MILAN - Inter suffered their first league defeat of the season at San Siro against Juventus on matchday 7 of Serie A TIM. 2-1 was the final score in favour of the Bianconeri, with Dybala’s early strike being cancelled out by Lautaro Martinez’s penalty. As the match neared its end, Gonzalo Higuain scored the decisive goal in the 80th minute, once again scoring the killer goal against the Nerazzurri at San Siro.
It is a defeat that leaves a bitter taste in Interisti mouths, who watched their side show their usual combativeness but with less cohesion than normal, that was not helped in particular by Sensi’s early withdrawl in the first half due to an injury. It was a competitive match, with duels taking place all over the pitch, on a night where two moments of quality from Juventus’ Argentine attackers decided the game; a game however, that could have gone a different way for the Argentine on the other side.
Juventus took an early lead in the fourth minute through Dybala, who was played through on goal by Pjanic. The Argentine drove into the area and took a shot across goal with his left foot that Handanovic got a hand to but couldn’t keep out. A tough start for Inter, who for the first time this season had conceded a goal in the first half, and such an early one at that. It was a vibrant match, with plenty of dramatic moments. One such moment came when Ronaldo, having cut inside from the left through the Nerazzuri's defence, took a shot from the top of the box that crashed against the bar. Juventus were aggressive and fierce, while Inter were impassioned after multiple pauses and restarts in play during an open match. The two sides were taking part in a real battle. The Inter equaliser came in the 18th minute. A cross from the right caught De Ligt on the hand inside the area. Rocchi pointed straight to the spot and Lautaro Martinez coolly and precisely beat Szczesny from twelve yards. 1-1
The equaliser did not take any of the sting out of a feisty match, with challenges flying in from both sides in the midfield, some of which were penalised and nearly all of which were full of competitive passion. Juventus struggled to cope with the runs in behind from Lukaku and Martinez. In the 28th minute Lukaku played a one-two that set his Argentine strike partner through on goal, who beat Bonucci for pace and hit a shot with power, which forced Szczesny into a great save. Inter lost Sensi in the 33rd minute, substituted for Vecino after being unable to continue after an injury.
Juventus kept the pressure on. After a beautiful combination in the 41st minute with Dybala, Ronaldo struck a fierce shot from the edge of the box, but Handanovic was ready for it. A minute later, Juventus thought they had scored their second goal but the assistant referee's flag cancelled it out immediately. Once again coming off the left, Ronaldo got on the end of a neat pass by Dybala and finished past Handanovic, but his Argentine teammate was shown to have strayed offside in the build-up.
The second half began in a similar fashion. Juventus were applying pressure while Inter looked to play out from the back and attack space. The chances started to dry up as the sides tired but the atmosphere remained tense. Sarri brought on Bentancur and Higuain while Conte put Bastoni on for Godin. In the 69th minute, Vecino almost fired the Nerazzurri ahead. His shot was deflected off De Ligt and brushed past Szczesny who was rooted to the spot. At the other end, Handanovic did well to deal with a low left-footed Ronaldo shot at his near post.
In the 80th minute, Inter went behind. Juventus moved the ball around the edge of the area before Bentancur slipped in Higuain who fired in low across Handanovic. Inter had ten minutes to respond and went close in the 85th minute. D’Ambrosio played a through-ball to Vecino but Szczesny came off his line to keep the Uruguayan out. Despite the Nerazzurri’s pressure, the equaliser didn’t come.
It therefore finished 1-2 in the first loss of the season. Juventus move top of Serie A TIM on 19 points while Inter fall to second but only one point behind after seven matches. After a busy run of games, it’s now time for the international break and the Nerazzurri will return on Sunday 20th October away at Sassuolo with kick-off at 12:30 CET. Now and forever, #ForzaInter!
INTER 1-2 JUVENTUS
INTER (3-5-2): 1 Handanovic; 2 Godin (95 Bastoni 54'), 6 de Vrij, 37 Skriniar; 33 D'Ambrosio, 23 Barella, 77 Brozovic, 12 Sensi (8 Vecino 33'), 18 Asamoah; 10 Lautaro (16 Politano 77'), 9 Lukaku.
Substitutes: 27 Padelli, 13 Ranocchia, 21 Dimarco, 5 Gagliardini, 19 Lazaro, 20 Borja Valero, 34 Biraghi, 87 Candreva, 30 Esposito.
Coach: Antonio Conte.
JUVENTUS (4-3-1-2): 1 Szczesny; 16 Cuadrado, 19 Bonucci, 4 De Ligt, 12 Alex Sandro; 6 Khedira (30 Bentancur 62'), 5 Pjanic, 14 Matuidi; 33 Bernardeschi (21 Higuain 62'); 10 Dybala (23 Emre Can 71'), 7 C. Ronaldo.
Substitutes: 31 Pinsoglio, 77 Buffon, 8 Ramsey, 24 Rugani, 25 Rabiot, 28 Demiral.
Coach: Maurizio Sarri.
Assistants: Meli and Carbone
Fourth official: Maresca
VAR and AVAR: Irrati, Peretti