Inter Reclaims Top Spot In Serie A

FLORENCE, Italy: Inter Milan reclaimed the top spot in Serie A when they beat fifth-placed Fiorentina 1-0 early this morning thanks to Lautaro Martinez’s early header.

Inter, who were crowned champions of the Italian Super Cup for the third consecutive year on Monday, returned to the top of the league table with 54 points, one point ahead of second-placed Juventus with a game in hand.

Juve squandered a chance to extend their lead over Inter when they were forced to a 1-1 draw by lowly Empoli yesterday after playing most of the match with 10 men.

“This team did well in the first half and that’s where we should finish, maybe score another goal,” coach Simone Inzaghi told reporters.

“Even in the first half I wasn’t satisfied with 1-0. Fiorentina… often makes you languish, it’s an important win but not decisive anymore.”

Fiorentina thought they had taken the lead when striker M’Bala Nzola tricked visiting goalkeeper Yann Sommer in the 11th minute but the Angolan striker was ruled offside.

Martinez put Inter ahead three minutes later, heading in a free kick from a difficult angle.

Inter, who were without midfielders with the help of Hakan Calhanoglu and Nicolo Barella, allowed Fiorentina to have control of the ball but the hosts wasted many chances.

The Viola, who are in fifth place with 34 points and have played less than one game, will next visit the 14th place team, Lecce this Friday.

Inter hosts a visit from Juventus on February 4.

“A match between two teams that are doing well at the moment. We will try to prepare as well as possible,” said Inzaghi about the meeting with Juve.