Despite the drama from the beginning of the week and playing a mid-week Europa League match, Inter Milan’s offense seemed to find its step again after two second-half goals led the Nerazzurri to a 2-1 win over Sampdoria at the Giuseppe Meazza Sunday.
Despite it all, Inter defeated Parma, Rapid Wien and Sampdoria in the week.
The goals were the first for Inter at home in their last two. Those goals came from Danilo D’Ambrosio and Radja Nainggolan.
The win kept Inter four points ahead of AC Milan on 46 points while Sampdoria remained in 10th place in Serie A.
Not only did Inter draw first, but they also were able to respond minutes after Sampdoria drew an equalizer.
With Mauro Icardi in the stands nursing a knee injury, Inter’s offense seemed to be more creative and their passing seemed to be more accurate than in their previous three Serie A matches.
It was Inter that seemed to be on the front foot of attack in the first half.
In the first four minutes, Ivan Perisic – who seemed much more lively on the ball – when Marcelo Brozovic found him through in the box, but Perisic’s delivery was saved by Sampdoria goalkeeper Emil Audero.
Over the next two minutes, it was Inter who continued to pressure.
Nainggolan and Lautaro Martinez each had a crack at goal, thanks in large part to nice attempted assists by Brozovic and Roberto Gagliardini, but neither attempt found the back of the goal.
Matteo Politano drilled a delivery over goal in the 11th minute.
It wasn’t until the 18th minute when Sampdoria finally took a shot at goal when Fabio Quagliarella had a shot blocked away and Lorenzo Tonelli put a shot over the top of the goal.
In the 29th minute, Dalbert – who earned a start – had a shot go wide and to the right after Brozovic found him off a set piece.
A minute later, Nainggolan had a shot roll close to goal, but it went just to the right.
In the first half, Inter’s offense had one of its best performances, finding the target twice in eight shots overall.
Inter continued the pressure in the second half and it was Martinez who nearly squeezed a ball past Audero after Perisic worked around the Sampdoria defense in the 54th minute. However, Martinez couldn’t get enough on the ball and Audero was able to save the ball in the right corner of the goal.
Lorenzo Tonelli gave Martinez fits in the front third of the pitch, denying the Argentinian at just about every turn.
As soon as a touch would find Martinez nearly open near goal, Tonelli found a way to out-muscle Martinez and wrestle the ball away.
In the 67th minute, Quagliarella nearly put Samdoria on top when a near standing header found the fingertips of Samir Handanovic who pushed the ball over top of the net.
On the other side of the pitch, Perisic drove down the middle of the pitch and found Politano streaking. After a move around Joachim Andersen, Politano struck a nice ball, but it went just wide of the goal.
In the 71st minute, Martinez finally got the better of the Sampdoria defense and Tonelli then found Antonio Candreva, but Candreva could not connect with the ball to finish.
The pressure continued as Perisic had a touch in front of goal after Martinez allowed a pass to go through him, but Perisic’s touch was too strong.
Finally, in the 73rd minute, Sampdoria’s defense played a ball out which was run down by Perisic. The Croatian moved the ball back into the area where he found D’Ambrosio driving into the box. D’Ambrosio used the toe of his boot to finish and put Inter up 1-0.
Finally Inter break the deadlock at San Siro!!! Ivan Perišić with the setup and Danilo D'Ambrosio strikes it home to give Inter a 1- nil lead. #tlnsoccer #InterSampdoria #SerieA pic.twitter.com/bhZxyBXnjg— TLNTV (@TLNTV) February 17, 2019
It was the first goal for Inter at the Giuseppe Meazza in their previous two home matches.
But, in the 75th minute, Sampdoria drew level after Manolo Gabbiadini picked out a loose ball to the side of the goal and placed a shot just past Handanovic to tie the match. It was Gabbiadini’s first touch since coming on the pitch.
But, Inter was able to answer quickly in the 78th minute.
Sampdoria’s defense allowed a ball out for a corner. Candreva drilled the set piece and found the feet of Nainggolan who drilled in a goal from outside the area and into the back of the net to put Inter back on top, 2-1.
What response from Inter to take the lead back!!! Radja Nainggolan with the low strike from outside the 18 yard box!!! 2-1 Inter with 20 minutes to go! #tlnsoccer #InterSampdoria #SerieA pic.twitter.com/T3igLsP1uz— TLNTV (@TLNTV) February 17, 2019
After a video-assisted referee review, the goal was allowed.
Both teams continued to battle until extra time. Sampdoria, desperate to draw level, continued to attack Inter’s defense with Gabbiadini and Quagliarella looked frantically for the leveler, but Inter’s defense continued to hold.
Inter will return to action Thursday, Feb. 21 when they host Rapid Wien in the second leg of the Europa League round of 32. They hold a 1-0 aggregate lead over the Austrians. They return to Serie A action Sunday, Feb. 24 when they travel to face Fiorentina.
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