifting to his right in the 47th minute.

Finally, in the 51st minute, Candreva connected with Icardi for his 12th goal of the season. Icardi was able to sneak in behind the Atalanta defense unchallenged on the corner kick.

After the goal, Atalanta switched from their false nine formation and brought in Andrea Petangna who came in for Josip Ilicic to give Atalanta a focal point up top and theoretically free up Alejandro Gómez to attack.

In the 59th minute, Gómez had his first shot on goal, but Milan Skriniar closed the gap and forced Gómez delivered the ball well over Samir Handanovic.

A minute later, Icardi collected his brace when Danilio D’Ambrosio stepped in front of a bad pass from Palomino and crossed into Icardi who found the back of the net to put the Nerazzurri up 2-0. The Argentinian nearly got the hat trick a minute later, but the ball in was just out of reach.

Inter will be back in action at 2:45 p.m. (ET), Nov. 25 at Cagliari.



Box Score

Serie A

Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017

At Stadio Guiseppe Meazza

Inter Milan 2, Atalanta 0

Inter Milan 0 2 — 2

Atalanta 0 0 — 0

Goals: First half — none; Second half — Mauro Icardi (51’) INT; Icardi (60’) INT;

Cautions: José Luis Palomino (48’) ATA, Jasmin Kurtic (53’) ATA,

INTER: 1 Handanovic, 33 D'Ambrosio, 37 Skriniar, 25 Miranda, 21 Santon; 11 Vecino, 5 Gagliardini; 87 Candreva, 20 B. Valero, 44 Perisic; 9 Icardi.

Substitutes: 27 Padelli, 46 Berni, 7 Cancelo, 10 Joao Mario, 13 Ranocchia, 17 Karamoh, 23 Eder, 29 Dalbert, 55 Nagatomo, 77 Brozovic, 99 Pinamonti.

Coach: Luciano Spalletti

ATALANTA: 1 Berisha; 3 Toloi, 6 Palomino, 5 Masiello; 33 Hateboer, 15 Cristante, 4 De Roon, 21 Castagne; 72 Ilicic, 27 Kurtic, 10 Gomez.

Substitutes: 91 Gollini, 31 Rossi, 7 Orsolini, 8 Gosens, 9 Cornelius, 20 Vido, 23 Melegoni, 28 Mancini, 29 Petagna, 32 Haas, 88 Schmidt, 95 Bastoni.

Coach: Gian Piero Gasperini

Referee: Fabbri

Assistants: Alassio, De Meo

Fourth Official: Maresca

VAR Operators: Orsato, Schenone