But, it didn’t seem to matter as Genoa’s weak defense coupled with the brilliant play of Joao Mario (yes, I said Joao Mario), pushed Internazionale to a 4-0 win.
Mario had one goal and two assists after being restored to the team only a week ago. Roberto Gagliardini picked up a brace for the Nerazzurri and had two chances late in the match for a hat trick.
Luciano Spalletti elected to give rest to normal starters Mauro Icardi, Radja Nainggolan and Joao Miranda. Surprisingly enough, Spalletti elected to start Mario in midfield along with Roberto Gagliardini, Marcelo Brozovic and Mateo Politano.
Lautaro Martinez — who scored in his last start — got the nod for Icardi and Henrique Dalbert was put in for Miranda. Sime Vrsaljko was also rested along with Kwadwo Asamoah.
Internazionale didn’t waste a lot of time to take advantage of a different lineup for Genoa.
In the 13th minute, Mario found Roberto Gagliardini for a light touch as the Genoa defense looked confused and without focus.
Inter 1-0 Genoa (Gagliardini) and Joao Mario involved in the buildup pic.twitter.com/2v43dTENyn— InterYa (@InterYaMedia) November 3, 2018
Mario came through in the 16th minute when he found Politano who streaked into the clear and fired a shot from his left that went past Ionut Radu and into the back of the net, pushing Inter’s lead to 2-0 early in the first half.
Inter 2-0 Genoa (Matteo Politano) Joao Mario with the assist pic.twitter.com/cvVRfduuwa— InterYa (@InterYaMedia) November 3, 2018
Just after halftime, Gagliardini collected his brace after Ivan Perisic nearly found the back of the net. On a cross in, Radu misplayed the save allowing Perisic to threaten, but his attempt was pushed aside only to have Gagliardini clean up the mess in the 49th minute and put Inter up 3-0.
Inter 3-0 Genoa (Gagliardini ⚽️⚽️) pic.twitter.com/sfkdhS5lid— InterYa (@InterYaMedia) November 3, 2018
It was Gagliardini’s first Serie A brace with Inter.
Finally, Mario got his name on the score sheet with a solid left-footed shot just inside the area in extra time that Radu was barely able to put a hand on in the bottom right corner of the net.
To add insult to injury, Nainggolan — who has been out since suffering an injury in the Derby della Madonnina — came in the match for Brozovic in stoppage time only to put a shot past Radu just minutes after coming on and giving the Nerazzurri a 5-0 win.
Internazionale Milano will stay at home Tuesday when they host Barcelona in the second Champions League meeting between the two teams. Barcelona currently leads Group B with nine points while Inter is in second with six.
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