Milito scores brace on return as Inter thrash Sassuolo
Milan, September 22, 2013
First Published: 19:34 IST(22/9/2013)
Last Updated: 19:38 IST(22/9/2013)
Diego Milito scored twice on his long-awaited return from injury as Inter Milan thumped promoted Serie A strugglers Sassuolo 7-0 on Sunday to go provisionally top of the table.
Inter now sit top with 10 points from four games although Roma, currently third on nine, will take the lead if they beat Lazio in the city derby on Sunday afternoon.
Napoli, who sat top ahead of Roma on goals scored prior to this weekend, are away to a depleted AC Milan side in Sunday's late game.
Despite the size of the victory, Inter coach Walter Mazzarri told Sky Sport Italia: "We'll never be satisfied. For us, there's always room for improvement."
Argentinian striker Milito had been sidelined for the past seven months after suffering a horrific knee injury at the start of the year.
But a week after also making Mazzarri's squad for a 1-1 draw at home to Juventus, he made his first appearance since damaging his anterior cruciate ligament on February 14 when he replaced Rodrigo Palacio nine minutes into the second half.
He scored barely 10 minutes after coming on and added a second seven minutes from the final whistle.
"On a scale of one to 10, today is worth more than 10," said Milito.
"We put in a great performance. It's an extraordinary squad and I want to say thank you to everyone who supported me in this difficult time, from my friends and family to the physios at the club."
Fellow Argentinian Palacio got Inter off the mark after only seven minutes at the Mapei stadium when he slid Yuto Nagatomo's perfect cross from the left flank past outstretched goalkeeper Alberto Pomini.
Midfielder Saphir Taider then grabbed his maiden goal for Inter, firing a loose ball past Pomini in the 23rd minute.
And the French-born Algerian played a pivotal role in Inter's third when his header came off Raffaele Pucino for an own goal barely 10 minutes later.
Sassuolo showed brief promise after the break when former Inter midfielder Ezequiel Schelotto whipped in an inviting cross which flew past the boot of unmarked striker Simone Missiroli.
However, Inter were soon back on the rampage. Three minutes later a Palacio drive was blocked by Pomini and Ricardo Alvarez was on hand to poke in Inter's fourth.
Milito replaced Palacio a minute later and soon made an impact, tapping the ball past the beaten Pomini after the rebound from Alvarez's strike on the right fell kindly to him a yard out.
Esteban Cambiasso added to Sassuolo's woes when he fired a superb drive past the flailing home keeper from the edge of the penalty area in the 75th minute.
Milito capped a memorable return to the fray with his second after Fredy Guarin provided a perfect ball for the unmarked striker in the 83rd minute.