Inter overtake Juventus to reclaim top spot with 1-0 win at Fiorentina | Football News - Hindustan Times
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Inter Milan overtake Juventus to reclaim top spot with 1-0 win at Fiorentina in Serie A

Reuters |
Jan 29, 2024 10:09 AM IST

Inter Milan reclaimed top spot in Serie A as they beat fifth-placed Fiorentina 1-0 on Sunday.

Inter Milan reclaimed top spot in Serie A as they beat fifth-placed Fiorentina 1-0 on Sunday courtesy of an early header from Lautaro Martinez.

Inter Milan's Argentine forward #10 Lautaro Martinez celebrates after winning 0-1 the Italian Serie A football match between Fiorentina and Inter Milan at the Artemio Franchi Stadium, in Florence on January 28, 2024. (Photo by Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP)(AFP)
Inter Milan's Argentine forward #10 Lautaro Martinez celebrates after winning 0-1 the Italian Serie A football match between Fiorentina and Inter Milan at the Artemio Franchi Stadium, in Florence on January 28, 2024. (Photo by Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP)(AFP)

Inter, who were crowned Italian Super Cup champions for third consecutive year on Monday, moved back top in the standings on 54 points, one ahead of second-placed Juventus who have played one game more.

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Juve squandered the chance to increase their lead over Inter when they were held to a 1-1 home draw by lowly Empoli on Saturday after playing most of the game with 10 men.

"The team had an excellent first half and that's where we had to end it, perhaps scoring another goal," coach Simone Inzaghi told reporters.

"In fact in the first half I wasn't satisfied with the 1-0. Fiorentina... always make you suffer, it's an important but not decisive victory."

Fiorentina thought they had taken the lead when forward M'Bala Nzola nutmegged visiting goalkeeper Yann Sommer in the 11th minute but the Angola striker was ruled to be offside.

Martinez put Inter ahead three minutes later, nodding in a corner from a tight angle.

Inter, who were without suspended midfielders Hakan Calhanoglu and Nicolo Barella, allowed Fiorentina to have more possession but the toothless hosts were wasteful.

Inter keeper Sommer had little work to do but kept out an attempt from Giacomo Bonaventura that was headed towards the roof of the net in the 35th minute.

Marko Arnautovic thought he had doubled the lead for Inter after the break, however the Austria forward saw his low shot from inside the box ruled out for offside in the 64th minute.

Fiorentina had a chance to level from the spot 15 minutes from time but a powerless attempt by substitute Nicolas Gonzalez was comfortably saved by Sommer after the hosts were awarded a penalty for the goalkeeper's foul on Nzola.

Fiorentina have not won any of their three Serie A games in 2024, losing two and drawing one.

The Viola, who are fifth with 34 points and also have a game in hand, next travel to 14th-placed Lecce on Friday. Inter host Juventus on Feb. 4.

"A match between two teams that are having an impressive run. We will try to prepare it as best we can," Inzaghi added about the Juve clash.

"In the reverse fixture it wasn't a spectacular game, now we play at home in front of our fans. Tonight we have suffered together with them, they pushed us to the end."

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