Lautaro Martínez put an end to his scoring drought and Inter’s four straight Serie A victories with an excellent hat-trick in the 5-0 win for bottom-placed Salernitana.
Inter have struggled to regain form since the start of the year, but Martinez ended a scoring wait in the league that lasted until December as part of a brace in the first half that brought his tally to Serie A to fifty.
Martínez scored his second hat-trick for the ‘Nerazzurri’ only in the 56th minute, with a brace from Edin Dzeko in five minutes.
Inter reached the final whistle and preceded Napoli and Milan – who face off on Sunday – at the top of Serie A. by one point.
Salernitana could have taken the lead in the fourth minute if Simone Verdi had saved his shot near the spot.
Rare moment of vulnerability for Inter, which saw Martinez hit the crossbar before ending up in the lower left corner after Nicolò Barella recovered his run.
Martinez doubles up five minutes from half-time when Barella gives in again, holding back Luca Ranieri who scores a low shot behind Luigi Sepe.
Salernitana failed to contain Martínez after the second half, when the striker overtook Radu Dragusin by deflecting a right on Dzeko’s cross on the edge of the net.
Dzeko became top scorer thanks to a pass from Robin Gosens, who had replaced Matteo Darmian two minutes earlier.
VAR then ruled Dzeko offside before deflecting Denzel Dumfries’ pass to Sepe, giving him a second of play.
Joaquín Correa wasted a few opportunities to extend Inter’s lead, and Martínez wasted the opportunity to score for the fourth time, but the three points were already secured.
What does it mean? Relieve the pressure on Inzaghi
Inter had a four-point lead at the top at the end of 2021, but a streak of two out of seven wins sees them drop to third place and two points behind Napoli.
With his side scoring just six goals in that halftime, questions began to arise for Simone Inzaghi.
They should beat Salernitana, but the emphatic nature of their success could revive their faltering title in the future.
Martínez did not look like an out of shape player against Salernitana as he ended a 425-minute losing streak in all competitions. He has been live and has scored 10 goals, a record he has surpassed only once in a Serie A match (11 against Cagliari in March 2019).
It was only the second time in his Serie A career that Barella has provided more assists in a single match. He completed four key passes in total and played a role in most of Inter’s best moments.
Opta key facts
- Inter Milan are the first team to score more than 10 goals without conceding a single Serie A season (10-0 aggregate against Salernitana) since Fiorentina against Torino in 1958-59 (victories 6-0 and 4-0).
- Lautaro Martínez’s first goal ended a 425-minute drought for Inter in all competitions – it was their longest streak for the Nerazzurri since 430 minutes without scoring in January 2018.
- Inter have found the net after 58 shots in Serie A without scoring, interrupting their longest streak in the competition since February / March 2012 (68 shots without a single goal).
- Salernitana is playing its 100th Serie A match, 27,193 days after the first leg of the competition (Salernitana-Lazio on 21 September 1947).
-Thanks to tonight’s two exploits, Nicolò Barella now has nine assists in Serie A this season, his new record in a single edition of the competition (surpassing the seven assists of last season).
Inter will look to maintain their Champions League campaign in Liverpool on Tuesday, while Salernitana will host Sassuolo next weekend.