Mauro Icardi came back from the international break the same way he left it.
After putting in four goals against Sampdoria two weeks ago, the Argentinian striker strengthened his case for a new contract with a brace to lead Inter Milan to a 3-0 win over Hellas Verona at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza.
Ivan Perisic added a goal in the first half and assisted on both of Icardi’s offerings.
The win allowed Inter to keep a one-point advantage over Lazio after Lazio stormed back to defeat Benevento, 6-2.
But, the story Saturday was Icardi.
It didn’t take long for Inter to get on the board. Just under a minute into the start, Perisic placed a nice throw to Icardi who was virtually all alone in front of Nicolas. Icardi smartly placed his shot out of reach of the Verona goalkeeper to give Inter the early 1-0 lead.
It was the 23rd of the season for Icardi, who seemed to have found his form after struggling to find the back of the net after the turn of the new year.
Prior to his four goals against Sampdoria before the international break, Icardi had failed to score in the previous seven matches. Between December and January, he managed just three goals after starting the season on a hot streak.
Over the next 10 minutes, the Nerazzurri continued to pepper the Verona defense with Gagliardini and Rafinha connecting to make trouble for Verona’s backline.
Then, in the 13th minute, Brozovic puts a nicely placed pass right on the foot of Perisic, who timed his run past Alex Ferrari. Perisic chested the ball down on his first touch then found a gap round Nicolas to give Inter a 2-0 lead early.
Verona was unable to find any pace on offense as Inter utilized quick passing and ball control throughout the first half. The strategy seemed to limit just how much Verona was able to touch the ball.
It seemed to work as Verona managed just 29 percent possession in the first half and only four shots on goal compared to 10 shots for the Nerazzurri.
In the second half, Icardi didn’t take long to get his brace. In the 48th minute, Perisic dropped a long cross to the far side of the post where Icardi was there to slide in the score. It was Icardi’s 102nd goal in Serie A play.
102 goles de Icardi con la camiseta del Inter. Enorme asistencia de Perisic pic.twitter.com/MGO2MuMbPD— Inter Milán Argentina (@InterMilan_Arg) March 31, 2018
The win keeps Inter strong at the San Siro as they have only lost one match at home all season. Now, they hit the road for three straight away games – including Wednesday’s Derby della Madonnina at the San Siro which is AC Milan’s home game.
Additionally, the last two outings have shown Icardi may be back to the form he was in during the start of the season where he tallied nine goals in the first eight games.
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