Inter extended their lead at the top of Serie A to six points with a 1-0 victory over Atalanta thanks to Milan Skriniar’s second-half goal.
With Milan and Juventus both winning over the weekend, Antonio Conte’s side needed three points to keep pace with their title rivals.
It took a lot of effort, but the points eventually came, with center-back Skriniar scoring in the 54th minute.
If Duvan Zapata’s subsequent attempt had been afoot to the right, a rare moment of profligacy from Romelu Lukaku may have cost Inter, but other than Luis Muriel’s shot from a narrow-angle, Atalanta came the closest to a recovery.
Conte’s temper flared quickly, with the Inter coach getting a yellow card in the 14th minute, ostensibly for protesting the award of an Atalanta corner.
Moments later, Cristian Romero almost brought a smile to Conte’s face when he accidentally lobbed his goalkeeper, Marco Sportiello recovering just in time to head it over.
Inter’s breakthrough came shortly into the second half, with two unlikely sources combining. Samir Handanovic had to be at his best to keep Zapata from bringing Atalanta ahead before halftime, but Inter’s breakthrough came shortly into the second half, with two unlikely sources combining.
Alessandro Bastoni made it to a corner, and despite his demand for a penalty after being pulled down, his teammate Skriniar was on hand to lash out.
Within four minutes, Lukaku seemed to be on his way to extending Inter’s advantage, only for Romero to make a superb last-ditch challenge.
With 20 minutes remaining, Inter’s hard work was nearly undone, but Zapata dragged a low effort wide from the edge of the field.
Muriel, Zapata’s strike partner, tried his luck shortly after, but Handanovic was in fine form to help Inter win their 10th consecutive home league game.
3 – Inter and Leipzig are the only two sides with three defenders to have scored at least three goals in the Top-5 European Leagues this season: Skriniar, D'Ambrosio (three both) and Hakimi (six). Fuel.#InterAtalanta #SerieA pic.twitter.com/URdICl5EAj
— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) March 8, 2021