Inter headed to the top of the Serie A table this Tuesday evening – for 24 hours in any event – by crushing out a 2-1 triumph over Brescia at the Stadio Mario Rigamonti.
Inter took a 22nd minute lead in fortuitous circumstances, as Lautaro Martinez’s hopeful long-range shot took a huge deflection and looped over Brescia goalkeeper Enrico Alfonso. Credited as Martinez’s goal, it meant the Argentine had his sixth in as many Nerazzurri games.
The home side’s sole ambition seemed to be containing Inter up to that point but they began to press much higher almost immediately after going behind.
A pinch more quality in the final third and they might have created opportunities, although the same could be said for Antonio Conte’s side as the first half petered out with feisty challenges more common than clear chances.
Brescia was a side transformed as the second half began and played with the shackles off to drive Inter back towards their own goal. As attractive as it was, it left plenty of space and Romelu Lukaku put it to good use.
Picking the ball up on the right flank, the Belgian drove inside and curled around both defender and goalkeeper to make it 2-0.
Mario Balotelli had a chance to pull one back against his former employers, drawing a fine save from Samir Handanovic on his line and blazing the rebound over the bar.
Brescia’s positivity finally reaped the reward in the 76th minute as Dimitri Bisoli-induced pinball in the box resulted in the ball bouncing off Milan Skriniar for an own goal.
Inter were forced to put in a defensive shift to protect their lead in the closing stages, but with the top of the table in the touching distance, they held on for a well-earned three points.