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Icardi nets a double as Inter Milan top Fiorentina, 3-0

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An impressive start by the Nerazzurri to open the season.

FC Internazionale v ACF Fiorentina -Serie A
Mauro Emanuel Icardi of FC Internazionale Milano celebrates his second goal with his team-mates during the Serie A match between FC Internazionale and ACF Fiorentina at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on August 20, 2017 in Milan, Italy.
Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images

A first-half brace by Mauro Icardi followed with a late goal from Ivan Perisic pushed Inter Milan to a 3-0 win over Fiorentina Sunday night in the Serie A opener for both teams.

The Nerazzurri opened the season in front of more than 50,000 at the San Siro and new boss Luciano Spalletti picked up his 385th career win as a manager.

Inter Milan wasted little time exploiting what seemed to be a weakened Fiorentina side playing without the services of Milan Bedelj and Federico Chiesa.

It was Icardi that put Inter on the board first scoring on a penalty in the 6th minute of the game.

Davide Astore gave a nudge to Icardi in the area forcing the striker down, earning the penalty. Icardi stutter-stepped toward the ball and sent Viola goalkeeper Marco Sportiello.

The Nerazzurri continued to press the attack for the next 10 minutes. Matias Vecino — who got the start in the midfield with fellow former Viola Borja Valero — had a near-miss in the 9th minute.

But the offense did not stop there.

Ten minutes after netting the penalty, Icardi picked up a brace, connecting on a nice cross from Perisic off his head and past Sportiello. That put Inter up 2-0 in the first 16 minutes of the game.

After a test on defense, the Icardi-Perisic duo nearly made it 3-0 in the 29th minute, but Perisic’s cross was too short and put away by the Viola defense.

The Viola sent some shots to Samir Handanovic, but most landed well wide of the net. In the latter stages of the first half, the Fiorentina offense, led by Giovanni Simeone started to pepper the Inter penalty area a bit more.

The video assisted referee came into play in the 41st minute when Simeone fell in the box. There was no on-field call, but there was no penalty as Miranda appeared not to interfere.

Icardi nearly picked up a hat trick in the waning minutes of the first half, but his delivery was pushed out by Jordan Veretout in the 45’+1 minute.

In the first half, the Nerazzurri controlled the ball with 52 percent possession and three of their seven total shots on goal. Fiorentina had eight shots, only one on target.

Icardi picked up where he left off in the second half after getting a pass in from Antonio Candreva and heading the ball, forcing Sportiello to fingertip the ball out of bounds in the 52nd minute.

Viola substitute Sebastian Cristoforo sparked life into the Viola offense. Fiorentina started to press offensively, pushing the Inter defense on its heels. Fortunately, passes into the box either fell short or missed the target completely yielding no result for the Viola into the 63rd minute.

In the 65th minute, Perisic fed Yuto Nagatomo on the right side of goal, but Nagatomo’s delivery went soft. Joao Mario — who subbed in for Valero — pressed Perisic ahead a minute later and Perisic’s shot went just wide of the goal.

Perisic had another opportunity in the 67th minute — again thanks to Joao Mario — but Sportiello collected the shot from the right side.

In the 69th minute, Handanovic had to come up with a big save when Khouma Babacar drilled a shot from outside the area that the Slovakian keeper pushed out of play.

Finally, in the 79th minute, Perisic closed the game for the Nerazzurri with a spectacular header into the back of the net from a cross by Joao Mario, giving Inter a 3-0 lead.

Joao Mario wanted his own points when he took a cross from Éder in the 85th minute, but stuttered too long, giving Sportiello a chance to save the delivery.


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The Nerazzurri will travel to Rome to take on AS Roma at 8:45 p.m. (Milanese time - 2:45 p.m. ET) Saturday, Aug. 26. To keep up to date on Inter Milan, stay with Serpents of Madonnina.