Goals in each half from Arturo Vidal and Nicolo Barella helped Inter Milan to a convincing 2-0 victory over Juventus at the San Siro in the 2020-21 Serie A, which was also the 238th edition of the biggest game in Italy.
Antonio Conte made one change to his Inter Milan side that drew 2-2 with AS Roma last weekend, with Ashley Young replacing Matteo Darmian at left-wing-back, while Andrea Pirlo made three changes to his team.
Giorgio Chiellini, Weston McKennie and Arthur all came into the Juventus starting lineup in place of Merih Demiral, Aaron Ramsey and Adrian Rabiot.
It took just 10 minutes for the first goalmouth action in the game, as Cristiano Ronaldo prodded home into the net, but the goal was rightly ruled out for Federico Chiesa’s offside in the build-up.
Inter Milan took the lead just a minute later when former Juventus star Arturo Vidal rose highest to head home a cross by Barella. Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez then both missed presentable chance, as the hosts totally dominated proceedings in the early exchanges.
A bright start to the second half saw Inter Milan double their advantage, when Nicolo Barella got on the scoresheet with a simple finish. A long ball was punted upfield by Alessandro Bastoni which evaded everyone and allowed Barella to calmly slot past Wojciech Szczesny in the Juventus goal.
There were more good chances for Inter Milan which they squandered before Federico Chiesa forced Samir Handanovic into a fine save in the 87th minute. That was Juventus’ best moment of the game, but their late surge failed to reap any dividends as they endured their second league reverse of the season.
The win helps Inter Milan move level on points with city rivals AC Milan, who have a game in hand against Cagliari.
On that note, let us have a look at five talking points from the fixture.
#5 Antonio Conte registers his first win over Juventus in five attempts
Antonio Conte helped Juventus lay the groundwork for their unprecedented dominance, winning the Serie A title in each of his three seasons with the club.
Prior to this game, he had failed to beat Juventus in any of his four previous meetings a manager, losing all four clashes. However, it was a case of fifth-time lucky for the former Italy manager, and considering how important this victory is, it was well worth the wait.
It was also a first win for Inter Milan against Juventus since 2016, with the team enduring two draws and five defeats against the reigning champions in this period.
.#4 Inter Milan breathe new life into their title challenge
Inter Milan came into this clash on the back of a disappointing 2-2 draw with AS Roma, a game they led till the dying stages. Before that game, they had lost 2-1 away at Sampdoria, squandering an opportunity to go top of the league table.
A key issue for Inter Milan this season has been their soft underbelly in defence, and that has cost them points in several games in the current league campaign.
However, against Juventus, Inter Milan managed to eliminate errors and late losses in concentration that have plagued them for most of the season. A professional defensive display against the reigning champions has taken Inter Milan joint top of the Serie A table.
Published 18 Jan 2021, 06:03 IST