STADIO GIUSEPPE MEAZZA (Milan) – Inter have dropped points for the first time in Serie A this season and once again it was Sassuolo to silence the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza with a stunning 2-1 comeback victory.
While Denzel Dumfries‘ opener on the stroke of half-time seemed to have paved the way for an easier second half for Inter, Nedim Bajrami and Domenico Berardi scored twice to earn the Neroverdi their third league win of the season.
The previous meetings at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza between Inter and Sassuolo suggested that a sixth consecutive win would be far from a formality for the Nerazzurri, and the visitors’ stubborn display was further proof of their confidence.
Dumfries puts Inter ahead
Inter started on the front foot in an attempt to build on their solid track record of first-half goals, with their early possession culminating in their first chance of the night that saw Marcus Thuram bursting down the right flank and into Sassuolo‘s box, only to reach the byline and see his pass stopped by Andrea Consigli.
Inter‘s main threats kept coming from the wings, but for all the crosses they were allowed to sweep in, no player was ever ready to meet it properly, either failing to connect with the ball or heading it over the bar like Thuram did shortly after the half-hour mark.
Alessio Dionisi‘s men had their first shot on target of the game seconds before the 40th minute and it was a dangerous attempt from Jeremy Toljan forcing a nice save from Yann Sommer, who was tested again shortly after and did well to quickly go down to deflect Bajrami’s shot.
The visitors seemed to have claimed the last opportunities of the first half but there was still time for another Dumfries run down the right-hand side. Having his first cross cleared, the Dutchman took on his opponent and opted to go solo, turning onto his left foot to strike a low drive that put Inter ahead.
Inter stunned by Sassuolo’s sudden comeback
Sassuolo came out of the dressing room looking motivated to cause Inter trouble and they did so straight away with Martin Erlic‘s header flashing inches wide of the post.
It was far from over though, because the hosts were left watching as Domenico Berardi set up Bajrami, whose shot from inside the box went under Sommer and powered in at the near post to make it 1-1.
Less than 10 minutes later, Inter fell behind for the first time in Serie A this season. An in-form Berardi came infield and hit one of his trademark left-footed curling shots, leaving Sommer helpless once again to complete the comeback for the Neroverdi.
With Inter needing to score twice, Simone Inzaghi‘s decision to replace Thuram with Alexis Sanchez raised more than one eyebrow at the Meazza.
It was just one of four changes, however, and former Sassuolo midfielder Davide Frattesi missed the chance to hurt his old club seconds after coming on as he perfectly controlled Carlos Augusto‘s pinpoint cross before being stopped by Consigli.
With the midfielders coming in constant aid of Sassuolo‘s defence, Inter struggled to find spaces to attack and it was Sommer again who needed to pull out more saves to prevent the Neroverdi from increasing their lead.
With the hosts’ late and frenzied assault leading to no results, despite a massive chance for Lautaro Martinez in the dying seconds, Inter can comfort themselves by having retained the Serie A top spot, although they are now level on 15 points with AC Milan.