Lautaro Martinez and Marcus Thuram scored a goal each in Inter Milan’s 2-0 win over Lazio on Sunday, putting the club four points clear at the top of Serie A.
Inter’s dynamic offensive combo ensured that their club took full advantage of their nearest opponents. Juventus only drew against Genoa on Friday to put some distance between Simone Inzaghi’s team and the rest of the chasers.
The duo have scored 22 of Inter’s 39 Serie A goals this season as they look to beat local rivals AC Milan – who are nine points behind in third after beating Monza 3-0 – to 20 league crowns.
Argentina striker Martinez dedicated his goal to his birthplace of Bahia Blanca, when a strong storm forced the roof of a sports club to fall, killing at least 13 people.
“My city and family have been affected by the storm, I wanted to send a message,” Martinez added.
Inzaghi has never won the Scudetto as a coach, but his squad has been by far Italy’s best in the 16 matches played so far, and they will look to maintain their charge against a team where the coach spent the majority of his playing career.
His focus now shifts to Monday’s Champions League last-16 draw, where he predicts a repetition of last season’s final against Manchester City.
Martinez set Inter on their way five minutes before halftime, pouncing on a poor Adam Marusic backpass before running over Lazio goalkeeper Ivan Provedel and poking home his 17th goal of the season.
In the 66th minute, France forward Thuram extended the away side’s advantage after being set up by Nicolo Barella, rolling home his eighth club goal of the season.
That goal put an end to Lazio’s resilience and sent Maurizio Sarri’s team to 11th after their first home defeat since August, with Manuel Lazzari’s late red card for dissent the frosting on the bitter cake.
Reijnders comes through.
Milan cruised to win at the San Siro, thanks in large part to an outstanding performance from Tijjani Reijnders, who opened the scoring with a beautiful third-minute goal.
The Netherlands midfielder collected Christian Pulisic’s pass well outside the box and then dribbled past five Monza players before tapping Milan’s first home goal past Michele Di Gregorio.
“You always have to believe, we are not finished yet,” Reijnders remarked of Milan’s title chances.
Stefano Pioli’s team also had goals from Jan-Carlo Simic, who scored his first Milan goal shortly before halftime, and Noah Okafor, who scored in the 76th minute after more excellent play from Reijnders.
Simic, 18, doubled the hosts’ lead three minutes before halftime, smashing home Rafael Leao’s low cross before soaking in applause from the crowd as his parents sobbed in the stands.
“It’s a dream for any kid to make your debut for a club like AC Milan and scoring on your debut is incredible,” he told Sky Sports.
Bologna is ranked fourth.
Bologna have been the season’s standout thus far, finishing fourth after an amazing 2-0 win over top-four rivals Roma.
Bologna’s third win in four games and a Rasmus Kristensen own goal just after the interval were enough to lift them a point above champions Napoli and Fiorentina, who beat Verona 1-0 earlier in the day.
Motta has done an outstanding job at Bologna since taking over for Sinisa Mihajlovic in September of last year, just over three months before his Serbian predecessor died of leukemia.
“I’m sure that Sinisa was watching over us, and giving us a hand,” Motta added with a grin.
Mourinho’s club, who was missing important forwards Paulo Dybala and Romelu Lukaku, dropped to seventh place, three points below Bologna.
“Without Paulo, there’s no class, and without Romelu, there’s no physical presence,” Mourinho added, confirming his intention to stay at Roma next season.
Udinese sit one point above the relegation zone after drawing 2-2 with Sassuolo after blowing a two-goal lead.