Sports

Inter Milan close-in on CL spot

Inter Milan close-in on CL spot
Inter Milan players celebrate after scoring a goal during their Serie A match against Chievo.
Milan, May 14 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 5/14/2019 11:11:27 AM IST

Inter ended a three-match winless run to take a big step towards Champions League qualification with a 2-0 win over Chievo in Serie A.

Already-relegated Chievo had not beaten Inter at San Siro in 15 attempts heading into Monday’s encounter, and they never looked likely to end that streak once Matteo Politano scored in the 39th minute.

Politano’s effort was just reward for a dominant performance from Luciano Spalletti’s side, though their fans were frustrated by wasteful finishing from Ivan Perisic and some fine saves from Adrian Semper.

Chievo’s slim hopes of a comeback were ended after Nicola Rigoni saw red late on, though, and Perisic made sure of the victory with four minutes to go as Inter moved back above Atalanta into third place.

Inter had no problem in asserting their authority, with both Perisic and Milan Skriniar passing up presentable chances in the opening stages.

Perisic went close again in the 28th minute – his shot from a tight angle well saved by Semper.

But Inter’s siege on Chievo’s goal finally paid off six minutes before half-time when Politano sent a precise finish in off the inside of the right-hand post. 

Emanuel Vignato almost restored parity after the restart, though Chievo would have been further behind had Semper not pulled off a fine save to deny Politano a second before reacting sharply to keep out Perisic’s follow-up try.

Semper was beaten after the hour, but Perisic’s low strike clipped off the upright and fell kindly for the keeper.

Rigoni’s rash challenge on Roberto Gagliardini saw him receive a second yellow card soon after and Inter made their numerical advantage count when Perisic finally found the net after Cedric Soares had hit the woodwork. Two games remain of the Serie A season and, as it stands, Inter are in pole position to secure a place in Europe’s elite club competition.

The Nerazzurri sit third, one point above Atalanta and four better off than their city rivals AC Milan. One more win would be enough to guarantee a top-four finish.

Inter face a tough trip to Napoli in their penultimate Serie A outing, while Chievo face Sampdoria. Both of those fixtures take place on Sunday.

 

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