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Mauro Icardi’s brace leads Inter Milan to 2-1 at SPAL

Nerazzurri head into international break riding six-match win streak.

SPAL v FC Internazionale - Serie A
Keita Belde of FC Internazionale in action during the Serie A match between SPAL and FC Internazionale at Stadio Paolo Mazza on October 7, 2018 in Ferrara, Italy.
Photo by Mario Carlini / Iguana Press/Getty Images

Mauro Icardi scored his fourth and fifth goals in all competitions this season to lead Inter Milan to a 2-1 win at SPAL Sunday night.

Icardi’s goal came in the 78th minute, just after SPAL equalized with a goal by Alberto Paloschi, which came in the 72nd minute.

The win is Inter’s sixth straight dating back to their 2-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur in their Champions League opener. It moved Internazionale into third in Serie A on 16 points, two back of Napoli and eight points adrift of top-sitting Juventus. The loss keeps SPAL in 13th place tied with Cagliari on nine points.

But, the win didn’t come easy as a struggling SPAL side kept things interesting from the middle of the first half until the end.

Even after Icardi’s game-winner, SPAL continued to press and slow down the match to save time, but it was to no avail.

It only took 14 minutes for Inter to break through as a defensive error by SPAL lead to Mauro Icardi goal after Sime Vrsaljko had a well-placed cross into the Argentinian for what appeared to be his fourth goal of the season in all competitions.

Icardi’s header came off the arm of SPAL defender Johan Djourou past goalkeeper Alfred Gomis.

SPAL seemed to wake up after Icardi’s strike as Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic had to stretch out to push away a shot from Andrea Petagna.

Minutes later, Joao Miranda tripped up Dias Felipe inside the area, but Mirco Antenucci’s penalty never threatened as the delivery went wide left … so much that Handanovic never moved off his line.

SPAL continued to threaten in the first half, but Keita Balde Diao nearly helped put Inter up 2-0 after he intercepted a ball from Thiago Cionek, but his toe flick over to a waiting Icardi was fingertipped away by Gomis.

Inter Milan gets a break as international play will dominate the next two weeks of play. The Nerazzurri will return to Serie A play Oct. 21 for the Derby della Madonnina at the San Siro. They will follow that with an Oct. 29 Champions League matchup at Barcelona. Inter and the Barcelona are tied atop Group B, each with six points.

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