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Late again? Inter nets 2 in final minutes to get past Crotone

Milan Skriniar scores his first for Nerazzurri as Inter remains top of Serie A.

FC Crotone v FC Internazionale - Serie A Photo by Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images

Inter Milan has lived life on the edge a bit in their first four Serie A games.

Of their 10 goals scored, a majority of them have come in the last 20 minutes of their games. Saturday was no exception as Milan Skriniar scored in the 82nd minute to break a lagging deadlock and Ivan Perisic put the game way in the second minute of extra time to push Internazionale to a 2-0 win on the road at Crotone.

“I’m very happy for the goal but the most important thing is that we won even if we weren’t at our best,” Skriniar told Mediaset Premium, via Inter’s news page.

It was the fourth consecutive win to start the season, giving Inter 12 points.

While it was a win and kept the Nerazzurri at the top of Serie A, to say it was a pretty win would be overselling it.

“We knew that today would be a complicated match because they’re a physical team and they’re tough to play at their home in front of their fans,” Skriniar said. “Now, we’re thinking of the next match and we’ll continue like that. We are a great group and a strong team, all the guys are great and we know that the collective comes before the individual.”

Crotone, while not dominating possession, dominated shots on goal throughout the game, testing Samir Handanovic 12 times — five with the sun in his eyes in the first half. Inter, on the other hand, out-possessed Crotone 60 percent to 40 percent.

Even after halftime, Crotone looked dangerous with the first chance in the second half when Andrea Barberis took a free kick just outside the area in the 50th minute, but the delivery curled wide.

A minute later, Roberto Gagliardini was taken down in the Crotone area, but no call was made. On the counter-attack, Tonev broke free of Dalbert but Handanovic stepped out to block the Bulgarian’s run forcing a shot wide.

FC Crotone v FC Internazionale - Serie A
Milan Skriniar of Internazionale jumps foe a header during the Serie A match between FC Crotone and FC Internazionale at Stadio Comunale Ezio Scida on September 16, 2017 in Crotone, Italy.
Photo by Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images

Inter’s defense continued to scare as Tonev nearly had picked up an open shot but Handanovic stepped well off his line and nearly collided with Dalbert attempting to clear the ball. Dalbert was able to push the ball out of danger.

In the 68th minute, Marcus Rohdén tested Handanovic with Crotone’s best chance at the net, but the heading attempt was pushed aside by a leaping Handanovic.

The offense seemed to come alive for both teams after that. Antonio Candreva presented Crotone goalkeeper Alex Cordaz with his first real test in the 70th minute with a shot on, but Cordaz met the challenge.

Joao Mario had shot sail wide over the crossbar a minute later.

In the 78th minute, Crotone mounted another strong counterattack when Tonev crossed to Mandragora, but Danilo D’Ambrosio pushed the ball out of play.

Skriniar finally put the Nerazzurri up after Yuto Nagatomo drew a foul and took the free kick into the area. Skriniar bobbled with the ball and finally put it away despite drawing a challenge by three Crotone defenders in the 82nd minute.

That gave Inter’s offense more life as Joao Mario and Antonio Candreva mounted attacks but it was Ivan Perisic that put the game out of reach with a low shot into the bottom right of the net past Cordaz in the 93rd minute.

First half

Inter started the game looking sluggish and failing to create opportunities up front. In fact, it was Crotone that seemed to have the best scoring chances in first 25 minutes of the first half.

Ante Budimir had a few chances that Handanovic was able to handle with some easy and the Crotone defense smothered Icardi before he was able to make any runs at the net.

In the 29th minute, Inter had a chance after careless handling turned the ball over to the Nerazzurri. Borja Valero pushed the ball ahead to Ivan Perisic. A one-touch pass from the Croatian found Joao Mario, but his effort went wide of the net for Inter’s best chance at goal to that point.

Dalbert tried to create another attempt in the 35th minute, but his cross sailed right into traffic and was cleared out by the Crotone defense.

Bruno Martella gave Crotone their best change in the 42nd minute, but his set-piece delivery went just wide past Handanovic. Crotone had another attempt after Roberto Gagliardini gave up possession in the midfield, but Rolando Mandragora elected to hold back on the counter-attack. Aleksandar Tonev had another attempt in the 44th minute, but Handanovic snatched the ball out of the air before Tonev could connect with the header.

Inter controlled possession in the first half, holding the ball for more than 70 percent of the half but Crotone had five shots on goal to Inter’s 2.

Inter will get back on the road to take on Bologna at the Stadio Renato Dell'Ara on Sept. 19.


Box score

Serie A

Sept. 16, 2017

At Ezio Scida

Inter Milan 1, Crotone 0

Crotone 0 0 — 0

Inter Milan 0 2 — 2

First half: none. Second half: Milan Skrinar 82’ (INT), Ivan Perisic 90’ + 3 (INT) Assist – Joao Mario.

Cautions: Miranda (40’), Alex Cordaz (82’), Antonio Candreva (90’+1)

Crotone: Cordaz; Sampirisi, Ajeti (Cabrera 67), Ceccherini (Tumminello 85), Martella; Rohden (Faraoni 72), Barberis, Mandragora, Stoian; Tonev, Budimir

Crotone substitutes: Festa, Viscovo, Cabrera, Simic, Faraoni, Pavlovic, Aristoteles, Izco, Kragl, Crociata, Trotta, Tumminello

Inter Milan: Handanovic; D'Ambrosio, Skriniar, Miranda, Dalbert (Nagatomo 64); Gagliardini (Vecino 56), Borja Valero; Candreva, Joao Mario, Perisic; Icardi

Inter substitutes: Padelli, Berni, Ranocchia, Vanheusden, Nagatomo, Vecino, Brozovic, Karamoh, Eder, Pinamonti.