Milan: Romelu Lukaku scored twice to lead Inter Milan to a comfortable 4-0 win over lowly Genoa on Saturday as they rejoined Juventus at the top of Serie A on Saturday.
Lukaku, Inter’s regular penalty taker, also stepped aside when Inter won a spot kick to allow 17-year-old Sebastiano Esposito to score his first goal for the club and become their second-youngest ever scorer after Mario Corso.
Roberto Gagliardini was Inter’s other scorer as they pulled level with Juventus on 42 points from 17 games.
Inter lead with the better goal difference although if teams finish the season level on points, the head-to-head rule is used.
The win was a relief for Inter, who had drawn their last two league matches and been knocked out of the Champions League with a home defeat by Barcelona in between.
“It was a very good performance, despite the many missing players,” said Inter coach Antonio Conte.
“Roberto Gagliardini was prepared to play despite not being at 100 percent, because we were in an emergency situation. It makes a coach happy to see players like him, Matias Vecino and Borja Valero go through the pain barrier to put the team first.”
Inter went ahead when Antonio Candreva’s cross was diverted into the net by a Lukaku header after 31 minutes and Gagliardini scored the second two minutes later with a deflected shot.
Genoa, 19th in the 20-team table, mustered their first shot on target on the hour when Antonio Sanabria’s low shot was turned around the foot of the post by Samir Handanovic.
Inter were awarded a penalty three minutes later and Lukaku picked up the ball and handed it to Esposito, who converted.
But the Belgian forward had the final say in the 71st minute when he collected the ball outside the area, moved forward, skipped past a defender and rifled a left-foot shot in off the crossbar for his 12th league goal of the season.
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Updated Date: Dec 22, 2019 10:20:03 IST