Inter suffered through a tight 1-0 win over Fiorentina at the Stadio Artemio Franchi on Sunday evening.

Following draws from both Juventus and AC Milan on Saturday, Inter was under enormous pressure to beat Fiorentina and reclaim their spot on top of the Serie A table. The Nerazzurri did not disappoint and brought home all three points. The match had it all: disallowed goals, penalties, end-to-end action, but only one goal to separate the two teams.

Fiorentina made a few changes to their predicted lineup. The hosts lined up as follows (4-2-3-1): Terracciano; Faraoni, Quarta, Ranieri, Parisi; Arthur, Duncan; Ikoné, Beltrán, Bonaventura; Nzola.

Inter lined up as follows (3-5-2): Sommer; Pavard, de Vrij, Bastoni; Darmian, Frattesi, Asllani, Mkhitaryan, Carlos Augusto; Thuram, Lautaro Martínez.

Inter began the match quite shakily and put themselves under pressure from the start. In the first minute of play, Alessandro Bastoni made a back-pass to Yann Sommer, who was unsure and skewed his pass to Benjamin Pavard. The pass was intercepted and Sommer was forced into his first big save of the match- although the flag had been up for offside.

Ten minutes later, Nzola was again causing problems for Inter. The forward received a ball over the top, spun off of Stefan de Vrij and was through on goal. The Angolan international calmly put the ball through the legs of Yann Sommer and thought he had opened the score, but the flag was up for offside- luckily for Inter.

In the 14th minute, Marcus Thuram made a great run into the corner and set up Carlos Augusto who was crashing into the box, but a Fiorentina defender got a foot to the ball before Augusto could and the two players crashed into Terracciano.

On the corner kick that followed, Asllani sent in a great near-post ball which Lautaro Martínez met and flicked on with his head into goal! The Argentine scored his 124th goal for Inter, seeing him equal Mauro Icardi as Inter’s joint-eight highest goalscorer in club history.

In the final ten minutes before half-time, Yann Sommer made a ridiculous one-handed save to deny Giacomo Bonaventura, while Alessandro Bastoni just minutes later made a world-class sliding block to stop Davide Faraoni. Inter’s defense was at work!

Halfway into the second half, Carlos Augusto found Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who danced along the byline to find substitute Marko Arnautović. The Austrian forward did a nice ball roll into a shot and scored, but the goal was ruled off for an offside on Mkhitaryan in the buildup.

In the 72nd minute,  the ball was crossed into Inter’s box and met by a combination of M’bala Nzola and Yann Sommer. Inter’s goalkeeper did his best to punch the ball clear and in the process, caught Nzola clean in the head. There was a follow-up header from a Fiorentina player that was then cleared off the line by a defensive header from Benjamin Pavard, the attempt would certainly have been a goal if the Frenchman was not ready.

Briefly following this action, the play was paused for a potential penalty on the punch from Yann Sommer. It appeared Inter’s number one had caught Nzola in the head when clearing the ball and after visiting the VAR screen, the referee awarded Fiorentina a penalty. Substitute Nicolás González stepped up…and hit an extremely weak penalty that Sommer saved with ease!

Inter saw out the remainder of the match, defending mostly in their own half. The squad was very disciplined and coordinated in order to see out the result and return to Milan with all three points and back on top of the Serie A table.

Following a dramatic match, here is how we have rated the individual performances of our Inter players.

Player Ratings

Yann Sommer – 7.5

Made 5-6 remarkable saves, and although he gave away a penalty, saved the penalty too. His distribution was not at the level it usually was, but it improved as the match went on.

Benjamin Pavard – 6.5

Was hardly beaten by any Fiorentina players and was calm in defense.

Stefan de Vrij – 5.5

Had large difficulties dealing with Fiorentina forward M’bala Nzola. Kept a clean sheet and did his job.

Alessandro Bastoni – 6.5

Returned to the starting lineup after missing the Supercoppa final through injury but did not seem to be anything other than 100%. Nice to see his ability to drive out from the back again.

Matteo Darmian – 6

Nothing stands out about this performance. Helped mostly in defense, was not very active going forward.

Davide Frattesi – 5.5

Again, most active on defense tonight. His decision-making was very questionable going forward, especially on several counterattacks Inter had.

Kristjan Asllani – 7

His first league start of the season and did not look out of place one bit. Gave a fantastic assist for the only goal of the match.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan – 6

His usual self, very active on attack. Created many chances and did not stop running for the entire match.

Carlos Augusto – 6

Dealt with Jonathan Ikoné, a tricky winger, very well. Barely let any chances come from his side of the pitch, won many decisive headers and contributed well on attack.

Marcus Thuram – 6.5

Had a good game, not a lot of service but tried to make the most of what he could. Created good opportunities but squandered a big chance where he was through and goal, ended up tripping over what seemed to be his own feet, but could have been a poor patch of the pitch.

Lautaro Martínez (C) – 7.5

Became the joint-eighth all-time Inter goalscorer today, extending his lead as Serie A’s top goalscorer and only Harry Kane has scored more goals than him in Europe this season. What a player he has become!


Marko Arnautović – 5.5

Scored an offside goal and had more opportunities that he did not capitalize on.

Denzel Dumfries – 5

Returned from injury but looked out of focus and not on his game today.

Francesco Acerbi – 6

Not much involvement but helped see out the match.

Alexis Sánchez – 5.5

More effective defensively today than offensively. Only completed one of four attempted passes, but had several defensive actions.

Yann Bisseck – 6

Brought on to see out the final minutes of the match and put his height and aerial ability to use when Fiorentina was launching balls into the box as a last-resort option.