Bergamo (Italy), Nov 13 (IANS) Edin Dzeko struck a double as Inter Milan ended their Serie A engagements before the FIFA World Cup break the way they would have liked it — with a hard-fought 3-2 win against Atalanta.
While Dzeko scored a brace on his 250th Serie A appearance, Palomino scored at both ends and Onana made some important saves in the Nerazzurri goal as Inter survived some anxious moments before the emerging winner.
With Rafael Toloi picking up an injury in the warm-up, Jose Luis Palomino took his place in the Atalanta starting line-up and went on to be heavily involved in a match that the hosts started aggressively.
Gasperini’s side went man-to-man all over the pitch, playing with a really high press. It was enough to prevent Inter from putting any kind of dangerous moves together, at least in the first 30 minutes.
In the opening period, Onana excelled, denying Koopmeiners and then Palomino with two excellent stops. However, he couldn’t do anything about Lookman’s 25th-minute penalty, which had been awarded for a foul by de Vrij on Zapata.
However, Inter’s response was not long in coming as Inzaghi’s men started to force Atalanta back. Dimarco was a constant thorn in the side of La Dea, who had come into the game on the back of two consecutive defeats and looked assured at the back.
Inter were all over the rival penalty area and equalised after 36 minutes: Calhanoglu’s cross was flicked on by Lautaro and Dzeko was able to beat Musso from close range.
The goal gave Nerazzurri real energy and the second half was full of bursts forward, starting with Denzel Dumfries’ run shortly after the restart.
Inter continued to create pressure and overwhelm their opponents. A goal was very much in the air and, after an opportunity for Mkhitaryan, Dzeko scored again as he bundled home Dimarco’s ball in despite Maehle’s best efforts to keep it out.
With Atalanta on the ropes, the Nerazzurri kept pushing and added a third goal: Lautaro headed on Hakan Calhanoglu’s corner and Palomino diverted into his own net to make it 3-1 for Inter in the 61st minute.
The Nerazzurri were looking really good as they tried to kill off the match. However, Atalanta managed to muster a response through their changes, with Rasmus Hojlund becoming an important reference point in the attacking third.
Palomino made amends by nodding home in the 77th minute, meaning Inter survive some tough moments toward the end of the match. They dug in and fought hard right till the 96th minute. Onana stopped Koopmeiners’ header as Inzaghi’s side secured all three points.
The win means that they go into the break ranked in fourth place and hope to move up toward the top of the table in January 2023, when the league restarts after the break.
In other matches played on Sunday, Spezia got the better of Verona 2-1, Torino held AS Roma 1-1 while Monza beat Salernitana 3-0.