Inter Milan welcomed Fiorentina to the San Siro, with the away side currently in a rich vein of form having won their last seven fixtures in all competitions. Inter occupy third position in Serie A, three points ahead of fierce rivals AC Milan.
INT: Onana; Bastoni, Acerbi, Darmian; Dumfries, Mkhitaryan, Brozovic, Barella, Gosens; Correa, Lukaku
FIO: Terracciano; Biraghi, Dodo, Igor, Martinez; Bonaventura, Castrovilli, Ikone, Mandragora, Saponara; Arthur Cabral
Fiorentina started brightly with Frenchman Ikone firing a deflected shot wide of Onana’s post. There was nothing to split the two sides in the first half hour with Romelu Lukaku looking the most likely scorer for the hosts. The Belgian strikers pace and power causing problems for the Fiorentina defense. A Gosens flicked header from a Brozovic corner fizzed narrowly over the bar – one moment of note in an otherwise quiet first half.
Fiorentina’s best chance of the half fell to Ikone who failed to make contact with a loose ball following a swift breakaway. The ‘Viola’ – in reference to Fiorentina’s distinctive purple colours continued to find space on the left flank with Inter right-back Denzel Dumfries doing well to halt Riccardo Saponara’s advances. Referee Fabio Maresca brought the first half to a close with nothing to split the two sides.
The first attempt of the second half fell the way of Fiorentina as Castrovilli fired a shot millimitres wide of the top right hand corner. At the other end, some slick build up from Inter resulted in a cross being flashed into the six-yard-box only for Lukaku to produce an astonishing miss from close range. The hosts were punished minutes later – a fifty-third minute corner saw Fiorentina captain Giacomo Bonaventura evade his marker to head home after an initial attempt was saved by Onana.
Inter responded well and were unfortunate not to draw level as Nicolo Barella saw his strike crash against the left-hand upright after an initial Brozovic free-kick struck the wall. The hosts huffed and puffed but were unable to beat Pietro Terracciano. Inter youngster Raoul Bellanova looked lively when he was introduced in the sixty third minute, his close range attempt following a Dumfries cross was fantastically kept out by Terracciano.
The Nerazzurri continued to look for a leveller but met firm resistance as Fiorentina managed the game expertly to close out their eighth successive win in all competitions. Inter meet fellow giants Juventus on Tuesday in the Coppa Italia semi-finals and will be desperate for a positive reaction. Fiorentina are now the form team in Serie A and will be confident in finishing their exceptional season in the same manner.