Frattesi scores late winner to secure dramatic Inter victory over Verona

Inter managed to get all three points against Verona on Serie A Matchday 19 but not without serious difficulty, with a late goal, red card and missed penalty all entertaining the fans at the Meazza.


STADIO GIUSEPPE MEAZZA (Milan)Lautaro Martinez‘s 16th Serie A goal of the season seemed to be only positive to take from Inter‘s first match of 2024, until injury time, when substitute Davide Frattesi‘s winner earned them a 2-1 victory over Verona in a surprisingly dramatic finale.

Inter went ahead before the 15-minute mark through Lautaro’s cool finish at the end of a good move but were eventually pegged back in the second half by Thomas Henry, who made an instant impact by finding the equaliser seconds after replacing Milan Djuric.

When a draw seemed inevitable, Frattesi collected a rebound to score from close range and keep Inter five points clear of second-placed Juventus, who will be in action on Sunday against Salernitana.

Lautaro punishes wasteful Verona

Inter’s Lautaro Martinez celebrates. [@Inter_en]

Verona had the first chance of the match and it was a huge scare for the hosts, as Cyril Ngonge‘s cutback was picked up by an unmarked Tomas Suslov, whose fierce shot was stopped by Yann Sommer with his knee at the near post.

Coach Marco Baroni was left fuming on the bench after the missed opportunity and with reason, as his side’s resistance was immediately broken as soon as Inter started to settle into their rhythm.

Marcus Thuram‘s brilliant hold-up work saw him tee up Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who carried the ball and played it into the gap for Lautaro Martinez with perfect timing, allowing the Argentinian to bag his first goal of the calendar year after 14 minutes.

Sommer was tested again to deny Milan Djuric‘s header, but Inter continued to find space in attack as a result of a bold attitude from Verona, who kept four offensive players high in the hope of hurting the Nerazzurri through sudden counter-attacks.

A string of mistakes and an overall lack of precision in the final third prevented both sides from capitalising on their attacking intent, resulting in a match that was still open to potential twists at the end of the opening 45 minutes.

Henry’s equaliser gives Verona false hope before late drama

Like in the first half, Suslov produced the first attempt through a left-footed effort from distance that flashed just wide and his chance was once again followed by a goal from Lautaro Martinez, but this time it was ruled out due to an offside in the build-up.

Hakan Calhanoglu went close to doubling Inter’s advantage but could only watch his shot fizz past Lorenzo Montipo‘s goal, as Verona kept surviving the hosts’ attacks while also trying to get forward themselves.

Inter’s Benjamin Pavard. [@Inter_en]

The Gialloblu’s determination was eventually rewarded at the end of a sequence of play that involved two substitutes – Marko Arnautovic was challenged and dispossessed in the centre circle, allowing the visitors to set up Ondrej Duda whose cross from the right was deflected by Thomas Henry‘s knee which put the ball past Sommer.

The equaliser immediately had Inter pushing forward in search of a late winner, which almost came when Federico Dimarco‘s dangerous free-kick from the left was flicked by Benjamin Pavard, deflected by goalkeeper Montipo and incredibly missed by Arnautovic at the far post, where he could have simply put the ball into an empty goal.

Shaken by their own mistakes and inability to create the usual amount of clear chances, the Nerazzurri frantically brought as many players as they could forward in a chaotic final assault that resulted in an incredible string of events.

Arnautovic began the madness by failing to head home Francesco Acerbi‘s chip inches from the goal line, before Alessandro Bastoni’s spectacular rocket from the edge of the box smashed against the crossbar.

Inter players celebrate. [@Inter_en]

Nicolo Barella‘s low drive from long range went through a maze of legs and forced Montipo‘s half-save, allowing Frattesi to pounce on the rebound and make it 2-1 in the 93rd minute, triggering a massive roar in the stadium. There was a red card for Verona’s Darko Lazovic shortly after the goal.

The closing seconds of the game were even crazier, with referee Fabbri halting the match after Inter failed to score in front of an empty goal at the end of a counter-attack to award a penalty in the opposite box, after a VAR review had highlighted a previous foul by Matteo Darmian.

Henry went from the spot but saw his meek right-footed attempt come off the post, sparking yet another jubilant cry from the home fans.

Inter maintain their lead at the top of Serie A, whilst Verona are left wondering what might have been.


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