Contrasting goals either side of half-time were enough to beat newcomers Frosinone and return an unbeaten Inter to the top of Serie A.
Despite the away side putting up a stout defence and mounting a reasonable attacking challenge of their own, they were a yard short, slightly slower and sufficiently less mature to never really threaten the Milanese giants.
In the first 40 minutes, although Inter had the lion’s share of possession, and came closest, Frosinone kept themselves in the game thanks to some good running, condensed defending, and creative play from Juventus loanee Matia Soule and Anthony Oyono.
A moment of magic brought the breakthrough just before half-time. Federico Di Marco picked up the ball in the Inter half, sprinted 10 yards and launched a rocket towards goal. Only then did everyone else in the stadium see how far off his line was the Frosinone keeper, and how accurate was Di Marco’s shot, as the ball dipped perfectly over a flailing Stefano Turati.
Within minutes of the restart Inter had doubled their lead. Marcus Thuram grabbed the ball off the feet of Caleb Okoli, weaved his way into the box, avoiding challenges before being felled by Ilario Monterisi for a clear penalty. Hakan Çalhanoğlu clinically dispatched the spot kick to Stefano Turati’s left.
With daylight between them, although Frosinone’s heads held up, they were unable to force their way back into the game.
A powerful strike from substitute Ibrahimovic forced a save from the Inter keeper Yann Sommer but was never likely to beat him at the near post.
The young Frosinone side faded towards the end of the game, and Davide Frattesi almost added a third to Inter’s tally, but the game ended 2-0.
Talking point – Difranco wonder goal will inspire Nerazzurri to believe
Because when a player has the confidence to take a shot like that, and the ability to execute it so smoothly, it speaks volumes about his, and his team’s confidence. If Inter do go onto take the title they might well look back on that shot on sight, immaculately guided over a forlorn Stefano Turati from 60 yards, as the moment their challenge really began.
Federico Difranco owned the left side of the pitch against Frosinone, as Marcus Thuram ruled the right, with both looking like the champions that their team’s points tally, at this stage of the season, shows they can become.
Player of the match – Marcus Thuram
A magician with the ball at his feet, he seemed sure to score had he not been brought down in the box. He is a player that likes the ball at his feet, welcoming tackles and the chance to dribble past, around and through defenders.
The threat he posed was so great that he forced Frosinone to double the numbers of those marking him, creating space for colleagues. The amount of running he made Frosinone do tired the young team out far earlier than any other sides have on what has been a good start to the season for the league newcomers.
Inter: Sommer 7; Darmian 7, Acerbi 6, Bastoni 7, Dumfries 7, Barella 7, Calhanoglu 6, Mikhitaryan 7, Dimarco 8, Thuram 8, Lautargo 6… Subs: Sensi 6, De Vrij 6, Arnautovic 5, Frattesi 5, Carlos Augusto 6
Frosinone: Turati 8, Monterisi 6, Okoli 5, Marchizza 6, Lirola 6, Mazzitelli 5, Barrenechea 6, Oyono 8, Soule 8, Reinier 6, Cuni 6… Subs: Brescianini 6, Jorge 6, Caso 6, Ibrahimovic 7, Cheddira 6
43′ – Goal! Inter 1 – 0 Frosinone (Dimarco) A moment of genius from Federico Di Marco. Seizing the ball on the halfway line, he sees the goalkeeper off his line and hits it from just inside the half, on the left, with the most insane accuracy. The San Siro is stunned.
47′ – Penalty for Inter! Thuram twists and turns his way into the box, and invites a tackle from Materisi that is poorly timed. It’s a clear foul and the referee has no hesitation.
48′ – Goal! Inter 2 – 0 Frosinone (Calhanoglu) Hakan Calhanoglu dispatches to the keeper’s left with ease. That’s six out of six for him this season from the spot.
55′ – Frosinone almost get one back! Cheddira picks up the ball on the right, runs in and hits the foot of the far post with his shot. The keeper maybe had it covered, but it was good.
Inter have scored the most goals overall in Serie A with 29, the most second-half goals with 18, and more from set-pieces than any other side (10) in the league.
This is only the second time that Inter have passed the 30 point level in a Serie A season, the other being 2019/20. That season they went on to finish second to Juventus by a single point.
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